Friday, March 13, 2009

Benefiting at another’s expense

I just got my paycheck today and saw that I am about $20 richer than I was last pay period, before Obama’s stimulus package went into effect. My unemployed husband and I sometimes struggle to make ends meet, so any extra money that comes in truly is a blessing from the Lord.

But I am not doing cartwheels. Why? Because two of my friends, a married couple with two incomes, are paying dearly for the tax break I was given, to the tune of a $7,000 tax increase per year. Small business owners also are footing the bill for Obama’s apparent largess.

In addition, my friends’ children and grandchildren will be paying for Obama’s $800 billion in deficit spending for years to come.

Currently, U.S. federal debt obligations exceed the Gross Domestic Product not just of the United States, but of the entire world. “The total U.S. obligations, including Social Security and Medicare benefits to be paid in the future, effectively have placed the U.S. government in bankruptcy, even before new continuing social welfare obligations embedded in the massive spending plan are taken into account,” says economist John Williams, quoted in WorldNetDaily.

“In the seven years of GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Practices) reporting, we have seen an annual average deficit in excess of $4 trillion, which could not be possibly covered by any form of taxation," says Williams.

“Put simply, there is no way the government can possibly pay for the level of social welfare benefits the federal government has promised unless the government simply prints cash and debases the currency, which the government will increasingly be doing this year,” Williams says.

Last month, Christianity Today’s liveblog cited an anti-stimulus ad that had Christian economic professors among its signatories (“Losing Faith in the Stimulus”). A number of readers attacked the professors for their stand. One person wrote, “I know some people in need are in that position because of their own mistakes and poor choices, but I don’t see that as a Scriptural reason not to reach out in compassion.”

My question is this: how is it “compassionate” to demand that future generations pay for other people’s poor choices? Furthermore, as Christians we need to consider the stewardship implications of passing on such onerous debt to our nation's children.

Would I prefer not to receive that extra 20 bucks every two weeks? Let’s put it this way: I would prefer to live a country where all people are free to keep the fruits of their labors, so it can be saved, invested, spent or given away as each family sees fit.