Ten Trillion Dollars and Counting…

“Prosperity is when people buy things they can’t afford; recession is when they stop doing it.” ~H.E. Martz, The Wall Street Journal, 1963.

It is a funny thought to me that due to what is happening in the economy, people have started doing what they should have been doing all along. They are saving their money, starting to budget, watching prices, cutting back on their credit spending. All of this horrifies the economists. “Spending more money is the answer to the economy”, is the government’s brilliant strategy to combat the fact that people are coming to a place of reality and spending less. They are so intent on this plan that they are now planning to take on more national debt to give us more money to spend. What kind of crazy plan is this?

I know I am just a simple budgeter, but I wonder what a philosophy of “if you don’t have it, don’t spend it” would do to the federal government? I read another great quote by Harry F. Byrd, who was a US senator from Virginia in 1958, who said, “Those who favor a deficit as an alleged anti-recessionary measure tell us that it will be ‘temporary.’ But there is no such thing as temporary large-scale deficit financing.” I think Senator Byrd was correct because I don’t really see a way through the mess that we are currently creating with our enormous deficit.

To me, healthy economies go through natural seasons of correction. These corrections weed out what shouldn’t be there, and add stability to the economy. By artificially propping up businesses and programs through ridiculous government funding, the government is attempting to avoid the natural correction in letting these businesses fail. Ironically, I believe that they will eventually fail anyway if they are not sustainable on their own, but the American people will have thrown billions of dollars at them in the mean time. It is a crazy cycle that we are all watching in powerless awe. What in the world are they thinking?

We may not have say over the spending habits of the government, but thankfully, we can control our own budgets. We can pray for our leaders who govern us and ask God to give them wisdom (please, please give them wisdom… or even common sense). I joke, but I really do believe in the power of prayer and I sincerely feel that many of the people in decision making positions over the financial health of America are operating out of a sense of desperation and even false urgency. It is a powerful reminder in our own lives that many of the decisions that you make in “urgency”, you would never make otherwise. That is why wise counsel is so important in your finances, and that you realize that you always have time to hear what God is speaking to your heart. Don’t make decisions out of fear, but rather wait for the “peace that passes understanding” to lead you.

We are in for some interesting days ahead as we continue to watch the ramifications of the decisions that are currently being made. I have no idea what lies ahead, but I am so glad that though I live in America… my real citizenship is with my heavenly Father. He is bigger, stronger, wiser, and His wisdom is freely available to all who ask. (James 1:5) I may not have a say over the national debt that our government is accruing, but I do have a say over my own personal debt. I want to challenge you with the same: do what you know to do, don’t spend what you don’t have, and keep asking God for His wisdom in your finances. We all need it.

PS. Sorry for the soapbox today… it’s been brewing for a little bit 🙂