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Til Debt Do Us Part

crownfinancialstewards on 11/28/11 8:29 PM

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It has been said that the best way to please everyone is to believe nothing, say nothing and do nothing. Since launching this column, I have certainly succeeded in not pleasing everyone!

On Monday, one of my articles was featured in The Washington Times, one of the few major daily newspapers that takes a conservative view of the political world. You may want to see my article here. It was subsequently reposted at FoxNation.com.

On the day it was published, it ranked as one of the most read articles on The Washington Times website. While I cringed at the editor’s choice of “BENTLEY: Don’t Feed the Lazy,” for a title, I was pleased that the Bible verse I cited, II Thessalonians 3:10, was included. Needless to say, the polarized responses to the article indicate a significant national divide.

 

As Christians, we need to take an ardent stand for our economic freedom that was granted to us by God’s grace and kindness. If we stand passively on the sidelines trying to please everyone, I believe we will become enslaved without a shot ever being fired on our soil.

A primary area where our policies are deviating from biblical truth is in the management of our national debt. Let’s take a look at a simplified analysis of the financial problems we currently face in the U.S.:

  • U.S tax revenue: $ 2.15 trillion1
  • Federal budget: $ 3.8 trillion2
  • New debt: $ 1.65 trillion3
  • National debt: $ 15 trillion4
  • Recent budget cut: $ 38 billion5

Now let's remove some zeros and pretend it’s your budget…

  • Your annual income: $ 21,500
  • Your household spending: $ 38,000
  • New debt this year: $ 16,500
  • Your credit card debt: $ 150,000
  • Recent budget cut: $ 385

In a household budget, whenever unsecured debt approaches a 1 to 1 ratio with annual income, the borrower is in serious trouble. When this ratio reaches a 2 to 1 level the problem intensifies to out-of-control trouble. If you are somehow able to borrow to a 7 to 1 ratio, the problem becomes a runaway crisis. It screams for immediate action to reverse the trend.

The Federal Government has become the caretaker of first and last resort. This philosophy is simply unsustainable. Our deviation from God’s principles is rapidly becoming our downfall.

So our elected officials have now recognized that a 7 to 1 ratio is unsustainable. Thus, we have a special deficit-reduction “Super Committee,” charged with cutting at least $1.2 trillion in government red ink over the coming decade. Note: This is not to reduce the $15 trillion in existing debt, but only an attempt to reduce deficit spending each year!

Even with these hoped for cuts, we’ll still be trillions of dollars more in the hole by 2021.

Does it sound like anyone on that committee is aware of Proverbs 22:7: "The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.”?

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the Super Committee can find no common ground for agreement. Just as European leaders find themselves unable to reach a meaningful solution to their problems while teetering on the verge of insolvency—so does America.

This political gridlock has divided the nation into two camps—one wants to tax the rich to close the deficit gap while the other would be satisfied to simply reduce our deficit spending. Neither side, it seems, is willing to admit that we are standing on the edge of a cliff, looking into an abyss of debt.

Rancorous partisan fighting among lawmakers in Washington continues to produce more confusion than solutions. Perhaps they should consult the wisdom of the Old Testament for clarity:

If you fully obey the Lord your God…you will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. The Lord will make you the head, not the tail…you will always be at the top, never the bottom….However, if you do not obey the Lord your God… The alien who lives among you will rise above you higher and higher, but you will sink lower and lower. He will lend to you, but you will not lend to him. He will be the head, but you will be the tail.” 6

When our national budget reflected our obedience to God’s ways, we were the largest lending nation in the world. Tragically, we have given up our once high position as the “head” to become the “tail” –the largest debtor nation in the history of the world.

Debt has divided us. Only a return to God and His principles will unite us again and move us from being the tail back to being the head.

I pray you will stand with us as we seek to influence our nation back to honoring God in all our ways and to protect our priceless freedoms.

We were home in Georgia for a quiet Thanksgiving weekend, except for a surprise $1400 expense to remove roots from our septic system! Thank goodness for emergency savings!

We are getting ready for all of our children (and grandson!) to gather for Christmas, including my son who will be on leave from combat duty in Afghanistan.

Did you participate in this year’s “Black & Blue Friday” madness? My next post will address the rise of “competitive shopping” and how this sickness afflicts our nation.

Be sure to leave your feedback in the comments below.

Chuck Bentley

1 “Federal Revenues Have More Than Tripled Since 1965,” The Heritage Foundation

2 “In $3.8 Trillion Budget, Obama Pivots to Trim Future Deficits,” The New York Times, Feb. 1, 2010

3 “White House Expects Deficit to Spike to $1.65 Trillion,” The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 14, 2011

4 “National Debt Hits $15 Trillion as Congress Strains To Cut $1.2 Trillion from Deficits, “ Fox News, Nov. 16, 2011

5 “Congress Passes $38 billion in Budget Cuts,” Los Angeles Times, April 14, 2011

6 Deuteronomy 28:1, 12-13, 15, 43-44. NIV

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