Monday, September 30, 2013

Shut Down?

As we approach the eleventh hour and face impending government shut down, I had some things on my heart I thought I would share. I should preface this by saying that all of this government stuff is moot as far as I'm concerned because I don't trust in our government or this country (though I am blessed to live here and am grateful for this place) but I trust in Christ alone.

I certainly don't think I have answers to fix our current financial/political crisis, but as an American citizen and a voter, I just want to say that I am disappointed all the way around. Our government has become so concerned with polarizing itself through the party system that they are in complete denial that they are elected and voted in by normal, every day humans, without whom there would be no lush government job for them.

We have a party who wants to help people at the expense of too much government and absolutely no clue how to pay for all these types of assistance they offer. This party has no idea what a budget really is or how to live within their means. They are fiercely determined to stick to their guns and make these types of assistance available, and their hearts are good in that. People do need help. But you can't live in a house with an unbalanced budget and think everything will magically work out, and you can't keep a government running that way either. Not for forever anyway. Compromise is not something these guys want because they want it their way, regardless of the price.

Then we have another party that is fiercely committed to the Constitution, a balanced budget, and not too much government. Unfortunately these guys disregard a significant portion of the population and truly demean and demoralize them by assuming that the only people who need government assistance must be drug addicts, criminals, and thugs. These guys tend to worry so much about minor points and thick rhetoric that they also aren't willing to compromise. What to do with all of these people already on assistance that truly do need it? "Who knows? Who cares? We need a balanced budget!"

What we've created is a monster. A think-less, disenchanted monster that receives its 200k paycheck each year no matter what they do or don't do, while my neighbors struggle to put food on the table while they work 80 hours a week and live in a 1200 square foot home. And these government officials hold hundreds of thousands of jobs in their hands, dollars in their hands, food in their hands, retirement in their hands.

This is our America. Right now. And I am sad. Our forefathers wouldn't shake their head at our moral decline or our interpretation of the Constitution. They would shake their head at the fact that our government has become as much of a problem as the English monarchy they warred against for freedom. Taxation without representation, the rulers lining their pockets, distance from what is actually happening at ground level. The government stopped caring about the people. It cared only about pride, money, power.

We've gone backwards.

Did you know that if our government shuts down, the national parks will shut down? I saw on the news tonight that people who get free water from Hot Springs National Park will have no water tomorrow. I found out today that the Department of Children and Families will potentially have to close their offices which means cases of abuse and neglect being investigated: cease. Adoptions: cease. Families receiving assistance to try to get back on their feet: cease. Food stamps: cease. And all of those people who run those offices and work those cases? They have no income. This is just a touch of what would happen.

But the flip side of the coin is that should they move forward and raise our borrowing power, how long will it be before it has to be raised again? I'm no mathematician, but at the rate we keep raising it, it won't be long. And how will the new healthcare law get paid for? Have you seen the numbers? They are eliminating much of Medicaid with this new program which means that Medicaid recipients will have to either buy insurance or pay penalties. What about the people who can't afford it? Well they will receive subsidies or tax credits to help supplement. And where does that money come from?

I have no idea.

And we keep spending...

I have no solutions. I have no suggestions. But I am sad and disappointed. And I know that the only hope I have is my Perfect King Jesus. He has answers. He is good. He is holy. There is much more that I could say about the Church's role in our world today, but that was another post.

All I can do right now is pray. I hope you will too.

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