The Debt Ceiling Debate: Compromise is a Language of the Devil

In the 1981 Oscar award-winning movie Chariots of Fire, Eric Liddell’s father gives his soon-to-be-famous son some wise advice: 

“Eric, you can praise God by peeling a spud if you peel it to perfection. Don’t compromise. Compromise is a language of the devil. Run in God’s name and let the world stand back and in wonder.”

I believe the United States Congress desperately needs to heed that advice this week. Soon they will be forced to act on raising the debt limit for our nation. We are already 14.5 trillion dollars in debt, and President Obama wants more. There is tremendous pressure to compromise.

Even Fox host Bill O’Reilly, whom I agree with most of the time, is encouraging Congress to enact a compromise. He says that we need to do it “one more time” to stop an economic Armageddon.

Michelle Bachmann says no. The Tea Party freshmen representatives are saying hell no.

I agree with them.

Here’s why. 

It’s been amazing to watch the debt limit debate over the past few months. Now we are approaching the supposed August 2 “D-Day” when, if we do not raise the debt limit, the current Administration is saying that the US will default on its bills and create an economic catastrophe.

A number of plans have been floated over the past few weeks. Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer says that “the debt ceiling looms. Confusion reigns. Schemes abound. We are deep in a hole with only three ways out: the McConnell Plan, the G6 Plan and the Half-Trillion Plan.”

— The McConnell essentially punts the issue till after Election Day 2012. A good last resort if nothing else works.

— The G6, proposed by the bipartisan Gang of Six senators, reduces 10-year debt by roughly $4 trillion. It has some advantages, even larger flaws.

— The Half-Trillion raises the debt ceiling by that amount in return for an equal amount of spending cuts. At the current obscene rate of deficit spending — about $100 billion a month — it yields about five months’ respite before the debt ceiling is reached again.

“In my view, the Half-Trillion is best: It is clean, straightforward, yields real cuts, averts the current crisis and provides until year-end to negotiate a bigger deal. At the same time, it punctures President Obama’s thus far politically successful strategy of proposing nothing in public, nothing in writing, nothing with numbers, while leaking through a pliant press supposed offers of surpassing scope and reasonableness.”

So there are the options. We could add a fourth and fifth. The fourth is President Obama’s option. He  wants to raise the debt ceiling at least two trillion, raise taxes at least one trillion, and make essentially no cuts in entitlement programs. He plays the game of negotiation only because he knows the American people are not with him and he wants to be re-elected in 2012.

His true desires are a recipe for national suicide. As Bill O’Reilly rightly pointed out, the national debt per day under President Clinton was over $500 million; Under George Bush it was 1.6 billion; And under Barack Obama it has ballooned to over 4.2 billion dollars.

Per day.

And Barack Obama does not have the wisdom or political sense to do anything about it.

But there is a fifth option. It is the courageous one. It is the prudent one. Michelle Bachmann the House freshment are shouting it from the Congressional roof-top:

It is time to stop the insanity.

Don’t raise the debt ceiling.

That would be an heroic act–one that FINALLY turns the massive ship called the United States in the right direction. It would force the powers-that-be to reckon with reality– to deal with the massive problem we currently have with federal spending. It would truly stop an economic Armageddon from happening in the near future.

We are near the tipping point. The US Titanic is sailing idiotically toward a massive iceberg. We need to stop the engines, put them in reverse, and begin going the right direction with fiscal courage and responsibility.

If not now, when? If not our current leaders, then who?

Bill O’Reilly says we need to raise it “one more time.” That’s what the politicians have been saying for thirty years. It never happens. We always kick the can down the road. Procrastination does not work. It only saddles our children and grandchildren with insurmountable slavery to public debt.

If we don’t raise the debt ceiling, the Republic will survive. As Heritage economist J.D. Foster has pointed out:

“Both immediately and long after it reaches the debt limit, the government would have far more than enough revenue coming in that the Secretary of the Treasury could use to pay interest on the debt.  Nor would preserving the current debt limit put at risk the full faith and credit of the United States government, as the President’s chief economic adviser has claimed.  The government would continue to pay net interest as it comes due.”

“In fact… the Bipartisan Research Council released a Debt Ceiling Analysis that showed that even if the August 2 deadline is missed, the federal government would still have enough revenue to pay for: ‘all interest on Treasury securities (thus avoiding default), all Social Security obligations, all Medicare and Medicaid obligations, all Defense contractor bills, all Veterans payments, and all active duty troops, and still have almost $7 billion left over for other items.’ Congress can and should take its time to get this right.”

I agree with Erick Erickson of who has been encouraging the Tea Party freshmen:

“Don’t compromise. I’ve thought about it. I don’t think you can get any compromise worth supporting because like an alcohol refusing to admit he has a drinking problem, Washington politicians are refusing to admit they have a spending problem. When they cut spending, they do it dishonestly — through accounting tricks and cuts to growth rates, not actual cuts. We can’t send Congress to rehab. We cannot allow yet another Washington deal.”

No we can’t–not any more.

It’s time for some heroes to arise! Time for some real leadership.

Let’s be honest about this whole debt-ceiling debate. This is all about the growth of government–which has become a voracious monster in the 21st century. Barack Obama wants to raise the debt ceiling, as many others before him, to continue to grow Big Government. Obama is a quasi-socialist. He wants the American government to increasingly control the lives of every business and each American. He wants us dependent on government for control reasons.

There’s another reason he wants no spending cuts, no entitlement reform and is committed to raising taxes. He has to pay for Obamacare–his signature act. Obamacare will not save the nation money. It is the biggest new entitlement program in history–and it must be funded by raising taxes.

Ultimately, the debt ceiling debate is all about which worldview triumphs – biblical/Christian or secular/socialist. Those with a Christian worldview want to shrink our monstrous government, put more power (and money) in the hands of the people, stimulate freedom, create jobs and an opportunity society, and re-birth the American pathway to success.

The biblical idea of taxation is 10 percent–the tithe. Its foundation is paved by faith in God, personal and public morals, and free enterprise capitalism. Above twenty percent is considered slavery.

The alternative is the current path of the Administration. Encourage faith in government, continue to diminish Christian morals (like marriage), tax the rich, create class warfare, re-distribute the wealth to key interest groups, and create a dependent society which looks to man–not God and self–as the protectors and providers of our future.

This man-controlled government wants 20-100% ofa nation’s wealth to use as it pleases. It’s like a financial cancer that is never satisfied with the monies it is devouring.

We must stand our ground–say no more–and kill the cancer.

But those who want bigger and bigger government will use a familiar tactic to try to line up public opinion on their side. They will appeal to Congress to compromise.

Compromise. It sounds like such a wholesome word.

The mainstream press, which is in the president’s corner and desires a secular/socialist America, is touting the need for compromise. Compromise sounds so fair–so bi-partisan. They say that, yes–we should make some cuts (preferably in a future that never arrives), and yes–we need to raise taxes.

Doesn’t that sound fair? Each side gives a little bit.

But compromise is only appropriate when both sides are bringing positives to the table. My wife and I compromise all the time. She oftentimes stresses the need for grace in relationships, the need to be loving and understanding with people. These are good values. I usually bring the “truth” side to situations. What good principles do we need to choose? How do people need to change?

Grace is good and repentance is good. So compromise here is usually helpful.

But in the debt limit debate, we do not have two positive forces to balance. Incurring more debt and raising taxes in a recession are not good things–they are terrible choices at this juncture in history. The only good choice is to stop racking up more debt. Force yourself to live within your means. Make the hard choices that will bring America back to solvency and hope.

The sinking Titanic could have compromised. Some could have said, “Put all the life boats in the water and fill them to capacity.” The other side could have said, “No, we need to bail harder and not use half of the lifeboats.”

In this case, one side was right and the other completely wrong. Compromise would be fatal for thousands of people.

In the debt limit debate of 2011, compromising by borrowing more trillions, raising taxes, and not dealing with ballooning entitlement programs, is a non option.

It’s the language of the devil.

Let’s pray for our leaders to do the right thing. The American future is at stake. The world economy just may hang in the balance.

Do what the nation needs Congressmen and women!  Turn the ship around!

If you do, we will praise you.

And maybe our nation will be saved.



  1. Craig on July 27, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    Well said!

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