This past February, we made it to a milestone we should never celebrate. In February 2011, America had the highest monthly deficit in the history of the Republic. Due to out-of-control spending in Washington, the Federal deficit topped $222 billion over the twenty eight day period. That puts our Country on track to record the largest annual deficit since our founding. That these deficits are dangerous ought to be a given, but the reality is that they simply cannot be sustained.
The fiscal crisis threatening America’s future isn’t a matter of perspective. This is well beyond differing partisan viewpoints and is, instead, a mathematical reality. A nation cannot spend itself to wealth. Nevertheless, just as the root of this problem began in America’s homes and communities, so must the solution. Washington and Columbia reflect the folks that elected them; therefore, real change begins at our house, not the White House. In order to restore America’s treasure, we must restore her virtue.
Consumerism and materialism in the private sector, driven by a salacious appetite for more, has driven our skyrocketing debt. America’s historical values of healthy self interest, which created a culture of self reliant responsibility and entrepreneurial achievement, have ceded to self-centered selfishness that depends on the state for security. Wealth and power were not given to America, or Americans, for the purpose of lavish living with no though to the needs of others or our own tomorrow. Instead, God grants wealth that we may meet the needs of others. An economy that operates in a community of consensus values is free indeed. Government programs can’t gain a foothold when neighbors meet the needs of neighbors.
We must rebuild a culture of civility, which will restore our culture and economy. At the end of the day, the choice that faces America is one of true treasure. Do we treasure ourselves and our possessions to the point of driving our nation into debt to give ourselves benefits we’ve not earned? Or, do we start treating money as a means to an end, an end of helping others, not the end in and of itself. The answer has profound implications for our future. Jesus Himself has warned us “where (our) treasure is, there (our) heart is also.”