Saturday, August 6, 2011
Debt, God and Country
I wonder how long the American public will continue to tolerate the malfeasance of Washington politicians? The Federal government spends $300 billion a month despite taking in only $180 billion on the revenue side, borrowing the $120 billion difference each month. On Wednesday, August 3, the day after President Obama signed legislation increasing the debt ceiling, Federal debt rose to 100% of gross domestic product (GDP). The credit rating agencies had been warning the politicians that unless they reduced the debt-to-GDP ratio quickly, the Federal government would lose its prized AAA credit rating - and yesterday it happened as Standard and Poors downgraded the Federal government’s long term credit rating to AA+.
We the tax payers are the losers. Our standard of living continues to decline - the value of the dollar is declining - the value of our savings and investments are declining - the value of our homes are declining while the cost of living is increasing - compare yesterday’s grocery and gasoline bills with three years ago. The poor, who can afford it the least, are hit the hardest.
This is not only governance at its worst, it is democracy at its worst. As David Barton has said, “Congress never reflects the values of the nation; rather it reflects the values of those who voted in the last election.” Historically American society has valued transcendent truth, the foundation of its body politic reflecting Judeo-Christian values. With the secularization of our culture, we have drifted away from that broadly held consensus, replacing it with moral relativism and post-modernism, allowing self aggrandizement to trump the common good.
The Scriptures are not silent regarding debt. There are warnings, “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.” (Proverbs 22:7 ESV) Debt brings a loss of freedom - the borrower coming under a state of obligation to the lender. Interest devours the resources of the debtor. Borrowing facilitates overspending. Debt mortgages the future as the priority of all future income must be the repayment of debt. Most importantly, from God’s perspective, debt must be repaid, “The wicked borrows but does not pay back.” (Psalm 37:21 ESV)
Pastor Guy McGraw has said, “Nothing that is morally wrong should be politically right.” We have been warned, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that he will also reap.” (Galatians 6:7 ESV) Jesus exposed the heart of man when He said "No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” (Matthew 6:24 ESV) The way of prosperity makes God the priority, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33 ESV)
Therein lies America’s hope, for “Righteousness exalts a nation (makes a nation great NLT), but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34 ESV) A return to God will likely precede a return to sound fiscal policy.