Another Perspective

Cut, Cap, Balance Is a Moral Duty

It is easy to lose sight of the spiritual and moral implications of our current debt crisis.

By 7.20.11

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Early Christian churches, based on teachings of the Old and New Testament, prohibited usury -- the charging of interest at any rate -- and defined the act as sinful. This was because at the time, coin money was either hoarded or spent. The ability to invest in an enterprise was extremely limited, and corporations as we know them -- whether large or small -- did not exist. There was no national or global financial market, and money by itself did not have the intrinsic value it does today.

Today, the lending of money empowers entrepreneurs to use their God-given abilities to generate wealth and create jobs. This risk-taking activity is responsible for the higher quality of life all Americans enjoy, which is unique in human experience. For the last 235 years, we have truly been, to borrow from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, a shining "city on a hill."

However, because the lending of money is justified does not mean that Christians should overindulge and live beyond our means. When a debt becomes too great, it can negatively impact career choices and destroy families.

Our misguided leaders in Washington, D.C. continue to run up an enormous national debt, one now approaching $14.4 trillion. Politicians, blinded by ambition, are offering great benefits at no cost and are thereby enslaving future generations of children with a crushing pile of unpaid bills.

A child born today will be handed a $44,000 bill from the federal government at the hospital. And as America's debt continues to consume greater portions of America's economic output, that debt will only worsen while job opportunities for that child, due to today's failed fiscal policies, will be limited.

It is easy to lose sight of the spiritual and moral implications of our current debt crisis. Christians must stand up against an immoral political regime which indebts us to such foreign powers as the anti-Christian Communist Chinese.

China, which now holds more than $2 trillion of our debt, has shown itself to be no friend of the West. And because of this indebtedness, the administrations of Presidents Bush and Obama have not spoken out forcefully on behalf of persecuted Christians in China.

The Shouwang Church, which was founded in 1993 and is closely monitored by the Chinese State Administration for Religious Affairs, rejected the theology dictated to them by the Communist Party. The state expressly forbids members to evangelize, and often detains church members for interrogations and a forced "re-education."

As reported by David Aikman in the Wall Street Journal, there is a recent story in which the wife of a blind human rights activist, Ghen Guangcheng, said she and her husband were severely tortured by a gang of Communist Party thugs.

To fund the ever-expanding welfare state, which itself destroys families and builds a cycle of dependency, we have become financial and political servants to brutal and immoral lenders.

We must pray and assist our Christian brothers and sisters in communist China. And an important first-step to reducing our ties to this Communist state would be to support the pledge taken by such Tea Party leaders as Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Senator Mike Lee of Utah, which is called "Cut, Cap, and Balance." This pledge is being required by conservative legislators in exchange for the debt ceiling increase.

The first step of this proposal would be to make serious cuts in the federal budget, which would make immediate reductions in the deficit.

Then, by statute, enforceable spending caps would be in place to tie the hands of future legislators and put America on a path to a balanced budget by limiting spending to a historically average 18 percent of GDP.

Finally, the pledge involves the passage of the Lee-Hatch Act, which would send to the states for ratification a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution is a charter of negative rights which prohibit government from taking your liberty. This amendment would not only require that expenditures equal revenue, but all tax increases would require a two-thirds supermajority vote.

These three steps will ensure that no matter who is in Congress and the White House, their ability to borrow from China and continue to burden our children with massive debt will be severely limited.

As Congress schedules votes and debates such mushy alternatives as Senator McConnell's almost unconstitutional proposal to allow President Obama to arbitrarily increase the debt limit, it is critical that conservatives stand on principle and win.

Our leaders must cut spending, cut the debt, and end fiscal obligations to oppressive regimes. How Members of Congress vote on Cut, Cap, and Balance will speak volumes about their willingness to accept their moral duty to confront the wave of debt that threatens the futures of our children and grandchildren.

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About the Author

Tony Perkins is the President of the Family Research Council, a Washington, D.C. based public policy organization.