The Whitehouse Office of Management and Budget predicts the 2008 fiscal budget deficit will come in at 410 billion dollars. Depending on who you talk to, you may need to duck as convicting fingers target various culprits of financial irresponsibility. George Bush, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the recession, stimulus checks and mortgage crisis bail outs all get their share of the blame. Some folks have a hard time choosing, so they settle on George Bush as the best way to capture the entire list.
Many days I feel like we're all running through an endless gauntlet of flying fingers. Republicans make up one row, Democrats the other. We barrel through as fast as we can; keeping our heads low and only occasionally stopping to point back. We periodically emerge through an opening of this dangerous tunnel, just long enough to look back and see the chaos we've escaped, which is often more frustrating than being in it.
I think finger pointing can play a valuable role in solving a lot of the problems in this country, including the deficit. But to make the kind of impact I dream of, people will have to get better with their aim. Somehow the perilous collection of flying fingers need to be wrestled under control and marked returned to sender.
Two professors at the University of Virginia released a study this month they did on the financial impact of families absent fathers in this country. The study is titled "The One Hundred Billion Dollar Man - The annual public costs of father absence". It is one of the first studies I've seen that attempts to put a dollar figure on the epidemic of fatherless families. I encourage you to read the study. It provides staggering evidence of a far greater threat to our society than George Bush or Iraq could dream of creating.
Forget the social impact on children being raised in father absent homes for a minute; simply consider the enormity of the 100 billion dollars applied to combating that impact. And if we spend that kind of money providing the treatment, how much can possibly be left to deliver prevention. The answer is not much. That's why it is left to me and so many other new fathers in this country to fight the budget deficit through our commitment to family. It's as simple as keeping our fingers pointed in the right direction.