Before Kanye was famous for dubious antics and marrying a Kardashian, he made his name on sick lyrics like these. But the experience he’s describing is the key part for our purposes. Yeezy’s verse testifies to the gap between how sensible fiscal responsibility looks on paper and how difficult it can be to exercise. Prudence is easier to preach than to practice.

This is true for poor people in inner cities who are desperate to own a few nice things, it is true for spendthrift senators, and it is true for overeager middle-class surburbanites who will sign anything to get into McMansions. If conservatives really want to build a society that lives within its means, empathy for people in a tight spot will be at least as important as well-worn austere lectures.