On this particular 4th of July (2011), I was thinking about the greatest tyranny we have ever faced.....ourselves and "our way of life." Over the past half century, we have relied on government protection, government entitlements, government assistance, and armed intervention in foreign lands to secure these "blessings of liberty" and "our way of life". The trouble is that we have consumed more of life than we were been willing to pay for at the time. And now the bill has come due.....$14,000,000,000,000.
One way to put that number in perspective is see what it would really take to pay it down compared to other nations (see Sovereign Debt Chart). To reduce our debt to only 60% of GDP by 2026 will require 94% of our GDP (our entire economic output)! That is astounding figure!
The amounts being debated in Washington are downright paltry compared to the sums needed to get ahead of the growing debt. As absurd as it is to say we are not raising the debt ceiling this year, it is equally absurd to say that taxes breaks are not going to be cut or that taxes are not going to be raised for all of us.
Before we get our righteous indignation riled up at "big government", we should ask ourselves have we ever taken our turn at the government trough? Have we ever used a government subsidized housing loan? student loan? collected SSA benefits? filed a medicare claim? eaten clean food? drank clean water? breathed clean air? advocated for involvement in Iraq or Afghanistan? Those two wars alone will account for $4 trillion of our debt.
So this fourth, let us celebrate the blessings of our liberty and our way of life as Christmas in July, but with an eye towards "February" when the credit cards come due. The greatest threat to the freedom of our nation is not some cell of terrorists. The greatest threat to freedom is insolvency.
"The borrower is servant to the lender" - Proverbs 22:7