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The budget deficit is a moral issue

It is normal for parents to want to take care of their children. Most of us who have children want to provide them with a good education if we’re able. Animal mothers in the wild will put their lives on the line to save their young. If you are out for a walk and come across a mother quail and her…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
It is normal for parents to want to take care of their children. Most of us who have children want to provide them with a good education if we’re able. Animal mothers in the wild will put their lives on the line to save their young. If you are out for a walk and come across a mother quail and her young, she will sometimes feign a broken wing to distract you so her children can escape to safety. It’s instinctive in animals and in humans. Even amongst criminals in prison, those who are known child abusers have to fear for their lives – there is a rough moral code that says “you don’t hurt children.”
So what are we to say when we the people of the United States and the government that represents us, having lived beyond our means for several decades, decide to take money from our children so that we can increase our standard of living? Back in the Ronald Reagan’s day, a $200 billion deficit seemed enormous and irresponsible, but now comes the news that the government is proposing to run a deficit of $1.8 trillion this year and to keep on borrowing around a trillion dollars a year for the following ten years. It’s much worse than the President forecasted and it doesn’t even take into account the looming social security and medicare crises.
I say it’s outrageous and immoral. It is a form of generational robbery that prioritizes the needs of those of us 50 and over ahead of the 20-somethings who will be left to clean up our economic mess. It is the inverse of the most fundamental instinctual drive in nature – to take care of one’s own children.  And just as getting in over one’s head in personal debt limits one’s options, so doing this at a national level will greatly diminish our children’s options. We’re obligating them to pay for our fun.
Part of the reason that the President and congress can get away with what they’re proposing is that the numbers are so big, people don’t understand them. It helps to look at our national government budget to your own personal budget.  So, take the following simple example: Let’s say you make $2,000 a month and have to pay $500 a month in credit card debt.  That means you are paying 25% of your income to service your debt. 
Now let’s suppose that your expenses rise and exceed your income.  To keep up with them, over the course of the year, let’s suppose that you have to keep borrowing more until you find yourself paying $1000 just in interest on your credit card debt.  Keep this up and you’ll go bankrupt. What can you do to get out of this situation?

Your choices are to find a higher paying job or cut your expenses. Instead, the current plan is that we will borrow more money and put off the day of reckoning. In its latest budget, the government is proposing that we steal $25,000 per family from the next generation.
We all know from our personal finances that you are better off cutting your lifestyle and living within your means. It will hurt, but it’s better to face up to reality.

What about you? If you’re under 30, you and your family stand to pay the most for this largesse. How do you, the people, feel about this?

Comments (6)

  • While we didn’t “figure” the specific figures, we’ve seen what you’re saying, Seth. My husband is very slow to anger, but this makes him angry. Why is it that we supposedly live in a democracy and feel we have no choice what’s being put upon our children and grandchildren? Why are the ones who have been responsible, hard working citizens being punished and the crooks being rewarded? Is God giving the nation over to the idols of greed, idolatry and selfishness?

  • The whole thing seems rather unfair and crazy if you ask me. If I can’t do this with my personal budget why can the government do it with their budget?

  • I am trying to understand this thing as well. We are spending a lot of money, and that will lead to inflation amoung other things. It seems to me that the government doesn’t acknowledge this for whatever reason, could be many. But my understanding is that even though the total budget will be increasingly spent towards credit, the less costly advances in technology and roads that we now get will offset the inflation and the credit crunch. Instead of giving us an extra $500 a year (which I think is rediculous) we will get the extra money built into our everyday lives, along with additional benefits. I haven’t read this anywhere, but it seems like it works?
    I just don’t understand how you can make a dollar, what does it represent anyways?

  • This whole thing lights a fire under me for sure. GRR As someone who has lived with ungodly debt and seen what it does to you (to my family) and now as a person that has come out from under that debt to trust God in faith to wholly provide for my family… seeing our country go further and further into debt is driving me nuts.. I know what the bondage of debt can do on a personal level… and for what? really, for what? ask yourself that question, where is that money really going? Is that debt helping you? Do you feel a significant change (for the better) in your life because of it? I think not.

    I am glad I’m under God’s grace and provision. At 31 now, I think, as you said Seth, about my son and his role in paying this debt back..

    anyhow, praying for our country..


  • Seth,

    One thing that keeps being quoted is that we are borrowing now and “our children and grandchildren will have have to pay”, BUT we are missing something. The storm is coming much faster than most had predicted.

    I am of the belief that the light winds and rain have begun. There is NO WAY out of this mess we are in. The storm is on the horizon. The dark winter will come and we must go through that until spring and summer arrive. Not only will our children have to pay, BUT WE WILL HAVE TO PAY – SOON!

    We will see some short term bounces, but we are headed to financial depression – maybe just what we need to bring us to our knees.

    My family is preparing for the worst and praying for the best. But, you know, maybe the “best” thing for us is the “worst”.

    I remember the days after 911 when almost everyone was talking about spiritual things. Even one of our elementary schools here in Boise had “Pray For America” on the sign out front. It stayed there for weeks and the ACLU and our community said nothing about it! If that sign were to go up today, we would have an outcry. How things change when things change!

    “Lord, do what you must to turn our nation toward you…”

  • As a 20-something and resident of our Nation’s capitol, I totally agree and have felt this way for awhile, but what can we do?? I’ve told my members of congress, but I am just one of many voices that were out-voted on the floor. Yes, please get us fired up, but also tell us what we can do about it!!

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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