Australia · World

Should the government guarantee higher taxes for your children in return for lower taxes for you?

There is hardly any government that does not borrow money to finance its desires. It is not done today, to increase taxes. In a democracy, increasing taxes almost certainly is political suicide. Instead of staying within its means, the government often decides to borrow money. Easy, of course. Keep everyone happy.

The problem?

The next generation. By borrowing money you are going to charge your children and grandchildren for your lifestyle. The government only increases its debt and the debt servicing payments (that is: interest) will only increase. More and more of the tax revenue will be spent on interest, with as result that the government has to borrow more, to keep financing what it is doing.

The solution?

Stay within your means. Stop spending money you don’t have. Makes sense, doesn’t it? It should. But apparently common sense has long flown out of the window.

If it is not in an emergency situation (like a world war or a great natural disaster) it is immoral for a government to borrow money. Christians should not support a government borrowing money to lower taxes or increase benefits. I don’t say that we should not respect the government. We must, because the Bible tells us so. But we must make it clear to politicians why it is immoral to borrow and shift the costs for our lavish lifestyle to future generations.

Judge Napolitano wrote a strongly worded and clear article about this. This is about the situation in the USA, where since the presidency of Woodrow Wilson 100 years ago, the federal government never paid off debt but only rolled over and increased the national debt. “No household, no business, no bank, no government can long survive by doing this,” he writes. His conclusion:

“The threat is that people will stop paying taxes because nearly half of revenue will soon go to debt service and nearly half to fixed transfer payments and the productive earners will get little or nothing for their taxes. Then the government’s creditors will not be paid, and the government will not be able to borrow money. Then America as we have known it will cease to exist, and individuals and groups will be on their own to protect life, liberty and property.”

The Bible shows us that empires don’t continue into eternity. They all come to an end, sooner or later (see Daniel 2). Most of these empires collapsed because of corruption. Read for instance Daniel 5 about the utter corruption which ruled in the Babylonian empire: the king was feasting, while his soldiers were being killed in the defence of the capital city which was besieged by the Medes and the Persians. That very same night king Belshazzar was slain and Darius the Mede took over his kingdom.

How long will it last before the USA will collapse? Will President Trump be able to make America great again? Then he will have to start with drastically cutting back on its expenses and make the country stay within its means. As well as exterminate the rampant corruption in politics. Only God knows if he will do this.

However, we know that God’s Kingdom will never fail and our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. (Philippians 3:20).