Panel 1: John decides to solve the problem of children wanting "to live in luxury" by sitting them down and telling them both about home heating.
Panel 2: You see, it costs two grand Canadian to heat the Pattermanse over the winter and that every time they touch the thermostat, it costs money.
Given that they're clearly uncomfortably cold despite his spending more money on heating his house than makes sense, it seems to me that he's kind of too stupid to insulate his house and would rather lecture his kids about luxury than take steps to put a dent in heating costs.
Panel 3: This is because he misjudges the impact of his message when he tells them that he wants them to think of that every time they complain about the temperature. He would like to assume that his children would be enlightened and change their ways because he thinks that he's a better person overall and better dad in particular than he actually is.
Panel 4: When Mike asks him how warm he and Liz can get for a buck, John looks like a pole-axed ewe because he doesn't know what he looks like to his children.
Summary: John's blathering about how the moral obligation of feeding, clothing and housing the children he brought into the world is a big imposition cruelly inflicted upon him has yet again gotten in the way of his trying to teach them things about money. If he were a real man instead of a kid who had to be man of the house too soon and who can't unclench his bowels, he might have actually taught them something.