"We're mortgaging our children's future!" "We're passing down a mountain of debt to our children and grandchildren!" These sentiments are among the angry shouts of people who are furious with what they denounce as reckless spending by government officials. This is not only happening in the United States. Many other nations are feeling the crush of enormous debt being heaped on them and the generations to come after them by governments bent on trying to spend their way out of the recession.
In America, all anyone needs to do to verify our runaway debt is to take a few minutes to look at the display of the U.S. National Debt Clock.
As of this writing, the current U.S. national debt stands at $12,136,000,000, or $39,380 for every man, woman and child in the United States.
Brian M. Riedl of the Institute for Economic Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation, wrote: "The new budget spending estimates are alarming and absolutely unsustainable—and are the true cause of these appalling levels of deficit and debt. President Obama has proposed massive tax increases that still cannot keep up with the historic spending increases he has proposed. The result will be highest level of spending—and debt—in American history" ("New Budget Estimates Show Unsustainable Spending and Debt," Aug. 25, 2009).
What does this mean for our children? If we cannot pay this debt, it will not simply go away. It will just be pushed into future years, with billions of dollars in interest piled on top of an already mountainous debt. If we can't afford it now, how will they afford it later? How will they be able to maintain the standard of living their parents and grandparents enjoyed? The simple answer is: They won't. Our children will suffer the consequences of the reckless, out-of-control spending of their parents' generation.
The apostle Paul matter-of-factly states the commonsense wisdom that has been the norm throughout history: "For the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children" (2 Corinthians 12:14 2 Corinthians 12:14Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not your's but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.
American King James Version×).
But, sadly, in our world today, it seems our children are destined to endure pain because of the selfishness and greed of the generation preceding theirs. Our generation has had no hesitation in passing along to our children a financial nightmare that will take great personal sacrifices to repair—if it can be repaired.
Responsible parents should be willing to prevent the suffering of their children and make those personal sacrifices today. Apparently, many are not. How about you? Are you concerned about the consequences of our growing debt? What can you do for your children and grandchildren?
You can help your children and grandchildren by reducing or eliminating your personal debt and managing your finances wisely. Begin by taking a look at your responsibilities as described in the chapter "Financial Security and Peace of Mind" from the free booklet Making Life Work. This article is based on biblical wisdom that is the only real source of financial peace of mind and the hope that we and our children need.