Frittering Away Our Grandchildren’s Future?

Ronald Reagan once observed, “Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.”

I thought of that quote when I read some of the details of the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill that is touted as “COVID relief.” Critics have called this a “liberal wish list.”

The bill proposes a $1400 stimulus check for those who make under $75,000. But the Heritage Foundation observes that there’s a big price tag for that $1400: “It adds over $14,000 per household to the national debt.”

Furthermore, the New York Post observes that less than 1 percent of the total proposed spending deals directly with COVID per se, such as the distribution of vaccines. Instead it proposes to spend billions of dollars for abortions, for illegal immigrants, for schools that remain closed, and for failed cities that have shut down small businesses, leaving many citizens broke.

It would seem that the left’s principle of “never let a crisis go to waste” is in full force here.

Where will all this money come from? Likely our grandchildren. No wonder the left likes abortion so much—it causes them to have less grandchildren.

Our third president, Thomas Jefferson, gave some strong warnings about our economy: “To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, ‘the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, & the fruits acquired by it.’”

Notice in particular what he had to say about governmental debt: “I place economy among the first and most important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers to be feared. To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. If we run into such debts, we must be taxed in our meat and drink, in our necessities and in our comforts, in our labor and in our amusements.” [Emphasis added]

In his Farewell Address, George Washington warned against runaway spending and needless debt: “As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible, avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it, avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertion in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear.” [Emphasis added]

In other words, during peacetime, the priority should be to pay off war debts. Meanwhile, we should avoid racking up debt.

Indeed, what kind of a country runs up a big bill, spends the money now, and then leaves it up to our children and grandchildren to have to pay it all back? There is nothing ethical about this.

Proverbs 13:22 says “A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children.” In America we’re now doing the opposite—contrary to what both the Bible and the founders had to say. 

Again, Ronald Reagan put it well: “We could say the government spend like drunken sailors, but that would be unfair to drunken sailors, because the sailors are spending their own money.”

 

 

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