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Plymouth Rock Foundation’s E-News – August, 2011
by Dr. Paul Jehle, Executive Director
God, Gold and the Debt Ceiling
All we have heard for weeks now are the predictions of the terrible consequences of default that will occur if Congress does not “get it together” and raise the debt ceiling by August 2nd. The Republicans as a whole (with a few notable and worthy exceptions) have no problem with raising this debt limit as long as they get something in return that will look like they kept their promise to the Tea Party voters. The Democrats appear to simply want business as usual – raise the debt ceiling and deal with the consequences another day – hopefully after the election of 2012. A recent poll found the American people’s approval rating of Republicans, Democrats, and the President are all in the 30’s and lower 40’s, with their disapproval ratings in the 50’s.
What may be worse is that in the same poll those who believed in God approved of his running the universe at only 52%! In other words, almost half of those who believe in God think they could do a better job running the show – not only in Washington, but everywhere! What does God have to do with the economy anyway, and are there lessons – providentially riveted in early August – that can teach us a thing or two about these things? I think so, but this time we might learn something by going back more than 500 years!
God created economics by being the author of each individual’s liberty. Economics is a reflection of the priorities by which we voluntarily buy and sell in the marketplace. Each individual’s internal values are expressed externally by their choices. This is because, by God’s design as seen in the Garden of Eden and throughout the Bible, the agreements made by people in the market will naturally dictate prices and wages through the creation of wealth by the individual. In the Bible we find that one way God’s internal rule of the market was reflected was in the choice of gold and silver as the standard by which trade occurred. Our Constitution indicates the same, only allowing Congress to “coin” or mint precious metals privately mined by the people as a way in which they might create wealth.
Five hundred years ago the above paragraph was understood well by the established State Church that ruled the day but they wanted to control the outcomes rather than have the people become wealthy as a result of their liberty. This is ever the temptation for church or civil government when gaining the ascendency. The epic drama played out on August 2-3, 1492 should be a lesson not lost on Americans today. Columbus wanted to spread the knowledge of God as well as raise the money necessary to defeat the Turks (Muslims) and recover Jerusalem. But Spain, whose lust for power was endless, had Columbus sail from the smaller port of Palos on the 3rd of August due to the embarkation of a much larger group the day before from Cadiz.
This is where gold comes in. Spain desired to conquer (and convert) people to the Catholic gospel from the outside in, and thus they forced the conversion or expulsion of 200,000 Jews within her borders. The Jewish people had been the source of much of Spain’s wealth (and gold), but the Edict of Expulsion set a deadline of August 2, 1492 for Jews to convert (be baptized), or leave! Thus, on August 2nd, thousands of Jews who refused to be baptized were put on ships and expelled from the larger port of Cadiz. The same Ferdinand and Isabella who sent Columbus out to recover Jerusalem also signed the Edict of Expulsion to get rid of the Jews! Though they required the Jews to leave their gold behind, they “raised their debt ceiling” on August 2nd by expelling the very people who understood economic productivity and Spain’s future became a nation of debt rather than a producer of wealth.
It was Ferdinand and Isabella that began the Inquisition in 1479 to remove all heresy from the nation. The consequence of this was the persecution of many evangelical believers who were Protestant and not Catholic. It also targeted the Jews within the nation. The Inquisition would end up persecuting more than 340,000 people, 32,000 of which were put to death, often by cruel torture. In twelve years alone, more than 13,000 Jews had been interrogated through torture, and all the assets of these Jews were seized by the Crown. Spain evidently did not understand that it was the Hebrew Scriptures that had taught the Jews how to acquire wealth, and thus stealing the richest of her citizen’s wealth in the short-term only secured Spain’s demise as a wealthy and powerful nation in the long-term. America, are you listening?
So here we are 519 years later! The wealthiest 1% of American citizens carry 38% of the federal tax burden, and the top 10% carry 70% of it! The lower 49% of citizens pay no tax at all! This is our socialist progressive income tax system at work! The U.S. pays 40 cents of each dollar to its debt. This means with no spending cuts we must raise an additional 40% of revenue through tax increases to “balance” the budget! The “solution” proposed by our Representatives squanders the future wealth of the nation by punishing the wealthiest individuals who understand how to employ people and create jobs. Instead of doing away with “debt ceilings” by liberating the wealth producers (average citizens), schemes are introduced that merely re-arrange the problem rather than getting to the heart of the issue.
We are told that compromising principle is the solution – to simply go along – raise the debt ceiling but gain some cuts in spending as well. The few who refuse to do so are castigated as stubborn and unwilling to negotiate as the Jews and Christians were characterized five hundred years ago in Spain. We need to return to sanity economically and learn lessons from the past. There are simple solutions rooted in Biblical wisdom that can shine a light on a proper direction. We must begin by focusing our discussion on one’s faithfulness to their oath of office. What makes America unique is that leaders take an oath to the rule of law (constitution) rather than a political party, the President, or even their constituents. So here are some practical suggestions:
1.Affirm that Article I, Section 8 authorizes only three categories of spending; debt, defense, and general welfare. General welfare is that which benefits all, not a few.
2.Let the nation default on August 2nd, but do so with moral priorities. Pay our debts, social security, medicare and the military. We’ll have to prioritize the rest – most of it entitlements.
3.Affirm that the Constitution in Article I, Sections 9-10 does not allow any “titles of nobility” at either the State or Federal level. Thus, repeal “mandatory spending” for entitlements.
4.Wean Americans off entitlements from the Fed, restoring self-government at the State level.
5.Abolish the Federal Reserve and restore the gold standard, making debt ceilings impossible!
6.Restore trust in God to sovereignly rule through a free market system of economics!