“We’ve got a lot on our plate,” President Barack Obama told 60 Minutes in March.
Isn’t that the truth.
The White House is scrambling wildly to try to stimulate a mortally sick economy back to health by putting it deeper into debt. Its ad hoc efforts have driven many even faithful supporters of the new president to doubt his ability to turn the situation around. They have much cause for alarm.
But almost overlooked amid the destruction that the government’s plans are wreaking on the American dollar and the national economy are the dangers encroaching from outside the country. Realizing that America is profoundly weakened by domestic economic problems, opportunistic predators are seizing the chance to lash out at the world’s most prosperous and powerful country.
This is history in the making. Not the good kind of history. More like Nero-fiddling-while-Rome-burned history.
The kind of history we are seeing now is an empire in terminal and rapid decline. Besieged by problems within, facing enemies without, the greatest single nation in history is disintegrating like Rome and dozens of other empires before it.
The Government’s “Budget”
Over the last two generations, the United States of America has gone from being the world’s greatest creditor nation to its biggest debtor. During that time, Americans have been led to believe that oppressive debt is a way of life, rather than a grave danger. Borrowing money, in fact, is now universally accepted as being a miracle cure for economic hardship, rather than a debilitating cause.
This is pure fantasy.
Look at the new federal budget, introduced by President Obama in February. This massive $3.55 trillion spending plan is so large that the projected deficit, $1.75 trillion, is nearly as much as the entire budget President Bill Clinton submitted to Congress in the final year of his administration—which was at the peak of the dot-com boom.
Based on that simple comparison alone, one would never guess that America is currently facing its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. How could it be that bad when we have a budget twice the size of the one President Clinton proposed just nine years ago? some may reason.
This is how delusional our addiction to debt has made us. The government’s thinking amounts to this: Teetering on the brink of economic ruin? No problem! Just triple the deficit. Problem solved.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said he believes the “recession” could be over by the end of this year. President Obama confidently added, “We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before.” All the evidence, however, points in the other direction.
Why do so few understand that by massively increasing expenditures, we are only digging ourselves a much deeper hole than we are already in?
In his weekly radio address on February 21, President Obama said his budget was “sober in its assessments, honest in its accounting,” and that it would restore “fiscal discipline.” Yet, far from signaling a new era of responsibility, as the cover page of the new budget proposal preposterously claims, the economic plan follows the same old path of President Obama’s predecessors: ever expanding government, out-of-control spending and astronomical debt.
President Obama told Congress on February 24 that the “lifeblood” of our economy is the flow of credit. Accumulating debt is now seen as the lifeblood of America’s economy. “The ability to get a loan,” he said, “is how you finance the purchase of everything from a home to a car to a college education; how stores stock their shelves, farms buy equipment, and businesses make payroll.”
Yes—and it’s also how a massively bloated government continues spending way beyond its means. FoxNews.com reported on February 26 that the president’s budget proposal, if approved by Congress, will increase the government’s already unfathomable burden of debt by 63 percent in the next two years.
Approaching a Climax
If the “lifeblood” of America’s economy is credit, the nation will need a massive transfusion. Its finances are being sucked dry.
The Wall Street bailouts threaten to completely hemorrhage government budget estimates. aig is an insurance-company-turned-Wall-Street-casino that is now intravenously connected to government arteries. On March 2, aig announced the largest quarterly loss in U.S. corporate history. Its investments caused more than $61 billion to cease to exist—in just three short months.
Normally, when a company loses that much money, it goes bankrupt. The company is sold off and the proceeds distributed to its creditors and the other companies that were gambling and doing business with it.
Unfortunately, courtesy of the last three government bailouts of aig, taxpayers now own 80 percent of the company. So taxpayers are on the hook to make good aig’s debts and gambles—$12.9 billion to Goldman Sachs, $11.9 billion to France’s SocGen, $11.8 billion to Germany’s Deutsche Bank, and $8.5 billion to Britain’s Barclays, etc.
Total cost to taxpayers for this formerly aaa-rated company: an astounding $180 billion. But the money transfers are just beginning.
Mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, along with automotive behemoths General Motors and Chrysler, join the swarm of financial firms that include Bank of America, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, State Street Corp, Bank of NY Mellon, US Bancorp, SunTrust Banks, Capital One Financial, pnc, Regions Financial, bb&t Corp, Fifth Third Bancorp, MetLife Financial, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and American Express, all of which are also living off taxpayer blood. That is practically every major bank in the country.
The volume of taxpayer cash involved here is staggering. The Treasury has committed over $1.4 trillion in direct liquidity for the banks. Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, under President Bush, began the operation with his famous $700 billion bailout. President Obama has approved an additional $750 billion. The Federal Reserve has committed hundreds of billions more. And there is still no end in sight.
America’s banking system is all but bankrupt—kept alive only through ever-larger doses of taxpayer wealth. And now, for the first time in America’s history, even prime-time media analysts are openly questioning America’s creditworthiness and ability to borrow what’s needed. But it is Uncle Sam’s fault. He is the one who so readily gave away the clothes off his back so the big boys on Wall Street could cover their financial nakedness. But how much can America afford to give? Who will give their own clothes to cover Uncle Sam?
Washington’s debt problems are approaching a climax.
Those who insist that America’s power and influence are not in rapid decline often argue that we’re in a global recession and that other nations are hurting just as much as the United States—if not more so. The truth, though, is that the U.S., being the most powerful national economy in the world, has the furthest to fall.
“[W]hile today’s Russia, China, Latin America, Japan and the Middle East may be suffering setbacks, the biggest loser is understood to be Uncle Sam,” Paul Kennedy wrote in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece (January 14).
Unsurprisingly, as America desperately sells record amounts of debt in hopes of borrowing its way out of bankruptcy, its enemies are hard at work testing the mettle of the new administration, just as Vice President Joe Biden predicted while campaigning for Barack Obama last year.
The Iranian regime, for example, has tested the new president by “preemptively scorning his overtures, mocking his weakness, and assuring the world its nuclear program is nonnegotiable,” William Kristol wrote (Weekly Standard, February 16).
Russia too has seized its opportunity to “test the mettle” of Obama. In February, Kyrgyzstan, under pressure from Moscow, told the U.S. it would no longer be allowed to use an air base that coalition forces had relied on for the Afghanistan operation.
Then there is North Korea. Having scrapped all its agreements with South Korea, Kristol wrote, it is “preparing to test a new ballistic missile, the Taepodong-2, which is intended to eventually have a long enough range to hit U.S. territory” (ibid.).
And it’s not just America’s sworn enemies that are testing the new president’s mettle. “With a grinning Goliath staggering about sporting a ‘kick me’ sign on his back, even reputed allies joined the fun,” Charles Krauthammer noted. “Pakistan freed from house arrest A.Q. Khan, the notorious proliferator who sold nuclear technology to North Korea, Libya and Iran. Ten days later, Islamabad capitulated to the Taliban, turning over to its tender mercies the Swat Valley, 100 miles from the capital” (February 21).
Some may consider these to be minor tests, but they portend much more difficult challenges ahead. The president really cannot afford to focus on domestic problems to the exclusion of such pressing international concerns.
But domestic issues, as the president outlined before Congress back in February, clearly dominate the new administration’s agenda. “The only way this century will be another American century,” President Obama said in his February 24 speech, “is if we confront at last the price of our dependence on oil and the high cost of health care; the schools that aren’t preparing our children and the mountain of debt they stand to inherit. That is our responsibility.”
In other words, in addition to “stimulating” the stagnating economy, bailing out lending institutions, and providing financial relief for homeowners, the new administration also intends to spend trillions more on alternative forms of energy, universal health care and public education.
“The only measure of my success as president, when people look back five years from now or nine years from now,” President Obama told cnn on February 3, “is going to be, did I get this economy fixed?”
But the world’s evils are mounting so quickly that they threaten to overwhelm domestic concerns!
Franklin D. Roosevelt also neglected U.S. foreign policy during the difficult years of economic hardship in the 1930s. And the United States, as well as the rest of the world, paid dearly for this negligence. Ultimately, even though he became president during the Great Depression, his presidency is primarily measured against the backdrop of his wartime leadership in the 1940s.
Could history be repeating itself? “Is our new commander in chief fully aware how dangerous the world can get, and how fast, when America is weak or distracted?” Kristol asked (op. cit.).
If you believe your Bible, you know that history repeats itself.
America is in a position eerily reminiscent of the 1930s. The economic upheaval and related social problems are already being felt, both in America and around the world. And they will again lead to an international confrontation. In fact, prophecy indicates that America’s financial troubles are the precursor to another world war.
And just as in that previous case, this war will be with Europe.
The Bible prophesies of seven resurrections, or resurgences, of the Holy Roman Empire—an empire that has repeatedly waged destructive wars of conquest. You can read this prophecy in Revelation 17:10-12: “And there are seven kings: five are fallen”—Justinian, Charlemagne, Otto the Great, Charles v and Napoleon—“and one is”—the Hitler-Mussolini axis, which was on the world scene when this prophecy first began to be understood—“and the other is not yet come”—but it is rising now—“and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition. And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.”
The so-called Holy Roman Empire is again rising to power. For proof, request a free copy of our booklet Germany and the Holy Roman Empire.
And because America is so inwardly focused—particularly because of its financial mismanagement—and so distracted by geopolitical events elsewhere, it will be unprepared and totally shocked when it is faced with war again.
As bad as it has been for America over the past year, the coming year may witness the debt problems explode in Washington even as America sustains numerous strategic blows from dangerous forces abroad.
Meanwhile, with America distracted and reeling, the Holy Roman Empire grows in Europe unimpeded. •