As I write this, US Representative Paul Ryan making appearances on TV and radio to explain, sell and defend the Ryan-Murray budget deal that was announced yesterday. Multiple groups immediately announced their opposition, including Heritage Action and Americans For Prosperity.
While I do not have anywhere near the influence of these groups, I do oppose the proposed deal. I oppose it for one reason, because I believe that this is an attempt by the two party "establishment" to get the budget issue dealt with long before the January deadline, so that they can move on to other issues, such as granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. (Just a side note, this is an issue now, because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would not allow the budget up for debate and discussion six months ago. We are talking about passing the budget for the current fiscal year, over two months into the fiscal year. And these are the people that some want to be in charge of our healthcare..)
That is not, however, the biggest reason that I oppose the "deal". I am opposed to this plan of action for one reason: it does practically nothing to control our runaway federal spending and reduce our national debt. Our national debt is approximately $17,300,000,000, or $17.3 trillion. The US government collected approximately $2,770,000,000 or $2.77 trillion dollars in revenue last fiscal year. If we stopped spending money on ANYTHING else besides retiring the debt, it would take us 6 years and 3 months. That is, of course, not accounting for the interest on the debt that would accrue during the 6 years.
Let us put this in terms to which most Americans can relate. John and Suzy Public are married. They have a combined income of $50,000 a year, and decide that they are ready to purchase a house. (Now, for the purpose of this example, I am using generalizations.) The couple contacts a bank or other mortgage lender to acquire approval for a loan. Given their income and credit score, they are told that they are approved for a loan of up to $150,000. That is, they can buy a house worth up to three years salary. The loan term is 30 years, during which they will re-pay the principal of the loan approximately 2 times at 5.25% interest, or 3 times that amount at 9.5% interest.
Now, let us go back to the government spending. Most of the spending of the US government is not being spent on houses, roads, bridges or other assets that could conceivably grow in value over the years. It goes to pay for food stamps. Corporate R&D subsidies, aka welfare. Payments to farmers to not grow crops. Cell phones. Medicaid. Medicare. Social Security. Salaries. Bullets. Fancy signs to re-name existing facilities in honor of someone. That is to say, it goes to expenses, not assets.
Basically, most of our federal spending is what individuals would put on a credit card, that is, it is un-secured debt that will only grow in cost as time passes. A nation may truly need to borrow money from time to time, in the event of war or massive national disaster. However, no rational, honest individual would believe that they could continue to borrow more and more money, spending 130% of their annual income as a steady, unchanging practice.
Because eventually, the bill will come due. We have the equivalent debt of TWO mortgages, and the hailed "deal" will add a THIRD over the next then years. The house of credit cards will eventually collapse, and financial destruction will be realized. National bankruptcy. Our dollar will be so devalued that Revelation 6:6 doesn't sound so outrageous: "Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, "Two pounds of wheat for a day's wages, and six pounds of barley for a day's wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!"
Maybe another verse of Scripture is fitting for this topic, Proverbs 22:7, which says "The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender." A fair amount of our Treasury bills that were issued to borrow the money for our debt are owned by foreign citizens, and even foreign governments. China is one of these nations. While some deny this, China is still seeking status as a world superpower. Recently, they have declared a section of the East China Sea as an "air defense zone", and is expecting all air traffic to identify itself to Chinese air defenses. From time to time, the Chi-Coms rattle their sabers about Taiwan, claiming that the island state is still part of China. Bigger still, they push as much as possible against our allies in the region, Japan, South Korea and Australia. So what?, you ask? Well, what if China were to tell the US, "We are going to send troops into South Korea tomorrow. If you take any action, we will dump our T-bills on the market and collapse your entire economy." As a nation, we are happily selling ourselves into slavery to other nations, corporations and ultra-rich individuals, like some crack addict who cannot conceive of life without an endless supply of his drug, in our case, wasteful spending.
But I believe that we are still missing the most important aspect of our situation. That is, we are neglecting to account for our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Proverbs 13:22(a) tells us that "A good person leaves an inheritance for their children's children.." Instead of that, what are we leaving them? A massive, unsustainable debt that will eventually collapse. A series of chains that are controlled by our enemies and by the rich. We are selling THEIR productivity, rights and freedom so that WE can "eat, drink, and be merry", all as we kick the can of financial responsibility further down the proverbial road.
In a real sense, WE are making slaves of our own children. We are signing our grandchildren into slavery so that we don't have to make tough decisions. Even the Deist Thomas Jefferson saw this as an evil action, and a cause of great suffering. He said "It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world".
As a Christian, I cannot and will not place chains around my children's necks, nor allow any to be placed around mine. What about you? Will you continue to support the Washington DC status quo of deficit spending? Or will you stand up to the people who work for YOU and tell them "CUT SPENDING!"?