The movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” has a wonderful scene in which the mother tells her daughter in a thick Greek accent that “the man is the head [of the house], but the woman is the neck and she can turn the head any way she wants.” Most of us gave a knowing chuckle at that one, because we know that women are the guardians of our families in many ways, including financial stability. Mothers will go without new clothes for years in order to make sure their kids have everything they need. Women will even do without necessities in order to provide for their family.

Therefore, women who make tough pocketbook choices every day are appalled by men in Washington who won’t do the same – even to the point of threatening the solvency of future generations. And it showed in the 2010 elections. Women rejected the Obama agenda and the liberal philosophy of “spend now, worry later.”

Women gave President Obama a huge boost in 2008 when 58 percent of them voted for him over John McCain. But in 2010, when Obama was not on the ballot but after ObamaCare and all the bailouts had passed Congress, women defected to the Republicans, favoring them over Democrats by a six-point swing. This was the first national election in 30 years in which Republicans carried women. The Democratic National Committee is hoping its new Chairman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, can put an end to this hemorrhaging, but it will take more than a pair of high heels to heal the damage.

Women get it. They get that you can’t just get another credit card when you’ve already maxed out on the ones you have. They get that you can’t take a vacation when you need to make the mortgage payment instead. But mostly, they are disgusted by government leaders who refuse to act responsibly and get our financial house in order. The taxpayers, including those taxpayers not yet born, are not the government’s ATM machine, and running up a $14 trillion debt and then simply expecting to raise the debt ceiling in order to keep borrowing is outrageously irresponsible. No nation can sustain the addition of $1.5 trillion yearly deficits and the current trend of a 65-plus percent GDP to debt ratio.

I’ll be meeting this weekend with several of the GOP primary presidential candidates, and I am interested to learn about their plans for a sensible economic recovery that significantly reduces spending and balances the budget without asking American families to shoulder more of the burden.

It is inconceivable that the nation can continue on this path for much longer. With federal funding in place for liberal sacred cows like Planned Parenthood and the full implementation of ObamaCare just around the corner, the outlook is dim. Even while unemployment continues to rise and families are pressed more and more on their budgets, President Obama, the Partier-in-Chief, still holds his cocktail receptions and even had the time to almost double the number of limos used by his administration.

But I am hopeful that women become more and more clear in our firm expectations for our leaders. In order to secure our children’s future, we must reduce the size of the government, cut spending, create jobs, and protect life. Candidates hoping to win election in 2012 will do well to follow our lead on these issues.

Penny Young Nance is CEO of Concerned Women for America.