National Debt And Where It Leaves Us

For years I knew the US government was in debt, but as I understood it, we were in debt to ourselves. Something about selling bonds. I never really paid much attention.

Then one day, I learned we were in debt to China. In deep debt to China. I’m still not sure how that happened, but I suspect China started buying up our bonds.

And now our government is debating how to raise the debt ceiling — something else I don’t really understand. It sounds as if we have to give ourselves permission to go further into debt so as not to default on the debts we already owe.

No one in government seems too concerned about all this. Ho-hum, just another trillion we owe. Now who else needs a hand out or military intervention or bureaucratic oversight?

Oh, sure, there’s been some talk — public manipulation, I think — that social security checks won’t go out unless this mess gets dealt with one way or another. Never mind that social security belongs to the people the government took it from — with the idea that government would make sure (because individual people were too incompetent to do so) the money would be there when we need it.

President Obama’s idea is that the wealthiest one or two percent of Americans ought to pay more into the federal coffers so government can continue spending on all the things they deem important. Good things, many of them. Education and defense. Until recently, space travel. After the fact, levies in New Orleans. Low income housing, unemployment, medicaid and the like.

I understand the thinking here — we have a responsibility to help our neighbors, to care for those least able to care for themselves. It’s a commendable goal.

But here’s the thing. As shown in the 2010 census, the middle class in America is shrinking. The rich are getting way richer, and the poor are multiplying.

Sadly, some of those rich make their money on the backs of the poor and middle class. As an illustration of this point, according to news reports, the executives at Borders — that would be the book chain that has just gone belly up for good — were set to receive sizable bonuses (6.6 million dollars) back in April, even as 6000 employees were out of a job. Whether those bonuses were ever paid, I don’t know, but the rationale was that without that kind of incentive, those top execs (of a failing company!) would head off to greener pastures. In other words, other companies are giving that same kind of lucrative payout to their leadership.

How can this happen?

But here’s where I’m going with this. The government, which is to be the representative of the people in a republic, is all we have in a capitalistic society to keep greedy rich people from taking advantage of those dependent on their products and services.

Clearly our government isn’t doing the job!

Instead, after letting the greedy rich people get richer by merger or by mortgage, the government wants to come along and take a bigger chunk of that money. Honestly, it seems like a protection racket on a grand scale.

Meanwhile, what are entitlements doing to the rest of us? Well, I just heard recently of another creative way some people have learned to scam the system. Others have to be sure not to work too much so they don’t lose their benefits.

So here’s what I wish our government would do — their job! Regulators should regulate so banks aren’t operating like casinos. They should stop the legalized embezzlement (what else would you call someone taking company funds for their own personal use?) in the form of executive bonuses.

But to do this, I think we’d first have to stop the legalized bribery of congressmen by lobbyists. Let’s face it. The biggest job government has right now is to clean itself up!

More bad news (or maybe not) — it’s not going to happen.

So why wouldn’t that be bad news? Because as soon as we realize that government isn’t going to get any better — beyond, perhaps, marginal changes — the sooner we can stop looking to government to be the answer for what confronts us.

Paul says in Philippians

For our citizenship is in heaven from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself (3:20-21).

Then in Colossians, Paul says

Joyously giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. For He rescued us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son (1:12-13)

Now that’s a kingdom I’m happy to be a part of.

And to think, the Father qualified me. I didn’t have to do a thing.

He rescued me. I couldn’t rescue myself.

He transferred me to the kingdom where His Son is in charge: “In whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:14-15a).”

That’s the governmental leader I can trust.


Published in: on July 27, 2011 at 6:24 pm  Comments (4)  
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