You Can Take My Money, But Not My Freedom

Ever watch one of those chase scenes in a cartoon where the one in the lead heads over the cliff and lands in a devastating crash at the bottom — only to find whatever he was carrying (adding insult to injury) comes tumbling down on top of him?

Well, that’s us. As we collectively head over this fiscal cliff — we are actually over it right now — we’re not feeling much because we’re free falling (like the cartoon character). Falling is never really that painful (though the rushing wind can chap the lips and mess up one’s hair), but in the end it’s the sudden deceleration at the valley floor that causes the real damage. The only problem here is that if we happen to live through it — the crash — there is an economic avalanche coming down on top of us that will almost certainly finish us off as the freest and richest nation ever known.

Our problems in America are not taxes and revenue; our problems are spending and the immoral class warfare that allows it all to continue without end. The problem is — despite what the left has to say about all the wealth at the top and the disparity between rich and poor — that there isn’t enough money at the top to pay down, let alone pay off anything so enormous as the US national debt.

If you took every penny that Warren Buffett has, it would pay for 5 days of operating the US government and obviously not pay down a penny of the debt.

After telling us in 2008 that he could cut the annual budget deficit in half and begin to pay down our national debt, President Barack Obama began his first term by taking us on a journey that, rather than trimming anything, added over $1 trillion in new annual deficits by borrowing and spending, mostly on things we do not need, like nonexistent “shovel ready projects.” This has added nearly $1.3 trillion annually to our national debt, which has now skyrocketed to over $17 trillion and by all estimates is headed to $22 trillion before he is done in 2016.

When the Democrats took control of Congress by capturing the Senate in 2006, the national debt was already a staggering $8.9 trillion and was forking over $237 billion annually to pay the interest on that debt. The Democrat-controlled Congress began its spending spree and bailouts long before Barack Obama became president. The total debt attributed to their reign of power is well over $7 trillion dollars in five years. Under George Bush, the budget deficit was $167 billion in 2006 — Obama has never had a deficit under $1 trillion.

The only reason we haven’t felt the economic pain from all this deficit spending over the past 25 years is that we have successfully put off paying the bills by putting it all on a national credit card (throwing away billions in interest), while continuing to stuff our faces from the party plater. We might be fat and happy now — we might feel really good about ourselves, willing to give so much to so many — but we are as dumb as a sack of hammers when it comes to economics.

Does anyone consider that the public treasury may not be ours to give away as charity? Let me be clear: giving is great, giving of our own accord is doing the work of the Lord. Giving away the labor of others, being generous with other people’s money, is not moral — it’s a grave and dangerous character flaw. For who but a robber takes great joy in taking or giving away another man’s treasure? Who rests comfortably at night with a clear conscience after giving one man the labor of another? Does anyone — let alone the cold faceless State — have the ability to “love your neighbor” for you?

The taxes in the public treasury belong to “the people”. We need to understand that this is an account of trust, governed by Constitutional law. The public treasury isn’t a gift bag to be given to the constituency of the winner of an election. Nor is it to be spent any way one person or party believes it should be spent. There are rules to follow, though you wouldn’t know it from national politics today.

braveheartThe most horrible thing about this next coming economic catastrophe is that all those (the 47%) who don’t pay taxes but get benefits from the government treasury will be the very ones who are hurt most when the train wreck comes to a full and complete stop. They are like hungry, vulnerable baby birds in a nest chirping for more. But there won’t be any more. There will be nothing left to give, and for that matter, there will be nothing left to take.

In Atlas Shrugged, there may not even be anyone to take it from, as the affluent and the rich may simply leave…and what will be left is the hungry and the hunted. Those with the wealth and the ability to create that wealth may in fact abandon ship, leaving those in “need” to fend for themselves. Darwin’s plan will begin in earnest, “survival of the fittest” begins a new season, only this time it’s for real.

This may appear to be merely an economic and fiscal crisis — but it really isn’t. At its core it is the culmination of a moral collapse that started long before the economic derailment. It is the result not so much of presidents and the powerful, but a populace that has chosen for far too long to be conscientious objectors in the war for the soul of the republic and the Constitutional principles of liberty.

Welcome to the rise of bureaucratic despotism. The future will soon look like the past — the very long ago past of marauders and peasants with pitchforks and torches — and it won’t be pretty.

Today we need more than even a Ronald Reagan. Heck, we need a William Wallace.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

About the author

David Whitley

David is a deacon at his local church and a perpetual student of religion, politics and American history. Author, speaker, blogger, David lives in Southern California with his wife and their three children. You can follow him on Twitter @cogitarus or online at He's available for speaking engagements upon request.

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