THE BLOG
07/17/2011 06:23 pm ET Updated Sep 16, 2011

8-Year-Old Wisdom

Many of us are keeping a close eye on the debt ceiling deliberations as the decisions made in the next few weeks can impact our lives and the lives of our children for many years to come. I believe if they raise the debt ceiling without making some serious spending cuts, we will go down a slippery slope of continued loss of confidence and devaluation of the US dollar. I watched Bernanke being grilled by the Senate, doing the song and dance of "recovery slower than expected".

In our household, we strive to teach our kids about money, financial and economic issues. I explained to our 14- and 8-year-olds how the decisions our leaders make in the next few weeks will impact our lives and especially their lives in the future. Our government needs to make temporarily hard decisions now to keep America strong. Basically, a strong America equals an easier life in the future, and a weak America equals a harder life in the future. I explained how the money collected from taxes is not enough to pay for all the government spending. Here is how the conversation went:

Mom:

"When you go to work and get paid they take income taxes out of your paycheck that goes to the government, which is the money they are talking about now. "

8 yr. old:

"So basically they steal our money every month to pay for their stuff?"

Mom:

"Well sort of, but they don't call it stealing -- they call it taxes".

8 yr. old:

"Okay they call it taxes, but basically it is stealing!"

Mom:

"Well, some of those taxes go to pay for things we need like firemen, police and things like that".

8 yr. old:

"They should get rid of taxes and they should go to a 'donate' system and let everyone decide what they want to do with their money."

Mom:

"Yes, you are probably right, and that is likely what our founding fathers had in mind when they created our country. Low taxes, small government and most of services and material needed donated by the citizens of the country."

Wow, what a concept!

We are at a pivotal point in history -- and many people don't know how critical the next few weeks are. We are in for very difficult economic times if we continue to monetize our debt and the world decides to move away from the US dollar as the standard of currency.

Take a stand! Talk to your kids about the issues, contact your Senator and let them know you care about our country, give a helping hand to someone in need, prepare for the worst, and hope for the best.