We are a nation absolutely addicted to debt, and the U.S. debt crisis threatens to destroy everything that our forebears built. The prosperity around us is an illusion.
Our outstanding public debt is $16,499,318,345,146.23 which works out to $52,478.65 per person. And the nation’s debt is accelerating to the tune of $3.82 billion per day since September 28, 2007 which adds up to a trillion dollars of new debt every year. Debt as a percentage of the gross domestic product has increased from 45% to 70% in just the last four years. Whereas Americans owned most of the country’s debt at the end of World War 2, 44.5% was owned by foreign governments in 2007 and is climbing. The result could be devastating. Consider this.
Control of the Suez Canal in the fall of 1956 was pursued by Egypt with the help of the Soviet Union. On the other side was Great Britain and France. The United States feared war would ensue so they asked Britain and France to withdraw. They refused. The U.S. responded by threatening to sell off the British debt held by America. That move would have decimated their economy. Consequently, within weeks all English troops had withdrawn.
A proverb in the Bible says, “So the borrower is servant to the lender”. It is not hard to grasp the wisdom in Paul’s letter to the Romans. He admonished Christians to “Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another.” Few would deny, however, the difficulty of putting that wisdom to practice in everyday life either privately or as a nation.
The window of time in which to choose our destiny is closing. If we remain on our current trajectory, foreign governments will bring to an effective end America’s brief experiment in self-determination because they will be America’s lender. The $53 trillion dollar debt in 2007 consisted of $7 trillion for Social Security, $26 trillion for Medicare A, B, and $8 trillion for Medicare D. 40 million Americans over the age of 65 today will rise to 72 million by 2030, which make these entitlement programs unsustainable unless the rest of government is shut down. Sen. Judd Gregg, Ranking Member, Senate Budget Committee in 2009 said only a nuclear detonation in the U.S could be worse than the financial crisis.
The average American lives on more than ninety dollars per day while forty percent of the world’s population lives on less than two dollars per day. And yet, our country is going broke. It is time to return to our forebears practice of not spending money we do not have; personally or as a country.
In 2006, then a freshman senator from Illinois, Barack Obama made the following remarks during a discussion in the U.S. Senate prior to the call for votes on raising the debt limit.
“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government cannot pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that, “the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.”
Each person has time to make the painful but necessary decision to not spend what they do not have. There is still time to be a nation of the self-governed. Contact your local, state, and national representatives. Tell them to stop spending more money than the nation receives; now. Our progenitors sacrificed in order for this generation to have a better quality of life than they did. Today, it is our turn to live selflessly rather than selfishly.
God uses money to enhance and direct our lives. Satan will use it to shackle us. Joshua, a leader in the Old Testament once said, “Choose today whom you will serve. . . . But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD.”