DEBT :: Personal and National

Wow... I discovered some really great statements this morning when I was reading the chapter on debt in Business by The Book  (Bible), circa 1998 by Larry Burkett.  I had to share them with whoever would listen.  I have been to Facebook and Twitter to briefly share my experience, but this is the blog I referred to and will post later. 

In the 15th chapter, he refers to just one-trillion-plus in debt, and how the payment due effect of that amount will shatter our world as the boomers retire, post 2008.  Then Obama took office and we now face $20 trillion in debt.  I don't think the future is going to be a bright as we want it to be.

The first quote I want to share was on how the government downplays the debt in our news media... deceptive practices, I think.

"Inflation is the borrower's friend (in the short run), because as inflation increases the overall GNP goes up, even with no more production.  In fact, production actually may have gone down, but the overall figure in dollars is higher because overall prices went up.

"So the trick is to borrow more money without its being reflected in the national debt figures, then wait for that money to drive up inflation.  The result is a lower debt-to-GNP ratio...."   (page 174)

On page 173, Mr. Burkett shares,

"The primary reason the actual debt is a smaller percentage of the GNP is that the government has found a way to borrow massive amounts of money without all of it being reflected in the category of national debt.  How has this been accomplished under the watchful eye of the Congress?

"The most obvious way has been to borrow the funds from the Social Security Trust Fund, the Railroad Trust Fund, and the Federal Employees Retirement account. This has accounted for the better part of $200 billion since 1986. [book update written in 1998] Another method has been to delay a portion of the debt until the first day of the next fiscal year, and so on.  It's called 'creative accounting.' "

We may be in 2017 now, but the debt problems we have are just worse.  This method of creative accounting made me wonder about the auto crisis, the bank crisis, the home crisis, and more.  The poor and elderly are always the first victims of the government... because they can't fight back.  Social Security and other benefits for those who have nothing are always hit first, often called the cause of the problems the government is dealing with.  In reality, it is the long parade of government legislators that have created these problems.

We all know that credit cards get maxxed out eventually... and there isn't anywhere to turn to when that happens.  You just begin to deal with the consequences of your debt... painful consequences, for millions, possibly billions all over the world.

One comment Larry Burkett makes about debt is that it is a symptom of a greater issue.  His view is centered aroung biblical principles about money and debt, but the unsaved person would still have problems with the way government handles our taxes.  The bigger issues are numerous, and include not living within our means... using tax dollars to pay political debts... being bought off instead of doing what is best for the country... pride, greed, lust, vice, power, addictions, and more.

Another section in this chapter that grabbed my attention was on loan contracts, especially home loans.  I really don't know if this still exists, but I don't see banks and other lending institutions willingly letting this one go.  This is something I want to check on before I sign any contracts.

"Most people sign as surety on the debts they incur and don't consciously realize it.  For instance, most home buyers believe the loans on their homes are collateralized by the dwellings themselves, but that is rarely true.  Although the homes are pledged as collateral, virtually all the mortgages created since the eighties also require the personal guarantees of the buyers.  Therefore, if the home buyers can't make the payments and the mortgage companies foreclose and sell them at a loss (less than the outstanding debt), the companies can sue the buyers for the deficiency."  (page 179)

Ordinary people rarely know what all the fine print means, and they often trust the people they are dealing with to do right... these are problems that get bigger the farther we get into the End Times because morality is becoming a thing of the past.  We can't afford lawyers for every legal document we sign, including rent applications, employment applications, online policy agreements, and other binding documents we have to agree to if we want to proceed with life. 

Because this is an older book, more than two years old, it may have some outdated details.  I hope so.  But, this is worth checking on, especially if you are buying a home, operating a business, and trying to survive.

The final quote I wanted to share was on page 176.  In reading about debt problems, I recalled my own past experiences, and learning that we make our decisions based on how our life is today. We forget that any day can change it all.  Having an emergency fund, living debt free, remembering that things don't always go according to plan... these help overcome the unexpected.  Our government needs to remember these tactics, too.  The statement below applies to all of us.

"The typical Christian businessperson is as deeply in debt as the typical non-Christian.  Neither one has any real goal for being debt-free, and consequentially both are vulnerable to any downturn in the economy."

For a long number of years, I have been trying to find a way to get the debt down without making it possible for the government to charge it back up again.  We are the ones who will suffer if we don't stop the financial bleeding.  Government at all levels is struggling to meet its current needs, and recover from past failed efforts (robbing Peter to pay Paul).  Our infrastructure is desperate for repairs.  Our way of living is changing with the innovations we love to discover... and they will affect our jobs.  It is all a connected cycle.

Remember, the government will never tell you what it doesn't want you to know.
They classify that kind of information as national security... and it probably is in their eyes.
We would go crazy if we knew!

We need to find real solutions that work for the most people...
If you have a solution, I hope you share it at either the 

Facebook group called  Fixing America 
and   @FixingAmerica, #FixingAmerica)

or the Twitter page I set up at