Usually coffee shop talk on Monday mornings this time of year is focused on the weekend’s football results. “Hey! How ‘bout dem Cowboys?” is, at least occasionally, overheard in many Texas coffee shops.
But, not these past two Monday mornings. It’s been more along the lines of “Hey! Did you see what the stock market is doing?” Or, “Hey! What are those Wall Street jerks and idiots in Washington up to now piling on this huge new debt? “Or, “Hey! I guess I owe more on my house than it’s worth! Just like the rest of the country.” Now what?
In an effort to do my senior citizen due diligence as I prepare to enter the twilight zone of presidential ballot casting next month, I continued this week to watch, ponder and study the latest presidential debate with genuine hope that just maybe one of the two candidates being showcased would somehow be able to free himself from the mud-like, Washington-as-usual, who-cares-about-financial-debt philosophical mire. No luck!
Since specific references by either major party’s presidential candidate to our founding fathers’ Declaration of Independence or to the Bible’s commanding financial guidance is noticeably absent from their debate and campaign rhetoric, one can only assume that for at least for the next four years this country will continue to falter economically and morally by following along the path of unbridled national and personal debt.
These two so-called learned potential presidents and their say-it-for-the-liberal-press-regardless-of-truthfulness disciples continue to preach a sermon that “debt” keeps our country afloat when they know “It ain’t so, Joe!”
Our founding fathers along with each of our deceased grandparents must be turning in their non-mortgaged graves listening to the recent financial political drivel.
Even our “Haaavard” graduate presidential candidate from Chicago fails to recall the instructive words of Shakespeare’s character, Polonius in the play Hamlet where he declares “neither a borrower nor a lender be.”
Good advice for a country with about $53 trillion in combined national and personal debt of which about 80-percent has been created since 1980.
In 1957, when many of our grandparents were still alive living in mostly “paid for” homes, the actual total debt per capita for each American citizen was about $4,000. Today, that amount per capita has grown to in excess of $175,000—and growing!
Somehow, the mortgage markets have managed to seduce a risk-taking public into single-family home mortgages which now have average balances of around $200,000. Add to that consumer credit card balances for families nearing $8,000 plus other consumer debt for cars and other consumer goods at around $20,000. Even senior citizens now carry unpaid mortgages into retirement with averages reported at between $60,000 – $85,000.
Frankly, we have become a nation drunk on credit. Our national leaders attempted to hide from this truth by recently passing the so-called “Economic Stabilization/Bail-Out Bill”–which quickly grew from $700 billion to $850 billion in one week in true Washington legislative style.
It is doubtful that even a handful of those voting on the final bill both in the Senate and in the House of Representatives actually read the bills which also grew in length during a one-week time period prior to final passage from 106 pages to over 400 pages in the final version.
Within our largely Judeo-Christian society in America, it would seem only reasonable for our political leaders to consult occasionally for financial guidance with the person referenced on our legal tender—namely God. After all, it is on our financial currency where we testify to “In God we trust.” Let’s see what God has to say about America’s financial debt.
For those with more than seven years remaining on your home mortgage or other debt the message found in the Old Testament’s Deuteronomy Chapter 15, Verses 1-2 reads “At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release. And this is the manner of the release: Every creditor that lendeth ought unto his neighbour shall release it; he shall not exact it of his neighbour, or of his brother; because it is called the Lord’s release.” Maybe those mortgage balloon payments are actually meant to be biblical!
And, if you’ve ever felt like a slave to your loan keeper … you’re absolutely right!
Staying in the Old Testament, in Proverbs Chapter 22 Verse 7 we discover that God has revealed “The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.”
Not a good relationship if you believe your Creator has also provided you with certain unalienable rights including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The New Testament’s Epistle of Paul to the Romans goes so far as to teach in Romans Chapter 13, Verse 8 “Owe no man anything …”
At great peril, our founding fathers wrote “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”
One specific reason our founding fathers made their Declaration of Independence was “For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent.” Congress and the President “blew it” big this time!
Now is the time for us all to get out of and to stay out of debt … not to take on new debt!
© Submitted by Bob Grafe for publication on October 9, 2008.