The New Year is underway and as many thought; Congress managed to avert the apocalypse dubbed the fiscal cliff. Regardless of how you may feel about the compromise that was reached, the end result to this fiasco is the same as every argument between the Democrats and the GOP over taxation and spending: American taxpayers will bear the brunt of Washington DC’s inability to control federal spending. The odd thing about our current situation is that most people, regardless of political persuasion, agree that the federal government’s budget is a mess.
Using such adjectives as crippling, devastating, draconian, etc. to frighten Americans, the tax increases that were set to be increased by about $500 billion and the spending cuts of about $100 billion were avoided. Sadly, even had the nation gone over the fiscal cliff and endured this shock to Americans’ pocketbooks, the federal budget would still remain about $600 billion in the red. You see, had Congress done nothing and allowed taxes to automatically rise and spending, mostly defense, to automatically be reduced, the federal government will still be adding somewhere in the neighborhood of $6 trillion to the national debt over the next ten years. With the “deal” that was reached, that number is around $10 trillion.
Consider that for a moment. I don’t mean the political talking points from the Democrats or the GOP that most of us are all too familiar with. Put on your kitchen table economics hat and really think about what our representatives in Washington DC are doing. Does it really make sense? Are they really talking about fairness and protecting American families? I think not!
What Congress reached a deal on is how much farther into the abyss of unsustainable debt they will allow the nation to sink. Not once in the current discourse has someone dared mention the ridiculous idea of actually balancing the budget and beginning to pay off our nation’s debts. Heaven forbid the debt burden on future generations be considered and actually dealt with. Our leaders seem to think there will be another time to address our nation’s debts yet Scripture clearly teaches that no one knows what tomorrow will bring (James 4:13-14).
Our government has a whole host of programs that must be funded though continued borrowing. Most economists agree that America’s current rate of borrowing cannot continue all the while Congress continues to spend away! To be sure, some have called current federal spending levels reckless, and even unpatriotic. While I will avoid using such a characterization, I am praying that America’s leaders address our finances while the nation is still able to do so on our own terms. Alas, our national leaders have demonstrated yet again their mastery of the art of procrastination. Just wait! These skills will be on display again very soon as the fight over the debt ceiling starts heating up. Stay tuned!
Christopher is a graduate of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary of Liberty University where he earned the Master of Religious Education. He also holds MBA Finance and BS Management degrees. A former resident of Powder Springs, Christopher and his family now reside in Woodstock. Having enthusiastically embraced social media in 2007, he blogs regularly at www.chris-sanchez.com and is very active on both Facebook and Twitter.