It’s a sad state of affairs when people who have reached the highest positions of power and responsibility have not learned the basic lessons we teach our children. But when I look at the news this past weekend, I see them making a mistake my own kids wouldn’t repeat after a recent “incident.”
Let me explain: My nine year old daughter, Abigail, loves art and crafts. When I say love, I mean L-O-V-E. This is a big challenge for a mom who is craft handicapped. Abigail takes art classes, has an entire room dedicated to art, and has many of her pieces hanging in my campaign office.
Abigail and my younger daughter, Sarah, decided that they were going to put their creative talents to good use. They took some of their allowance money, put the bills on our color copier at home, and printed sheets and sheets and sheets of money! They then proudly celebrated that they had figured out how to get more money without needing to earn it doing chores.
My husband and I frequently take the kids to the Dollar Store and allow them to use some of their allowance to buy items of their choice. It’s a great way for them to learn about saving, buying, sales tax and calculating their change. On one of these trips a few months ago, they pulled out some money to pay for their purchases when I suddenly noticed that the backs of all the bills were white!
My husband and I explained to our girls that it’s illegal to make and spend fake money, that mommy and daddy could go to jail if they got caught, and that you just can’t print money out of thin air. (Can you imagine the headline if a conservative candidate for Unites States Senate got caught with her kids peddling counterfeit money?)
But my kids were just thinking along the same lines as the Federal Reserve Chairman, congressional leaders and the President of the United States. They believed they could just print more money and spend it without any repercussions (or at least none that they have to worry about) and use it to pay for whatever they want.
The irony? It is illegal for my kids, but “necessary” for Washington DC.
Democratic AND Republican leaders are trying to figure out how they can get away with spending money we don’t have by once again raising the debt ceiling.
They will talk about trillions in cuts – but don’t be fooled. They won’t be talking quite so loudly about the fact those “promised” cuts will happen over ten years, or, more likely, will happen at the end of ten years, which means never.
I hope I will be surprised. I hope Congress will make deep and lasting spending cuts, cap spending and balance the budget. But let’s be candid. If history is any guide on what the “Debt Deal” negotiations are really all about, they’re simply determining the amount of paper money Congress will put through the giant U.S. color copier machine!
The fact that Congress is still making the same old mistakes shows it has not taken to heart the lessons voters tried to teach last November. So, after all the Tea Party's work last cycle, we're going to have to continue the battle in 2012. I hope you’ll do your part.
Jamie Radtke is a Republican Candidate for the United States Senate in Virginia. She is the Chairman Emeritus of the VA Tea Party Patriot Federation and past president of the Richmond Tea Party. To learn more about her campaign, visit www.radtkeforsenate.com.