We’re in debt. Up to the trillions. My mind doesn’t work in trillions. It barely works in thousands. I am, after all, a desperately poor college student.
But there are a few things I understand about national debt.
One, it’s big. And two, it’s stid.
Let’s just look at some facts here:
The U.S. national debt (as of April 18) was around $11.2 trillion. That amounts to roughly $36,500 per person in the United States. This number has increased an average of $3.85 billion per day since September 28, 2007. See? Big.
Our economy is bleeding, and while the government rushes to stem the flow by tossing around billion dollar notes, the American people-are getting a little nervous — with good reason. In the next 75 years, the projected costs of programs such as Medicare and Social Security will exceed tax revenue by more than $40 trillion. This is without factoring in discretionary spending such as defense, education and homeland security. An increasing share of U.S. Treasury securities is being held by foreign governments. Inflation seems almost inevitable.
But there is a solution:
We need LDS mothers to be in charge of government spending and debt reduction.
I’ve seen what these women can do. I’ve seen the coon clipping, the bulk- foods shopping, the power-conserving. I’ve attended provident living workshops and homemaking activities. I’ve witnessed what goes on at Costco stores across Utah. Yes, Mormon moms are the answer.
Take, for example, my best friend’s mother. The first time I went to his house, he gave me a tour culminating at the bottom of the basement stairs, where we stood outside the food storage room while he prepared me for what I was about to see. He was really quite dramatic about the whole thing. When he opened the door, I discovered why.
The room was like a WinCo warehouse. There were boxes everywhere, filled with dry goods, toiletries and canned foods. There were canisters of potato flakes, buckets of powdered milk, bags of wheat, a giant tank of purified water. I’d never seen anything like it.
My friend was like a kid in a candy store. He ran around the room, showing me the organizational genius of his mother, demonstrating the inner workings of the wheat grinder, stealing handfuls of carob chips from their jars. We ran out to the garden to look at the vegetables that would soon be harvested and canned. My friend showed me the wood-chopping pile and the chicken coop.
I went home and told my own mother, who seemed a little miffed by the whole thing. I discovered this Relief Society phenomenon: competition over who can save the most money and live the most providently.
The next day, my mother attended a case lot sale at the local grocery store where she bought 16 boxes of canned corn and also apparently received inspiration for some new Beckstead Energy-Saving Policies, which she instituted the next day.
These included hand-washing all our dishes, installing low-wattage light bulbs and turning off the heat (it was November.) My dad and I rebelled against her frugality by ordering Chinese.
Still, I can’t help but be impressed by the budgeting and saving of the mothers in my life.
I really believe that they could shape our government’s spending, and probably start a pretty handy national food storage program while they’re at it.
Originally Published 04/21/09