There's something that every single American family understands, that Conservative budget hawks don't want us to talk about, and that's the difference between spending and investing. Let's assume that the typical American family collects its paycheck at the end of the month and decides to go out to eat for a fancy dinner. A couple glasses of wine, an appetizer, four entrees, and a few desserts later, the waiter brings the check and -- at least here in DC -- that family is now out about $150. Do that once a month as a special treat, and you're pushing $2000 a year. That money is not coming back. It was spent and is now gone.