To eat the seed corn

To eat the corn which should be saved for seed, so as to forestall starvation; - a desparate measure, since it only postpones disaster.
any desparate action which creates a disastrous situation in the long-term, done in order to provide temporary relief.

See also: Seed, Seed

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by G. & C. Merriam Co.
References in periodicals archive ?
MY FARMING skills extend only as far as the backyard vegetable garden, but I know what it means to eat the seed corn. For whatever reasons people -- or societies -- are driven to such an extreme, they will be consuming their own future.