Letter: The big green elephant


Lloyd Harnishfeger, Pandora



There is a big green money-colored elephant being ignored by every officeholder in our country, and nobody is talking about it. That is “debt,” as in national debt.

Our elected officials just passed a massive $1.3 trillion spending bill. That’s trillions, not just plain old billions! The bill itself contained over 2,000 pages, far too many for even a diligent politician to have read before his or her time to vote.

To whom is this money owed? A large percentage is for the military,welfare, health care and social security. Not to worry! Our politicians have an easy remedy: “transfers.” This simply means moving funds from entities that have resources into those which do not. At the risk of over-simplifying the problem look at it this way. Suppose a family prepares a budget (does anyone do that anymore?) which designates $1,000 toward a future family vacation. But Dad wants a newer car. Simple right? Move “vacation money” into “new car money.” Problem solved until vacation time comes around.

We are deeply in debt to several foreign countries, among them China ($1.17 trillion) and Japan ($1.11 trillion). The total debt amounts to $60,000 for every man, woman and child in the United States. Suppose one or more of our foreign creditors should decide to call in their I.O.U.’s. How could we repay them? By giving them title to the collateral which provided security for the loans — mainly businesses, public land, and other real estate.

The biblical account of Joseph’s sojourn in Egypt provides a parallel which can be a real eye-opener. In Genesis 47, Joseph, by then second in command to Pharaoh, had stored up all the country’s grain. When a famine came the people were hungry so they had to buy food from the government. First they used their money. When that was gone they gave up their livestock, then their land. Finally, with no resources left they sold themselves to the king, thus becoming slaves! Get the picture? We must acknowledge and deal with that big green elephant before our fate.

Lloyd Harnishfeger, Pandora

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