Happy New Year. I hope you had a meaningful holiday season with family and friends. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen in Washington, D.C. as our leaders were engaged with the so-called fiscal cliff–an array of tax increases and budget cuts that needed to be dealt with by December 31.
I am making a resolution for my columns in 2013–to mince no words as to the dangers we face in the coming months and years. This era is akin to the 1930s which foreshadowed world upheaval and war.
I commit to be a Dietrich Bonhoeffer who dares to speak up.
Here is my take on the “fiscal cliff” and the forces we are facing in 2013.
First of all, let’s summarize what came out of the legislation that was passed by a sizeable Senate margin of 89-8 and a 257 to 167 count in the House which included support from 172 of the chamber’s Democrats and just 85 of the 242 Republicans.
- The Bush tax cuts on lower and middle class taxpayers were permanently left in place, thus not raising income taxes on 86% of the American people. Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax reform said that “When Democrats wake up they will realize they just made most of the Bush tax cuts permanent and lost their leverage for the next four years.”
- The deal also nixed a scheduled pay raise for members of Congress signed by Executive Order by President Obama. (I don’t think they deserve it.)
- The measure increases “taxes on the rich” by letting the top income tax rate rise immediately from 35 percent to 39.6 percent on income over $450,000 for married couples and $400,000 for single people. This first-in-twenty-year tax increase will hurt small businesses and the job producers of the nation.
- This is not a “balanced” approach to the nation’s fiscal problems. In the bill, there is only $1 in cuts for $41 in various tax increases.
- The deal also means higher taxes on 77% of households via increased payroll deductions. This will add up to about $1635 per family.
- According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the measure adds 3.9 trillion dollars in debt to the exploding US deficit (over ten years).
- The bill increases government spending by 330 billion dollars.
- Many “earmarks” were thrown in for favored groups including tax breaks for Hollywood films, millions for rum producers, subsidies for green energy including $59 million for algae producers, milk subsidies, ad nauseam.
- Our fearless leaders “kicked the can down the road” on dealing with the 16.3 trillion dollar debt ceiling as well as the sequestration budget cuts. Sixty days from now we’ll be back in full-blown crisis mode.
- The $650 billion fiscal cliff distracted us from the true $48 trillion looming fiscal time bomb—the long-term funding obligations of Social Security and Medicare (not counting Obamacare).
That last bullet is the most significant. If yesterday’s crisis was a “fiscal cliff”, then the real cataclysmic disaster we are facing is a fiscal black hole in outer space: scores of trillions in fiat-money debt with no courage to tackle or repay it.
The Fiscal Cliff Crisis truly reveals the forces at work in America.
This is not too strong a word to describe our current Administration and its secular-progressive allies in the House and Senate. Many of our current leaders are doing nothing less than destroying the American Dream and our freedom-influence around the world.
I am not judging their motives–only God knows the heart. In fact, I will give them the benefit of the doubt that most of them actually believe they are doing “good” for the American people. A spirit of deception brings moral dyslexia. (Representative Nancy Pelosi called the fiscal cliff bill “a happy start to a new year.”) But regardless of motivation, what our president and his Congressional allies are doing is destroying the godly foundations of the American nation.
Consciously or unconsciously, they are systematically removing America’s long-held biblical values in three areas:
1. They are destroying faith in the land. Hence the “war on Christmas,” the suppression of religious values in the public square, and forcing people of faith to go against their convictions via Obamacare contraception and abortion mandates. The secular-progressives want a secular America (Europe-style). That necessities a crusade against biblical faith.
2. They are destroying the family via changing the definition of marriage, rewarding babies born out of wedlock (currently 40% of births and 76% in the black community) and creating a government-dependency mentality. The family used to be the biblical bedrock of American society. Secularism’s encouragement of free sex and no moral judgments is destroying the family structure in this nation.
3. They are destroying economic freedom and prosperity in this nation. This is the indirect consequence of damaging faith and family, but it is also directly promoted through the growth of government power and control. Yesterday’s legislation really did nothing except raise taxes. And “the power to tax is the power to destroy” (John Marshall). Think on that again. When you raise taxes you lose liberty. If God only requires 10% (the tithe), and Joseph considered 20% taxation in Egypt to be high (Genesis 47:24), then what is 39% (or 70% in France)?
It is the power to destroy.
When I watched Vice President Joe Biden, and Senators Patty Murray and Dick Durbin strut through the Capitol Building on New Year’s Eve on their way to a meeting with President Obama, I knew that, whether it was conscious or not, we were looking at destroyers.
Secularism will change America. It will destroy the country and eventually persecute people of faith.
I believe this label applies to many in the Republican ranks. I personally like John Boehner (he pronounces his name like mine), and others, but Winston Churchills they are not. In fact, for the past seventy years since the time of Franklin Roosevelt, the Republicans have primarily gone along with the growth of government. Even Ronald Reagan didn’t reverse it, just retarded its growth for a generation.
In fairness, during most of those decades R’s were in the minority and did their best to encourage fiscal restraint. But over time, the Republican establishment also gave in to the pressures of lobbyists, constituents who wanted goodies, and the power trap of Washington, D.C. and did not fight effectively for limited government and human freedom.
Courageous they were not. Wimpy in the face of pressure is a better metaphor. I believe there are a few bright spots among them. Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Mike Lee and Eric Cantor–along with 157 other Republican representatives–voted against increasing taxes during this weak receovery. Others made the case that making the Bush tax cuts permanent was a victory of sorts.
But steely-spined, courageous leaders are desperately needed on both sides of the aisle. Will they emerge in the coming years of financial reckoning?
The other ominous problem in American politics today is the clear secular bias of most of the old guard American media. They are clearly “cheerleading” the ascendancy of secularism in the world as a whole. They are pom-pom holders for the Destroyers and antagonists of the Wimps.
Some call this group the “Mainstream” or “Lamestream” Media. Let’s be clear who they are:
- the influential New York Times who many media outlets look to for the daily news feed.
- Other newspapers including the Washington Post and LA Times and others. The Associated Press is strongly committed to the secular-progressive vision.
- Then there are the major networks–CBS, NBC, and ABC–and cable-based CNN and MSNBC.
- Finally, add to them the new media of Moveon.org, the Huffington Post, Media Matters, etc.
All of these groups actively campaigned for Barack Obama and his cohorts in the past two elections. The news media used to be the “Fourth Estate” that kept all politicians honest.
No more. They are clearly the “cheerleaders” of the secular progressive revolution and take utter delight when it triumphs (think Chris Matthews). They bury stories that hurt the cause (Benghazi), promote stories that help it (“The War on Women”), and try to take down faith-oriented candidates (Allen West comes to mind).
They also try to keep the Wimps in line through flattery or intimidation.
The Destroyers/Cheerleaders are a powerful coalition in 21st century America. We will either pooh-pooh their reality or downplay their power at our own peril.
THE ILL INFORMED
This group now makes up a significant portion of the America electorate–probably over fifty percent. They were educated in secular schools, got their degrees at secular universities, or have simply joined the secular pastimes of entertainment and consumerism.
I am always amazed when hearing interviews of average Americans “on the street”–especially those who are under thirty. They often can’t name the vice president, any Supreme Court justices, or have the foggiest idea of the great issues of the day. They’re too busy playing video-games, partying, or watching television. They know who Lady Gaga is but not Mitch McConnell. They can name the past three winners of “American Idol” but not one of their two US Senators.
They couldn’t define “freedom” if you gave them Blackstone’s Communtaries. In fact, they couldn’t read it because the language is too high.
Here’s how sad it is. I spoke with a Christian senior citizen this week who watches ABC News and was delighted that taxes are going up on millionaire athletes and entertainers. She thought they were the “rich”–not job producers and small business owners. If this wonderful person is ill-informed because of her choice of news source, then what about the rest who are only watching Saturday Night Live?
The Bible warns that “my people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). Thomas Jefferson said that “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.”
An ill-informed electorate will be slaves. They already are to entertainment
I believe there is still a remnant in this nation who love God and liberty and “understand the times with a knowledge of what we should do” (1 Chronicles 12:32). But this group is shrinking and is in desperate need of revival and enlargement.
Are you a part, and what would God have you do?
After watching the 2012 election results and, more recently, the fiscal cliff debate, I believe the most relevant verse for America in 2013 may be found in the words of Jesus in Luke 22:53:
“This is your moment, when the power of darkness reigns.“
(My second choice is Psalm 11:3 – “When the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?)
Let’s be painfully honest. Right now, evil sits in the American driver’s seat in a variety of forms. We are being destroyed spiritually, socially and economically by an invisible Destroyer who has deceived many people in this nation.
But we must take courage.
After Jesus said the ominous words above came the power of the Resurrection and the defeat of the Enemy!
Let us put our hope in His ultimate triumph and be faithful to advance His Kingdom regardless of the powers we face.