America cannot afford for Washington to continue its profligate spending

Over the last 12 years, the federal budget has doubled in size, from $1.9 trillion in 2001 to $3.8 trillion this year.

Over the last 12 years, the federal budget has doubled in size, from $1.9 trillion in 2001 to $3.8 trillion this year.

Published by Washington Examiner October 21, 2013

Leaders in Congress found a red line they would not cross in the budget deal just passed: a new Obama administration red line keeping the country mired in deficit spending.

Faced with the false choice of default on the nation’s debt or unchecked spending (fueled by a blank check from taxpayers), congressional leaders chose to raise the debt ceiling and postpone tough decisions.

The deal irresponsibly creates an extend-and-pretend policy that ignores market reality, setting up the next conflicted debate in January when the deal ends. But American taxpayers cannot continue to cover profligate spending indefinitely.

This budget crisis is not a Democratic problem or a Republican problem, it is a math problem. The numbers do not add up.

Over the last 12 years, the federal budget has doubled in size, from $1.9 trillion in 2001 to $3.8 trillion this year.

Federal spending grew 71 percent faster than inflation over the last 20 years, according to the Heritage Foundation.

Even today, interest on the debt is the fifth-largest federal spending category, partially camouflaged by artificially low interest rates courtesy of the Federal Reserve Board.

The national debt rose by 55 percent during the Obama Administration so far, now fueled by a higher credit card limit from the vote.

Erskine Bowles, a co-chairman of the president’s bipartisan Simpson-Bowles deficit-reduction commission, describes the growing interest on debt as one of the nation’s biggest challenges.

“We’ll be spending over $1 trillion a year on interest by 2020. That’s $1 trillion we can’t spend to educate our kids or to replace our badly worn-out infrastructure,” said Bowles.

This simplified analysis of Uncle Sam’s spending and take-home pay paints a picture of the out-of-control nature of America’s current budget.

Some argue that comparing the finances of ordinary Americans with the resources of Uncle Sam ignores the broader number of tools held by the government.

But the 5-year flatlining economy marked by the endangered species of new full-time jobs indicates that even Uncle Sam will ultimately be accountable to market forces.

Consider a breakdown of Uncle Sam’s Budget in 2012:

– Dollars in (U.S tax revenue): $ $2.5 trillion

– Dollars out (Federal spending): $ 3.6 trillion

– Budget shortfall: $ 1.1 trillion

– National debt: $16.7 trillion

– 2012 budget cuts: Zero

– Wild card (Unfunded liabilities/contracts): $120 trillion

By adjusting the zeros, this translates into a family budget as follows:

– Dollars in (Your annual income): $25,000

– Dollars out (Your household spending): $ 36,000

– Budget shortfall: $11,000

– Your credit card debt: $167,000

– Budget cuts: Zero

– Wild Card (unfunded financial obligations): $ 1,200,000

No family and no nation can continue spending at such a pace. Bills come due. Creditors demand payment. Lenders ultimately refuse the borrowers.

Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve chairman, has weighed in his concerns in his new book, “The Map and the Territory: Risk, Human Nature, and the Future of Forecasting.”

“The bias toward unconstrained deficit spending is our top domestic economic problem,” he writes.

The founding fathers would have agreed. Author of the Declaration of Independence and third U.S. president Thomas Jefferson may have put it best: “To preserve our independence, we must not let our leaders load us with perpetual debt … If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of caring for them, we will be wise.”

Chuck Bentley is CEO of Crown, a 501c3 non-profit ministry and personal-finance organization, and author of “The S.A.L.T. Plan: How to Prepare for an Economic Crisis of Biblical Proportions” (Crown, 2012). The ministry is supported by financial gifts from our donors. I invite you to donate to the outreach of this ministry, please click here.

About Chuck Bentley

CEO, Crown Mininstries
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4 Responses to America cannot afford for Washington to continue its profligate spending

  1. Randall Huleva says:

    You know Chuck, I think most all of us (at least those that would be subscribed to your mailing list) are pretty clear on what our nation’s financial problems are. I think the bigger question is what do we do about it? I have not voted for this administration or any of my elected representatives in Congress, yet I am only one vote and am apparently outnumbered by the majority (assuming no electioneering taking place). Unfortunately there appear to be nearly an equal number, if not slightly more, voters who favor receiving their various entitlements – regardless of the consequences to our nation! The rest of us know these freebies can’t last forever as the system is beginning to collapse, but there don’t seem to be enough votes to do anything about changing our course…which seems nearly inevitable at this point. I don’t want to sound pessimistic, but we are “preaching to the choir” on this website. If voting isn’t going to be able to provide the relief our nation needs, we have few other legal methods of enacting change. Sadly, even very few of our pastors are willing to take a stand and speak to their congregations about the critical importance of these issues. As the pressure on the system grows ever higher, how much can we take before something “blows”…and then what will we be left with?

  2. Randall, thanks for your comment. it may seem as if I am preaching to the choir but it is very hard for many to believe we are in economic danger as they watch new records being set on Wall Street and listen only to media proclaiming an economic “recovery”. I wrote a book called The S.A.L.T. Plan, How to Prepare for an Economic Crisis of Biblical Proportions to answer the very question that you posed here. In short, we may not be able to change the direction of the country but we can prepare ourselves to be in a position to serve others who will be devastated if we experience a sustained economic downturn or collapse. I will also do a national radio interview soon addressing the question many are privately asking, “Is it time to flee America?” I hope our work here will be helpful to you in the days ahead. The change we need is a spiritual change at the grassroots level and that is what we are working towards every day.

  3. jeff says:

    As America’s social / moral fabric continues to erode with the acceptance of such things as homosexuality, abortion and the ever changing acceptance of false god’s in the name of inclusion (to name just a few). I must admit that I have considered the question of “is it time to leave America”. However I am burdened with answering the following questions:
    1) Where does one go in this world that is not under the control/influence of the prince of this world?
    2) Would I be fleeing (in protest) from a major mission field in the USA? How would this further the Kingdom? Luke 15:10 “In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
    3) Matthew 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. If the salt loses its saltiness how will it be made salty again?
    4) Charles Stanley has often included the following question in his messages. Why does God have me here right now, in this situation? I find it difficult to answer that question with fleeing the precise situation God has placed me in.
    Chuck…. I look forward to hearing your views on the subject in your coming interview.
    Peace in Him

  4. Jeff, Thanks so much for your input. I will include your thoughts and questions as I prepare for the interview. God specifically calls some to leave or depart while others are called to stay. Think Abram in Genesis 12 ( he was told to leave– twice) or Lot fleeing Sodom. Also, some Jews fled Germany while Bonhoeffer was called to stay. It is not an easy answer and one I cannot answer for anyone else; however, I do believe that there are many who are wrestling with in an appropriate way. My hope is to provide insights from God’s Word that helps the troubled souls who are groaning in our present circumstances. Blessings,

    Chuck

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