Debt Ceilings and Space Shuttles
by Jim Josephsen
Any nation today, faithfully obeying and committed to the only True and Living
God, would benefit from His promise: the Eternal will open His best treasures
from the skies for you, to give you rain to adorn your land [rain
to fall in a timely manner to coincide with the growing seasons] and
to bless every work of your hands. You shall lend to many nations, but not
borrow from any. And the Eternal will make you the head and not the tail and you
shall continually rise and not be depressed – if you hearken unto the
commandments of God, to observe and to do them (Deuteronomy 28:12-13).
Are these empty words found in a dust covered ancient book written by some
drug-induced mystic from some bygone era? Or is there a God, eternal and
omniscient, who is well aware of mankind’s behavior and the existence of every
The United States is mired in a battle and if the debt ceiling crisis is not
soon resolved, the results will produce suffering at a new level not only for
U.S. citizens but for all the world’s economies. Washington is deadlocked,
stubborn and irresponsible of its duties to the American public.
According to the U.S.
Congress has the responsibility to resolve this crisis. Will they? Time will
tell, but August 2nd is fast approaching and the world is getting nervous. Asian
markets, for example, are gravely concerned.
history of our current debt ceiling controversy – lest the American public
be guilty of ignorance. God, through the prophet Hosea spoke: my people are
destroyed for lack of knowledge; because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will
reject thee. The USA, claiming to be a God-fearing nation, is being rejected,
grossly lacking knowledge, not only of God and His righteous ways, but of the
truth of its history.
The debt ceiling was first set in September 1917, when Congress authorized the
issuance of approximately $7.5 billion in US bonds in addition to $4 billion in
certificates of indebtedness; all this done under the
Bond Act. From that point on, Washington, through all its Administrations
and Congresses has heaped upon its constituents a burden of debt. Congress, like
the street corner pusher, has addicted this country to the spirit of debt.
Additional facts of the U.S. debt ceiling reveal that it first went above $1
trillion in 1981, September to be exact. From February 1981 through September
1987, Congress at the urging of
President Reagan raised
the debt ceiling some 17 times, from $985 billion to $2.8 trillion; nearly
tripling the national debt. From April 1993, when the debt ceiling was $4.145
trillion until January 2001, at $5.95 trillion, under the
the debt ceiling was increased four times.
Then coincidentally with the phenomenal rise of U.S. economic wealth over the
past thirty years, the result of inflated and camouflaged fiscal practices,
crafted by unjust weights, money markets, hedge funds, business give-aways, tax
loop-holes, Wall street investment schemes, politically corrupt deals; with the
explosion of new technologies, the growth of foreign trade and the opening of
new markets and economies of smaller third world countries, the signing of
NAFTA, the increase of
immigrants, the federal funding of programs for the needy and housing
incentives, the waging of wars and an America’s giddiness in wallowing in
gadgets and self-interest, lust and affluence, came the exponential rise in the
By the fall of 2008, our country was clearly entrenched, set on the course
toward economic disaster. The elevated debt ceiling of today is not only the
result of the past two years of over-spending. This country’s debt ceiling
crisis is the product of previous Presidents and Congresses and a nation which
habitually believes in spending, with the intention of someday paying it off.
Under President George W.
Bush, the debt ceiling increased seven times, from $5.90 trillion as
recorded in January of 2001 when he took office, to $11.315 trillion in October
of 2008, an increase of 90%.
As recent as February 2010, the U.S. Congress, under the
has raised the debt ceiling from $12.394 trillion to the current $14.294
How will it end? A compromise of increased taxes with a diminishing of public
funding? A Congress that is actually willing to curb spending and quit giving
out tax favors to the wealthy? Will Federal Grants stop going to immoral
behaviors? And the debate rages on. One thing is for certain; the nations of the
earth are lending to the United States of America and we consume their products.
Consumer lust-driven Americans are becoming more despondent, and the debt piles
higher and higher.
Continuing with our evolving reality up until the middle of July 2011, the U.S.
space program was second to none. After the embarrassment sustained, the result
of the USSR being the first to
launch a man into space, NASA
never looked back. America
went to the moon in 1969, followed by many successful space explorations.
Beginning in April 1981, with over 130
missions the United States remained well in the forefront of space
On Thursday July 21st, 2011, the space shuttle Atlantis touched down in Florida,
ending the 30-year shuttle program. This was the day many in NASA dreaded
would come. The fate of this day was set back in 2004, when then President
George W. Bush signed a Presidential Degree canceling Federal funds for the U.S.
Shuttle Program. The intention then was for the
Space Station to be completed by 2010, at which time the U.S. Space Shuttle
program would be retired.
In October 2010, President Obama signed a Private Sector initiative which would
honor the mandatory retirement directive issued by Bush, but allow for a
scaled-back plan that would rely heavily on the American private sector and
business to continue a space exploration program for the United States. Rather
than scrapping the entire program and losing out to the Russians and the
Chinese, President Obama realized the embarrassment the U.S. would suffer.
Placing the program in the hands of the private sector would be one minor way to
aid the economy while taking away from the federal burden.
As was evident then, the vision of the United States in space exploration was
becoming too costly. Both Presidents Bush and Obama realized the United States
cannot afford to foot the bill. For now the only way Americans can get into
space, mainly to contribute to the International Space Station program, is to
pay the Russians approximately $60 billion per person to travel on their
spacecraft. The nation we once competed against and beat in the race to the
moon; the nation that was beneath us is now our gracious savior when it comes to
Oh the bitter ironies of life and a country disobedient to God!
Debt beyond control with no end in sight; the United States can very well bring
the economies of the world crashing down if we go into default. Even if the debt
ceiling crisis is resolved this time, the debate will come up again; guaranteed!
While many economists and fiscal pundits predict dire financial times, many are
quick to point back to 1995
and 1996, at a time called the original “debt ceiling crisis.” Back then, it
was a problem but the country managed. The financial markets were hurt (for
a time) as the government was shut down temporarily. But after some
political juggling, the country resumed activity. No harm; no foul.
This time however, the consequences may not be so composed. According to the
Center of American Progress, the budgetary consequences could be more
far-reaching and catastrophic, forcing the immediate cessation of more than 40%
of government activities, including social security, military operations and
other social programs. Of course, Congress’ paychecks would still be issued!
The threat to our national security would escalate. Civil unrest would follow
months down the road as our economy would slow dramatically and the value of our
dollar would plummet. The difference this time over the mid-1990s is clearly the
fact that our debt has grown from $5.5 trillion to $14.294 trillion – and we are
talking about trillions. That kind of debt is unsustainable. That kind of debt
spells disaster. History witnesses of the affects of hyper-inflation and a
nation in economic peril because of too much debt.
Debt ceilings and space shuttles made the headlines in the third week of July
2011. Will future generations look back and comment, “Oh that was just the
natural consequence of a nation that outlived its usefulness; simple national
cause and effect.” Or should it be said, much to the chagrin and embarrassment,
bred by the ignorance of conservatives and Christians alike, “The collapse of
the United States was the direct result of God’s intervention and His wrath upon
a disobedient and pathetic nation.”
God said: He will smite his people; He will destroy those who dishonor and
God said he would bless the nation that is faithful and obedient to Him.
Now notice what He said of the nation that spits in His face. The stranger that
is within thee shall get up above thee very high and thou shall come down very
low. He shall lend to thee and thou shall not lend to him; he shall be the head
and thou shall be the tail. Moreover all these curses [read
Deuteronomy 28] shall come upon thee and shall pursue thee and
overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because you harkened not to keep the
commandments of the Lord (Deuteronomy 28:43-45).
Debt ceilings and space shuttles -- just two more indications of a nation no
longer blessed by God; a nation soon to be smitten. Only a sincere change of
heart and behavior among the American people and politicians by showing
obedience toward God can resolve the debt ceiling crisis and bring the United
States back to prominence. At this point in our history, before God considers
ever aiding the United States, He requires we the people to do something first.