Crisis of Change and the Debt Ceiling

Earlier this year when the Chinese president visited the United States there was a lot of discussion in the media over whether or not he should have received a state dinner at the White House. What really stood out to me was his airplane.

I noticed that he arrived in an Air China commercial jet – just one. It seemed a bit austere when compared to our president’s trip to Asia a few months earlier. On that trip the US President’s entourage included forty planes incorporating cargo planes with numerous armored cars and other vehicles and hundreds of staff.

What stood out to me so blatantly was the contrast between the national leader of China, who represents a nation living within its means, and loaning money to a Government which is vastly out spending its ability to repay its debt with no willingness to reign in the decadent spending at all.

Recently Mark Steyn, a Canadian columnist and commentator, wrote, “The salient feature of America in the Age of Obama is a failed government class institutionally committed to living beyond its means, and a citizenry, too many of whom are content to string along.” But, lately, more and more of the citizenry seem to be unwilling to “string along.”

An increasing number of people are becoming aware of the gravity of irresponsible spending and lavish expenditures well beyond the means of sustaining such opulence. The current administration is spending four billion dollars a day. Far beyond any previous administration, and far beyond any rational means of sustaining. The old remark comes to mind “a billion here – a billion there – and pretty soon we’re talking about a lot of money.”

All sarcastic wit aside, our nation is in a struggle for financial sustainability and survival. If we will take this struggle seriously and make some much needed adjustments now, we can come out of this struggle in a much better place and in good position to prosper in the future – with a much smaller and more streamlined federal government, that is much closer to its constitutional limits and mandates, could be done. If not, we will be in for some unpleasant readjustments.

When the Chinese President was preparing for his visit he gave some sobering warnings to the President and the Federal Government about their wonton disregard for economic ethics and seemingly blind dismissal of all warnings. Recently, warnings have even been offered by some leaders of South American nations whose nations have suffered the cataclysmic failures of out of control government opulence and the hyper-inflation which followed.

However, our nation has the heritage that not only made our nation great, but also has the potential to bring it out of the current crisis greater than ever before. We have the ability to triumph and succeed as part of our legacy, yet many, especially in the current administration, seem blind to it. Perhaps it can best be communicated to those of us in America by considering the words of one of the leaders from China, one of our greatest competitors.

When Jiang Zemin, the former leader of Communist China, was asked by author David Aikman what he would most like for his country, he replied, “I would like for my country to become a Christian nation.” Such a response from a communist leader was astonishing to Aikman.

Zemin continued, “One of the things we were asked to do was look into what accounted for the success, in fact, the pre-eminence of the West over all the world. We studied everything we could from the historical, political, economic, and cultural perspective. At first, we thought it was because of a more powerful military. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic systems. But in the past 20 years we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity. This is why the West is powerful. The Christian moral foundation of the social and cultural life was what made possible the emergence of capitalism and then the successful transition to democratic politics. We don’t have any doubt about this.” (From Jesus in Beijing: How Christianity is Changing the Global Balance of Power, by David Aikman.)

During times of national judgment leaders are often provided who have little or no maturity to identify or deal with the problems of national significance. Often they are even blind to the problem and therefore cannot comprehend workable solutions. Unfortunately we are experiencing this in our nation currently.

With the current debate raging over the federal deficient spending and the question of raising the national debt limit once again President Obama’s own words from a short time ago hold much value and insight for the current situation:

“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.” Barack Obama (March 20, 2006, prior to voting against a debt ceiling increase as Senator).

Currently he is unable or unwilling to take his own advice or follow his own example. This could be a sign of the confusion and judgment that is currently upon his administration.

Yet for those who are willing to open their eyes and seek divine influence – both individually and corporately -we have the possibility to have our eyes opened and receive change for the better.

Isa 55:6 – 7: “Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.”

Change is inevitable and change for the better is possible. We can choose to change for the better. We should look to the roots of our society which is in Christ and seek personal and corporate direction and renewal and we will find that the path to greatness and prosperity is still available. But we should do this while there is still time.

Rom 13:11 -12: “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.”


“Equipping the Saints for a World of Harvest”

Lloyd C. Phillips, Director
The Fellow Laborers’ International Network (FLInt Net)
P.O. Box 113 Missoula, MT 59806
Phone (406) 251- 5730

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