Saturday, August 6, 2011

Downgraded: You are in a lot of debt!

Here's the current U.S debt from the official U.S debt clock. You may have seen the forward going around that put the situation into perspective (I haven't checked the math on this but it was quite funny, er, I mean scary). Here it is: 

"The U.S. Congress sets a federal budget every year in the trillions of dollars. Few people know how much money that is so we created a breakdown of federal spending in simple terms. Let's put the 2011 federal budget into perspective:

U.S. income: $2,170,000,000,000, Federal budget: $3,820,000,000,000, New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000, National debt: $14,271,000,000,000 and Recent budget cut: $ 38,500,000,000 (about 1 percent of the budget)

It helps to think about these numbers in terms that we can relate to. Let's remove eight zeros from these numbers and pretend this is the household budget for the fictitious Jones family.

Total annual income for the Jones family: $21,700, Amount of money the Jones family spent: $38,200, Amount of new debt added to the credit card: $16,500, Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710, Amount cut from the budget: $385"

Yikes! Dr. Douglas Groothuis of Denver Seminary, gives more good perspective, quoting Dave Ramsey, posting, "If the US Government was a family, they would be making $58,000 a year, they spend $75,000 a year, & are $327,000 in credit card debt. They are currently proposing BIG spending cuts to reduce their spending to $72,000 a year. These are the actual proportions of the federal budget & debt, reduced to a level that we can understand." 

The bottom line, Bush raised our debt from 5.7 trillion to 10.6 trillion, or about 600 billion per year of his presidency. He was an out of control spender and we shouldn't try to excuse that. Obama, however, has raised our debt from 10.6 trillion to the current 14.6 trillion in 2 years and 7 months, or about 1.5 trillion per year, raising our national debt nearly 3 times as quickly as Bush did. That's not even including the additional 2 trillion of debt Obama just signed into law which will be used in the next year and a half. 

A side note on that, who in the world says you can borrow x amount of dollars this year, as long as you cut an equal amount out of your next decade spending? Crazy! 

On another side note, did you see YOUR part of that debt? You can see it in the rectangle to the right of the U.S. debt rectangle in the chart. $46,737!!! Yes, our government owes $46,737 on your behalf! 

So here we are, the greatest country on earth, led by the biggest debt-monger in history and we can't even pay our bills without borrowing TRILLIONS of dollars! I'm reminded of the Simpsons episode (I believe it was #200, Trash of the Titans) where Homer blows a year's budget his 1st month as director and tells Marge it was because, "they let me sign checks with a stamp!"

S&P downgraded our AAA credit rating (attributing the downgrade to our out of control debt and politicians' refusal to seriously do something) as they said, in April, they would do if we didn't find 4 trillion in cuts (Obama agreed to 1 trillion in cuts with a promise to find 1+ trillion more in the next year). They also warned last month that the likelihood they would downgrade us was greater than 50%. You'd think Obama, Reid and Pelosi would have been willing to find the 4 trillion in cuts S&P was looking for. Nope. Now, Fox News quotes administration officials as saying, "the S&P analysis was fundamentally flawed." Are you kidding me? Our debt is skyrocketing at a level unprecedented in the history of man and the Obama administration can't figure out why we're getting downgraded? Yeah, how's that hope and change thing going?

There is a silver lining in this though. The lower credit rating makes it harder to keep borrowing so much money and it might (but might not) convince our politicians to start balancing our budget (unfortunately, the Democrats voted AGAINST a balanced budget amendment twice last week!!!). 

So how does this insane situation relate to Christians in general and evangelism in particular? Get the 1st answer to that by clicking here and for the second answer, Luke 7:36-50 comes to mind. 

We all, like the 2 men Jesus described and the sinful woman who anointed his feet, were in debt more than we ever could have hoped to repay (kind of like our government), yet Jesus forgave us. That's good news and that is the hope those around you desperately need to be hearing as they face the economic uncertainty highlighted, yet again, yesterday. You can transition any conversation about the news to the gospel (click here to see how) and this is a conversation that REALLY needs to be transitioned back to the gospel. I hope you'll share the hope you have with those around you because the hope you have is not about to get downgraded!!!


  1. Hi Laura,

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. Yeah I just learned about Brag on God Fridays last week I believe. I linked my devotional writing blog to the site. Wasn't sure I can do photography as well. Thanks for letting me know.


  2. hello Judy,
    This isn't Laura's blog but she does contribute here. I'm not sure she'll get this message. You can get her on facebook or go to Thanks.