President’s Day, A Somber Senior Reflection

True confession: this is an update of a column I wrote in 2011 but the memories and the message are even more relevant today as we celebrate President’s Day, 2019.

I expect most of the people reading this column are seniors like me, and remember with fond recollection our elementary school days when we honored both Lincoln’s birthday on Feb 12th and Washington’s birthday on Feb 22nd. I still remember cutting out silhouettes of both of those great presidents and pasting them with that white paste that smelled so good and got smeared on everything within a few feet, onto colored “construction paper” and bringing them home to mom as my “artwork”.

Like a lot of other fond memories, that all changed in 1971 with the “Uniform Holidays Act” moving the federal holiday to the third Monday in February. Oddly enough, that insured that “President’s Day” could never again fall on Washington’s actual birthday of Feb 22. To me that was sort of a bad omen.

My earliest memories of presidents I actually lived under go back to Harry Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower. I remember them talking to us during our booming post war economies on our 10 inch black and white TV alongside Ozzie and Harriet.

Fast forward sixty plus years and I’m afraid those days are long gone because of our looming federal debt and lack of political will, leadership and common sense to have a balanced federal budget. During our lifetimes we have gone from the largest creditor nation to the largest debtor nation because of this irresponsibility. While I was not a fan of Bill Clinton, I certainly respect the fact that during his second term in office the country ran a yearly budget surplus through 2001 and in his final State of the Union address, President Clinton said the United States should continue to balance its books and pay off the debt entirely. (Wikipedia).

The Bible has a lot to say about money, spending and borrowing. If we hadn’t thrown the Bible out of our public schools (I can still hear Miss Smith reading the Psalms to us in kindergarten every mooring) our political leaders might realize that Proverbs 22:7 says “….The borrower is servant to the lender” and because of that unshakable principle, we are now servants to the Chinese. We have borrowed ourselves into their servitude and it’s not a very comfortable feeling, let alone, politically or economically viable.

I am thankful for some of the political leaders we have in Washington and their zeal for correcting the economic course of our ship of state. I wish them well indeed. It is my sincere prayer for our nation on this President’s Day that we will gather our national will, courage and commonsense together to balance our federal budget so our grandkids can cut and paste the silhouette of a great US President who will lead us out of this bondage into financial prosperity once again.

Thanks for reading All About Seniors…..see you next week!!

Bill Milby is a Director of Visiting Angels® of Central Georgia, a non-medical, living assistance service for seniors. If you have questions or comments about this column you can reach him at william.mercylink@gmail.com

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