Todd Strandberg – http://www.raptureready.com/rap16.html
The American economy is facing a date so dire that it has been given titles like the “Fiscal Cliff” and “Taxmageddon.” Several websites have created countdown clocks, all pointing to the end of the year. CNBC, the financial news network, has been handing out “Rise Above” buttons to call attention to the crisis. Even Bono, the lead singer of Irish band U2, is worried about the fiscal cliff, saying spending cuts would devastate programs to help the world’s poor, leading to more than 60,000 deaths.
The fiscal cliff is a deadline created by Congress in 2011 after it failed to agree to a budget and tax plan that would deal with the mammoth national deficit. At the start of 2013, the so-called Bush tax cuts will expire, triggering a series of spending cuts and tax increases.
The common fear is that the shock from the tax rise will drive our fragile economy back into a recession. The confusion created by the uncertain tax code will also cause businesses to set aside plans for expansion.
I have no doubt that the current fiscal cliff crisis will eventually be resolved. The process is about as predictable as the annual pardoning of the Thanksgiving turkey. Republican lawmakers and President Obama may dance on the edge of the abyss, but they will eventually come to some resolution. The stock market will have a huge rally, and the president will be hailed by the liberal press as the man who saved America from financial disaster.
This little charade will do nothing to prevent us from facing the real fiscal cliff. The best possible agreement that Washington is capable of hammering out will only trim $100 billion from a shortfall that is expected to be around $1.3 trillion for the current fiscal year. Any agreement will totally ignore the growing problem with entitlements.
The new taxes that President Obama is demanding to be part of any agreement will be quickly eaten up by new spending. Just last week, the number of people on food stamps hit a fresh new high. Since Obama was just reelected under the idea that he was the captain of a slow recovery, there needs to be an explanation for why welfare rolls are continuing to expand.
Medicare is a huge monster that is growing at 8 percent per year. In 1986, the annual cost of Medicare for all states was $100 billion. It is now $800 billion, and in the next twenty years, that cost will rise to over $3 trillion per year.
Even if we fix the problems with the main budget, there is another fiscal cliff with a host of agencies that are privately funded but managed by the government. Just last week, we learned the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., a federal agency that insures pensions, has a deficit of $34 billion; the US postal office is $15.9 billion in the red; and the Federal Housing Administration has shortfall of $90 billion.
Uncle Sam has been so active in playing the role of global insurance man that we now have obligation that are over $60 trillion. If we don’t have the money to patch up these small cracks in the dam, it is obvious that the feds would be powerless to stop a substantial breach.
Now that Mitt Romney is no longer running for office, he appears to be speaking more freely about the 47 percent. He spoke during a conference call with his highest donors to talk about what exactly happened on election night. Having recanted of his 47 percent comment in the days leading up to the vote, he now seems to have gone full circle:
“The President’s campaign focused on giving targeted groups a big gift-so he made a big effort on small things… You can imagine for somebody making $25,000 or $30,000 or $35,000 a year, being told you’re now going to get free healthcare, particularly if you don’t have it, getting free healthcare worth, what, $10,000 per family, in perpetuity. I mean, this is huge,” said Romney.
The reason there is not outrage by the public over this is because most people don’t understand the untenable nature of our financial state of affairs. The government currently lacks the ability to collect enough tax revenue to cover the mandatory spending portion of our national budget. Any talk of slashing the discretionary items is pointless. It’s as if the U.S. economy is a speeding train heading towards a chasm at 100 mph, and the conductors are arguing about whether they should slow down to 80 or 90 mph.
Once we go over the real fiscal cliff and reach a point where the government is unable to pay its bills, America will descend into political chaos. I think people will be stunned at how quickly their civil rights will be sacrificed to restore order.
The fact that we’ve managed to avoid a depression for four years now seems to indicate that God may be planning to drop a financial bomb on this sinful world. The longer things hold together, the more convinced I am that the Rapture may be what triggers this meltdown.
“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28).