Chickens, Turkeys, Deficits And the Future of America

Never mind al Qaeda terrorists. They'll be the least of our problems if we can't get our economic house in order.

Once upon a time there were five animals -- three chickens and two turkeys -- who were elected to sail across the ocean, in the most powerful boat around, with much needed medical supplies. The boat was powered by a sleek economy and a long tradition of innovation and hard work. Recognizing that along the way some decisions would have to be made, they agreed that the majority would rule, but that the majority would be defined by a vote of four of the five.

About a third of the way into their journey, the boat’s engine went into a stall and the boat started to move backward with the tide. By unanimous vote, they agreed to bail out the engine by paddling. But the strenuous paddling, along with the wear and tear from the first part of journey, weakened the hull and it sprung a leak. “No problem,” said one of the turkeys. “Leaks don’t matter. Full steam ahead.” So they paddled on. Awhile later the boat sprung a second leak. “We can’t worry about that now,” said one of the chickens. We have to try to rev up the engine. We’ll fix it later.”

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Mark Willen
Senior Political Editor, The Kiplinger Letter