Foreword: Unless you're a Black Belt in Scrabble or a world-class spelling bee contestant, you'll be grateful for our definition of that last word as "lacking in concern."
Only the colossal indifference of our elected reprehensibles can explain why none of them have the courage to face this undeniable fact: Our country is on a spending spree that would make drunken sailors look like models of thrift and prudence.
It is far more convenient for them to focus on which cans to kick down roads that are all pointed toward national bankruptcy, and to blame everyone but themselves, than to assume responsibility and seek workable solutions.
Let's face it, folks (even if they won't): Unless that national spending spree is drastically curtailed, the future dollars we shell out will be stolen directly from the piggy banks of our children and grandchildren, who are already in big-time hock.
We ordinary citizens learn early in our adult lives that, unless we have rich relatives (one of whom Uncle Sam no longer is) to bail us out, we either have to live within our means or face the consequences, regardless of who or what is to blame for our current plight.
This is why we tighten our family belts, lower our sights and do without when "things" get tough.
Though almost certainly learned in their private lives, this lesson is blithely ignored by our insouciant (that word again!) leaders, who recognize no such restraint as they recklessly and thoughtlessly seek to sate the appetites of those whose votes and dollars they need to attain or retain power.
In this pursuit, they scrupulously avoid inconveniencing their supporters by asking them to share the burden of "cutting down" wherever and whenever it becomes necessary in order to maintain fiscal stability.
Within most families, parents assume the unpleasant burden of telling their very young that even Santa Claus does not have bottomless pockets and, later, that family thrift must be a group commitment.
Increasingly, such homespun logic is being replaced by a public attitude that government largesse is unlimited and is a "right," both without restraints and without any concern for its long-term impact on the nation's health.
Anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of arithmetic and marginal literacy should be aware that the present state of our national economy is unsustainable in the long run and unfair to our young folks in the uneasily foreseeable future.
Aside: This sobering reality was recently reinforced in no uncertain terms by the General Accounting Office, a non-partisan pisser of economic ice-water.
Its report, however, is being sniffed at and ignored on Crapitall Hill.
One more time, for emphasis: We are going broke, gang, and spending our way into additional debt makes no more sense than copulating to restore a lost virginity!
Those who regard "the government" as a limitless source of support and who believe that merely soaking the rich will solve the problems of the poor are, to put it bluntly, either stupid or uninformed.
In either case, they have no right to be heard, much less heeded, in public discourse.
'Nother aside: It's an old joke, to be sure, but not without a sharp edge:
Question: Which is worse, ignorance or apathy?
Answer: I don't know and I don't care.
There is also what might be termed as "Scarlett Fever," borrowed from a central figure in Gone With The Wind, who dismissed problems she didn't want to deal with by breezily sighing, "Fiddle-de-dee, I'll just have to think about that tomorrow!"
If there is a big difference between her attitude and that of our aforementioned reprehensibles on both sides of that "I'll," it escapes this writer.
And if they do know and do care about the doomsday scenario facing America, their apparent unconcern and inability to take remedial action borders on criminal neglect.
No less a big-league brainiac than Albert Einstein defined insanity as "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
If that be so (and who's to argue with old Al?), why do we keep returning most of the same inmates to control of our congressional asylum?
The answer might be that that the "we" referenced just above is a majority composed of a few thinking people and a much larger bunch of citizens who don't know enough and/or care enough to find and face the facts that will shape the future of our descendants.
Those hapless innocents will, alas, pay dearly for the nuisance of our insouciance.
Freelance wordworker Joe Klock, Sr. winters in Key Largo and Coral Gables, Fla., and summers in New Hampshire. More of his "Klockwork" can be found at www.joeklock.com.