I just received a letter from Evangelicals for Social Action. They are launching a campaign for intergenerational justice, which puts a new twist on government deficits.
The letter from ESA President Ron Sider references the growing US budget deficit, which “amounts to us living off our grandchildren’s credit card.”
I have grandchildren, and I surely do not want to be a burden to them, especially after I’m gone.
Sider continues: “We want things now that we can’t pay for, and we purchase them anyway, piling up debt that our young people will one day have to pay in the form of increased taxes, etc. This isn’t just unfair–it is unloving, unChristian, and an agregious example of financial irresponsibility. …”
OK, there’s nothing new there, but Sider states it well. What I like is that he has connected this issue with justice, which is big with God, if you take the Bible seriously.
Then Sider adds an important qualifier: “I am not saying that a temporary substantial budget deficit was a mistake in order to avoid a depression. I think that was the right policy.” Then comes the “but” statement. “But we have been increasing the national deficit for a decade, and current projections show it will get worse in the next years.”
Well said. Those of us who supported the Bush and Obama bailouts to avert a worldwide depression can still put our citizenship feet down and say deficit spending needs to stop. And in saying that, some of us older ones need to put Medicare and Social Security on the table for consideration of cuts. Yikes!
But, let’s be honest, none of us want our grandkids to suffer to make it easy on us. Thanks ESA.