Is our national debt a sign of wickedness or just irresponsibility?

The recent debt ceiling fight is only the latest step along the path to national ruin Photo: AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

CALIFORNIA, October 19, 2013 ― The Bible doesn’t mince words in capturing the essence of our massive national debt. Psalm 37:21 says flat out, “the wicked borrow and do not repay.”

SEE RELATED: Obama’s new AMEX card increases debt by $328 billion in one day

Why does God come down so hard on irresponsible debt? It’s symptomatic of political pride that has no qualms about using someone else’s money to create dependency in others. The fact that trillions of tax dollars need to be supplemented by trillions of dollars of debt only proves how self-serving our government leaders are.

But the Bible has even more to say.

Seventeen trillion dollars in current debt isn’t just reckless; it’s presumption on a future that only God controls (James 4:13-16; Proverbs 14:12). When so much of our national treasure is squandered for the sake of personal power, it forces the next generation into an indebtedness from which it may never recover. In fact, future hyper-inflation may be the only way to pay off our debtors even though it’s a destructive form of legalized theft (Exodus 20:15).

Let’s be clear, it’s one thing to accept temporary debt during times of war. It’s quite another for politicians to burden future generations with debt they have no intention of legitimately retiring.

SEE RELATED: Why trust any budget deal after 2011’s $2.1 trillion debt hike ripoff?

This is hardly an overstatement. Yearly budget deficits require 25 cents to be borrowed for every dollar spent; there’s no plan concerning our national debt except to let it grow; and approximately $90 trillion of unfunded future obligations is completely ignored. Scripture condemns such foolish obligations and warns that destruction is inevitable (Ecclesiastes 5:1-7).

Our president and Congress have institutionalized the classic bait and switch tactics of common hucksters. They know that claiming dire consequences if the tax-borrow-spend cycle isn’t continued is much easier to do than the hard work of being responsible financial stewards (Proverbs 26:13). Unfortunately, these lies have been repeated so often that most people believe them, even though scripture describes this repeat behavior as that of a common fool (Proverbs 26:11).

Consider another interesting verse, Proverbs 22:7: “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” God warns that a nation that turns away from dependence on him will become a debtor nation instead of a lending one (Deuteronomy 28:1,12-14; 43-44). It’s pretty obvious that the more we rely on others to finance our careless spending, the more say they’ll have in our nation’s future. Is that what we really want for our children?

But wait a minute. If we don’t continue the Ponzi scheme known as increasing the debt limit won’t we face possible default? Remember this; default is a choice, not a certainty. It would only occur if the Treasury spent revenues on discretionary and “mandatory” government programs instead of servicing debt. The full faith and credit of the United States will only be at risk if Obama chooses to fully fund every government function, whether necessary or not, instead of our debt. If default occurs, it’ll be for only one purpose: to demonize political opposition.

The Bible even uses the lowly ant to shame our leadership. An ant is industrious and hardworking, it’s even wise enough to store food in times of plenty to be able to eat during lean winter times (Proverbs 6:6-8). But the wisdom of relying on our own resources to prepare for the future instead of stealing from other nations and future generations is obviously too radical for Obama and Congress.

In Luke 14:28-29, if someone doesn’t figure out ahead of time if he has enough money to build a tower, he’s seen for what he is ― a fool. The  sequester, partial government shutdown, continuing resolution, debt ceiling, deficit spending and future unfunded obligations are all symptomatic of unwillingness by Obama and Congress to face the evil of unnecessary debt.

Debt doesn’t increase our prosperity, it enslaves us. It doesn’t alleviate any societal problems, it creates even more dependency. This thinking is so strange to Congress and Obama that those who promote fiscal responsibility are denigrated as anarchists, obstructionists, hostage takers and even terrorists. Whatever happened to worthy debate (Proverbs 18:17; 27:17)?

For that matter, what national necessity or compelling greater good is driving such an insatiable desire for more debt?

In 1 Timothy 6:10 it’s pretty clear: The love of money is the root of all sorts of evil. In our political era money is a means to power, and unlimited access to money leads to unlimited power. Is it any wonder Obama and Congress are incapable of even a small amount of fiscal discipline or compromise? As scripture says, such a lack of understanding is shameful (Proverbs 13:18).

Unfortunately, poor national leadership isn’t anything new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:2-11). But when even an ant shows more wisdom than our president and Congress, it’s a sure sign winter is coming.

And we’re not ready for it.

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Frank Kacer

Frank Kacer has been writing and lecturing on the applications of a Biblical worldview to the contemporary issues of the day since the mid 1990s. Besides his regular Biblical Politics column with the Washington Times Communities, Frank has authored over 100 op-ed columns for Good News Etc. and the popular Christian Examiner. Frank can be reached at


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