On the Debt Crisis

A Facebook comment on a friend's conversation over the debt crisis said, " How sad that those voted to make the right and righteous decisions don't have the backbone of an amoeba." The right and righteous decision in the context was to cut spending or shut down the government.

Not defaulting seems pretty righteous to me. 

I still haven't heard who will make the decisions on what gets paid and what doesn't get paid when the expenditures are more than the money on hand. It sounds like those decisions would be Obama's as the executor of the legislatures decisions. In that situation, Obama will get to decide what is and isn't cut. It will really centralize power in the presidency if Congress does not work this out, and I don't want more power centralized on the President. 

The government won't shut down. They just won't have enough money coming in to pay all the commitments. It does appear that Obama will be the one to decide what commitments get paid. He probably won't default on our debt, so he will cut spending. I would much rather have the decisions on what spending cuts are to be implemented be made by the legislature in a calm, collective, and well-thought out process rather than on the spur of the moment by one person and his appointed people because we are in a self-inflicted crisis.

Congress should pass a balanced budget amendment and send it to the states for ratification. Then they should make it the responsibility of the legislature that if they add a spending increase, they have to figure out how it will be paid for. They can't just make "good for them politically" policies, whether it be war or health care programs, without making the tough decisions on how to afford those policies. Then they should balance the budget. Do that and we won't have this crisis.

Let's put our "crisis" into perspective.

Jeremiah wrote, "Do not trust in these deceptive words: ‘This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.  For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly execute justice one with another, if you do not oppress the sojourner, the fatherless, or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own harm, then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever" [Jer 7:4-7 (ESV)].

True biblical righteousness is to live justly with one another, to not oppress the immigrant, the orphans, or the widow, to not shed innocent blood, and to not go after other gods. Those are the big picture thoughts repeated throughout Scripture. To live that way is to truly live righteously.

In the end, if I want to live in a righteous nation, these things need to be taken care of. I would love to see it taken care of by the people without the government. But we, the people, need to step up. When was the last time that you did something to increase justice in your sphere of relationships? When was the last time you helped an immigrant, an orphan, or a widow? When was the last time you celebrated the shedding of innocent blood? When was the last time you chased after gods other than God? 

On the issue at hand, let me ask, "Do you have debt?" Yet you expect the government to have none?

We, the people, get the government we deserve. If we change ourselves, then the government will change.