Nation must live within its means

The troubles of we Americans dealing with the economy reminds me of my younger days working in the Merchant Marines. At sea, during the long evenings with nothing to do, the crew would start the typical poker game. As the evening wore on, there were always a few crew members who ran out of money. You could hear them coming. “Hey, could you lend me 20 bucks till next Monday?” “I’m hot; I know I’m going to win big.”

Some guys would finish the trip with their total pay gambled away. We Americans seem to be in the same “boat.” Our forthcoming “fiscal cliff” (actually a fiscal slope) is simply reminding us of the need to live within our means instead of running around borrowing more money to continue our consumption greater than our production.

Let’s flex our fiscal “muscles” and face the years to come responsibly, not just for ourselves but for our kids and grandkids. The shock is actually the reality we will have to meet, now sooner than a worse later.

David F. Baker