Mar 15, 2010
A Radical Transformation Event
There is a booming business in economic doom. I have noticed a huge increase in the number of blogs and YouTube videos that talk about the growing debt crisis. I have several people who send me a flood of news stories on financial matters.
The latest reports on America 's national debt have been stunning. The Treasury Department said that the February deficit totaled $220.9 billion, which is 14 percent higher than the previous record set in February of last year. The deficit through the first five months of this budget year totals $651.6 billion--10.5 percent higher than a year ago.
There is a huge gap between the money coming in and the money being paid out. Last month, the Fed reported outlays of $328.4 billion and revenues of $107.5 billion. If the U.S. government took 100 percent of all citizensí net income, the tax receipts generated would not be enough to balance the budget.
America is running on a credit. In the past two years, the operating cost of the federal government went from $5.122 trillion to $7.805 trillion. That's almost ten percent of GDP in net fed spending to prop up consumption and output. The dilemma we face is like someone who is taking a drug that keeps his heart functioning, while at the same time, the drug is eating away at his lungs and kidneys.
The look down the road is very dire. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said last week that Obama's proposed budget would add more than $9.7 trillion to the national debt over the next decade. Even if the economy recovered from recession, we would still see trillion-dollar deficits. By 2020, a third of all taxes would go to just paying $800 billion in interest on the debt.
The problem is not just with the federal government. Several U.S. states are walking financial zombies. California, New Jersey, Illinois, etc. are running deficits and debt levels that are far worse than those of Washington D.C. in percentage terms.
The state of Illinois fits all the classic measures that one would apply to a bankrupt company. Governor Pat Quinn has stopped paying some debts as his state faces a $13 billion budget deficit.
As I pointed out last week, the debt problem is not just in the U.S. and Greece. Iceland and Great Britain have also been showing up on the radar.
The Icelandic people overwhelmingly rejected a plan to pay $5.3 billion to Britain and the Netherlands to reimburse customers of a failed Icelandic bank. The referendum has now put Iceland 's credit rating into question.
Britain is on course to borrow the equivalent of 12.8 percent of GDP for this fiscal year, exceeding the 12.7 percent forecast in crisis-hit Greece and far above the average 6 percent for Europe. Britain ís debt-to-GDP ratio is forecast to reach 82 percent this year, almost double the level two years ago.
Greece is already proving how difficult it is to deal with an out-of-control budget. The Greek government cut spending by 3 percent, and the result was rioting in the streets of Athens. The plan is to cut spending by another 3 percent in both 2011 and 2012. If people are unhappy now, it may lead to revolution when these planned cuts kick in.
The current problem reminds me of what happened in the 1980s when the Soviet bloc suddenly collapsed like a row of dominoes. It was amazing to see one communist government after another fall to some force that they were powerless to resist. I think it is obvious that God decided the time of the communist empire was up, and He caused its downfall.
The fact that we have the U.S., Japan, and the lion's share of European nations on the edge of a financial collapse from too much debt tells me that another radical transformation event is about to unfold. There are just too many nations in play for the situation to be coincidental.
What makes the possibility of a financial meltdown so fitting to the subject of Bible prophecy is the fact it would "kill two birds with one stone." First, a financial meltdown would set the world up for the mark of the Beast system; second, it would be a clear indication that God is removing His hand of protection.
The timing of the rapture would also matter because the ultimate removal of protection will involve the removal of the Church itself. When the Church is gone, the restraining factor will leave with it, and the devil will be free to do as he pleases.
ďAnd when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh" (Luke 21:28).
Prophetic Ponderings on the Ides of March
Thinking on the portentous date this commentary is posted, my ponderings gravitated naturally toward Julius Caesar's fate. The Roman dictator was, of course, assassinated by those closest to him on March 15, 44 B.C., after having been forewarned, according to Shakespeare's literary treatment of the story, to "beware the Ides of March."
Remembering Caesar and the reasons for his murder made me think of God's prophetic Word on the future Caesar of the revived Roman Empire. He will be planet earth's final tyrant--the Antichrist. We have considered in these columns many times the movement toward his biblically predicted ascension to power. That movement continues in many areas of today's world, both major developments and the less conspicuous.
RaptureReady.com consistently presents news and commentary on the on-rushing geopolitical flood of major issues and events--most of which, we are convinced, involve Antichrist's ultimately assuming power. We monitor, for example, the European Union (EU) reconfiguring to become the nucleus of the revived Roman Empire out of which will develop the ten-toe kingdom of Daniel chapter 2 and Revelation 17:12-13; the global socioeconomic pressures forcing all nations into a new world order that the future tyrant will one day control with an iron fist; and Israel's being pressured by the nations of the world to make a false peace with its blood-vowed enemies, some of whom openly proclaim they want the Jewish state erased from off the earth.
When we move from such major issues, we dissect news at the next tier down. We examine the infrastructure of the major prophecies for news of developments we sense might make Antichrist's regime possible. For example, we explore technological developments, such as analyzed in my most previous Nearing Midnight commentary, "Big Brotherism," about the surveillance machinery that threatens liberty at many levels.
So, in that vein, when considering the Ides of March, tyrants, and the approaching time of Antichrist, the focus of this week's commentary leaped at me. The serious intention by two well-known senators, one a Democrat and one a Republican, to bring into federal law a major step toward increasing government's intrusive control over "we the people" grabbed my attention.
The legislative move, of course, is portrayed as something to solve a problem and benefit the American people. It is being considered in the name of solving the illegal alien problem.
Lawmakers working to craft a new comprehensive immigration bill have settled on a way to prevent employers from hiring illegal immigrants: a national biometric identification card all American workers would eventually be required to obtain.
Under the potentially controversial plan still taking shape in the Senate, all legal U.S. workers, including citizens and immigrants, would be issued an ID card with embedded information, such as fingerprints, to tie the card to the worker....
The uphill effort to pass a bill is being led by Sens. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) and Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), who plan to meet with President Barack Obama as soon as this week to update him on their work....
The biggest objections to the biometric cards may come from privacy advocates, who fear they would become de facto national ID cards that enable the government to track citizens. (Laura Meckler, "Source: ID Card for Workers Is at Center of Immigration Plan," Dow Jones & Co., Rapture Ready News, 3/9/10).
Even the left-wing organization usually in favor of ever-expanding government (at least as concerns more social programs), the ACLU, sees the dangers of such intrusion by the Federal government. Chris Calabrese, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, weighed in. "It is fundamentally a massive invasion of people's privacy," he said. "We're not only talking about fingerprinting every American [and] treating ordinary Americans like criminals in order to work. We're also talking about a card that would quickly spread from work to voting to travel to pretty much every aspect of American life that requires identification."
He is right. Proposal of such a card brings forth the ominous feeling that somewhere down the line we as Americans might be hearing the words often heard in movies about Hitler's Germany: "Show me your papers." His warning of things to come echoes within the spiritually attuned senses. It's not unlike Julius Caesar being told, "Beware the Ides of March."