The Betrayal of America’s Children‏

-By Vince Johnson

Here’s a statement worth repeating every morning:

“Any society will be judged how healthy it is, by the way it treats its children.”

These are the words of Graça Machel, international advocate for women and the rights of children. She is also the wife of Nelson Mandela, who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999 after he was in prison for 27 years.

Here is a message from John F. Kennedy worth repeating every evening:

“Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”

America will certainly be judged by how we treat our children, and this judgment will give great consideration one grievous flaw in our national character which proves that we do not “cherish our children’s future” as much as Kennedy believed.

Our efforts to protect our children begin before they are born. Upon the first prenatal visit we remind women about the dangers of alcohol, and smoking. We make sure they had shots for Rubella, take prenatal vitamins, get the right amount of exercise, and on and on.

We protect our toddlers in thousands of ways. We keep medicines, guns, matches and all kinds of toxic products out of reach, even those packaged in “childproof containers.” We install safety plugs in electrical outlets, safety gates for stairways, and childproof latches for doors, drawers and cupboards. We often install a remote mike or TV camera by the crib. We never let a toddler be alone around water. We use safety seats and never leave them alone in a car.

When they are school age, we require them to wear appropriate safety gear when playing football, hockey, baseball, or basketball. The same is true for biking, boating, swimming, skateboarding, ice skating, skiing, and snowboarding. The safety gear includes helmets, shoulder pads, goggles, life jackets, mouth guards and more.

Billions a year are spent on research and the manufacture of safer toys, more nutritious foods, and improved protective wear for all sports. To protect their health we’ve outlawed the sale of tobacco and alcohol products to minors. Products are recalled if deemed dangerous to children. Such products include cribs, toys, safety seats, high chairs, etc.

There are laws to protect our kids from many other dangers including child abuse, sex predators, school bullies, crossing streets in school zones, and exiting school buses. There are vaccines for various childhood diseases including polio, diphtheria, small pox, etc. We have doctors and entire hospital wards specializing in pediatrics.

Then of course, there is the need to protect our children from obesity. In November 2010 the city of San Francisco banned McDonald’s from handing out toys in their “Happy Meals” promotion. This extreme measure was made because the meal included french fries which various government agencies have found to be unhealthy and therefore their consumption by children should be discouraged rather than promoted.

Despite these historic efforts to protect our children from the dangers of the present, our government is not making any serious effort to teach our kids how much money we are borrowing from their future. At this writing, the National Debt is about $13.7 trillion and the population is about 310 million. This translates to $44,193 the government has borrowed from the future of each citizen including those too young to vote.

This means we are forcing our kids to accept a tax burden far greater than any previous generation has ever faced.

What was it John F. Kennedy said? “We all cherish our children’s future.” He must have believed his country would never, ever betray their children by borrowing trillions from their future, without their knowledge or consent . . . just so we can have all kinds of things we cannot afford.
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