Friday, July 29, 2011

Debt, the Bible, and the Government

In all of this madness concerning raising the debt ceiling and allowing the Federal government to go more and more into debt that they cannot possibly repay, I wonder if anyone have ever checked into what the Bible has to say in all this.  Being someone who has read through the Bible in its entirety almost three times now, I have recalled the following passages:

1"And if you faithfully obey the voice of the LORD your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. 2And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the LORD your God. 3Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. 4Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. 5Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. 6Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.

7"The LORD will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before you. They shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways. 8The LORD will command the blessing on you in your barns and in all that you undertake. And he will bless you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you. 9 The LORD will establish you as a people holy to himself, as he has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the LORD your God and walk in his ways. 10And all the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they shall be afraid of you. 11And the LORD will make you abound in prosperity, in the fruit of your womb and in the fruit of your livestock and in the fruit of your ground, within the land that the LORD swore to your fathers to give you. 12The LORD will open to you his good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands. And you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. 13And the LORD will make you the head and not the tail, and you shall only go up and not down, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, being careful to do them, 14 and if you do not turn aside from any of the words that I command you today, to the right hand or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.

Deuteronomy 28:1-14

The bolded text is key here, though the entirety of the contract with which God brings to the fledgling nation of Israel puts the whole of it in context.  And while the agreement that God makes between the descendants of Abraham and Himself is not relevant to the United States, what I find interesting about the passage is the implication that a wealthy nation lends to other nations and does not borrow.

In other words, it is considered beneficial for a nation to lend money to other nations while I can only assume the opposite for a nation that borrows and does not lend money.  And while our (now rapidly dwindling) prosperity as a nation is not necessarily linked to God, it is clear that we are squandering what we have so that moochers and looters are not forced to engage in productive activity.

The problem with the Federal government these days is that it is not one that encourages prosperity and wealth building but one that encourages lawlessness and dependence.  It is a lawless government because there are over 4,000 crimes listed on the Federal law books (when I can only think of a dozen, at most, that should be considered a crime) which has the effect of people ignoring governmental decrees and laws.  In essence, by passing so many laws and regulations, people tune them out much in the same way that you would respond to the boy who cried wolf.

The other side of this mess is that there are a large number of people who are perfectly capable of working and providing for themselves and their families but refuse to do so and instead suck on the filthy teat of government welfare.  As a result, we are not growing in wealth, but shrinking.  Sure, GDP indicates little growth, but that growth can be attributed to government borrowing and spending, not in any actual substantive economic growth.  When it comes to the government’s effect on the economy, all of its spending should be considered wealth redistribution.  While counting it as a measure of overall economic health is good, any use to measure actual growth should discount government spending as a result of borrowing money.

The result of this leads us to a government which has no plans on stopping their nonsensical policies of escalated spending for all the wonderful little pet projects which our nefarious leaders seem to love so much.  Cutting spending by 40% would not be a bad thing over all.  Most of the high priority items, such as debt interest payments and military spending, should be addressed.  Hell, even Social Security and Medicare will pay out normally under those circumstances, despite what our man-child of a President has been told to say to the American public.

On the other hand, perhaps I am being too hard on this President.  If he truly is a man-child who has never faced hard decisions in his life when it comes to finances and administration, then maybe not raising the debt ceiling will cause him to have a total panic attack.  One cannot expect someone as irresponsible as our President to properly oversee the vast bureaucracy and, essentially, fire thousands of useless government workers.  That would mean that they would have to find meaningful employment where their talents and expertise would be appreciated.  I am sure that there plenty of pornographers who would hire ex-Federal employees to test out their product.

When the conservatives talked about how we must support Israel because the Bible tells them so, I find it odd that they did not turn to the Bible for guidance in these debates.  Instead they all decided to rely on their own wit to justify the various Republican plans to raise the debt ceiling and kick the bucket down the road (and over the cliff) once more.

The fact is, we are a nation of cowards and children who are not willing to make serious, hard choices within our own lives and demand the same of our leaders.  Mark my words, this nation will be a dictatorship by the end of this century if this nonsense keeps up.  As long as we have dependent, whiny weenies running around complaining and not doing, we will eventually look for a way to compensate by giving total power to a single individual.

My conclusion here is that the debt ceiling debates are really nothing more than a symptom of a much larger cancer in the United States today: the unwillingness to face down our own fears and make the true sacrifices necessary to bring our nation out of debt and back into prosperity again.