The only way to borrow your way to prosperity is to have the good sense to die before the bill hits the mailbox.
Assiduously pursuing that policy, it now appears it is time for those of us in the baby boomer generation to have the good sense to lie down and bite the dust. And leave the bill to our heirs.
It is time to tell our children, "We have had a great time, here's the tab."
The latest numbers on the national debt show there is no other recourse. We spent, and we spent, now it's time to relent.
A website called usdebtclock.org shows the national debt in real time. You can visit the site and watch the debt climb right before your very eyes. As of 2:51 p.m. on Wednesday, May 29, the national debt was $16,840,085,946,425. That's 16.8 trillion dollars.
The gross domestic product of this country is projected to be 16.068 trillion dollars for fiscal year 2013, according to the Financial Forecast Center. Simply put, that means that - as a nation - we owed a little over our annual income for our credit card bill.
Of course, you have to remember that - as a nation - we could have enough airline miles built up on our credit card to upgrade to first class on 6,212,200 flights. Or, if we have "a good credit rating," we can pay a 3 percent balance transfer fee and give the entire amount owed to Citibank for 0 percent balance for 12 months.
After that, it is only 14.99 percent interest per year. At least, that's how it works according to the last piece of junk mail we threw in our garbage. It's time for the government to fish that offer out of the garbage and give it serious consideration.
We are surprised that proposal has not hit Congress. As they debate raising the debt ceiling this fall, they should call Visa or Mastercard and ask for all the latest mailings on our "great new Platinum cards."
After all, if someone who owes 16.8 trillion dollars doesn't qualify for "platinum treatment," who does?
Uncle Sam could fly first class for years. Goodbye Air Force One, hello early boarding. It makes as much sense as anything else our government does.
(A version of this editorial has appeared previously in The Maui News. In the time we spent revising it, the national debt went up $19 million.)
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.