Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019 Puts Final Nail in the Tea-Party Coffin
The Tea-Party movement began as a reaction to the massive budget shortfall that was triggered by the Great Recession. To save Wall Street from its bad bets on subprime mortgages, the Federal government created the $700 billion TARP program. The loss of millions of jobs caused the annual budget deficit to skyrocket.
By 2009, the deficit had exceeded $1 trillion for the first time, reaching $1.4 trillion. Horrified by Washington spenders, CNBC’s Rick Santelli stood on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on February 19, 2009, and called for a “tea party” to end the bailouts, stimulus payments, and red ink. Grassroots Tea-Party groups formed and helped Republicans capture the House in 2010 with a stunning 63-seat pickup and also pick up seven Senate seats.
Unfortunately, this victory proved to be the apex of the Tea-Party movement. Without the leverage of the debt limit, President Obama and Senate Democrats could easily block House Republican spending reforms. The Tea-Party members managed to get $200 billion in promised budget cuts, but these so-called cuts were frequently pushed off into the future until they were finally forgotten.
Many of the Tea-Party lawmakers who had come to Washington to reform government quickly became part of the swamp they had promised to drain. It is simply more fun to spend money. When it’s taxpayer’s money, the thrill is all the more seductive.
The death of the Tea-Party movement and all efforts for budget control came last week when Republican and Democrat leaders agreed to the bill labeled the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019. This two-year agreement raises spending to $320 billion above previously negotiated spending caps and suspends the debt ceiling for two years.
The Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, may have difficulties in trying to sell IOUs to balance the nation’s books. By using budgetary tricks, Mnuchin has allowed the cash reserves of the Treasury to trickle down to dangerously low levels. To get back to normal, Mnuchin will need to find buyers for $815 billion in new debt in the next few months. The world has always purchased up whatever debt we offered them, but bond auctions north of $100 billion may cause the Chinese and Japanese to question the soundness of owning more of our debt.
For the past few years, Washington has used the end of the fiscal year in Sept to lower the size of the annual deficit. In 2017, we were said to have a deficit of $660 billion; and in 2018, we were reported to have a $780 billion budget deficit. If you go back two years and look at the Treasury’s total nation debt records, you would see it increased by $2 trillion. The missing $560 billion deficit is the result of the Treasury spitting out new debt in October and then not counting it as part of that year’s budget.
In fiscal year 2019, we are projected to have a deficit of $1.25 trillion. The real number is $1.5 trillion. If we add the $170 billion that just passed in the Bipartisan Budget Act, the current shortfall will now be around $1.7 trillion. Since there will be more spending projects in the near future, we are going to reach a $2 trillion annual deficit in a very brief period of time.
There is no way we can afford to have another recession without triggering a financial meltdown. Since the last recession, the world has added $63 trillion of debt. Wall Street has leveraged up to levels far beyond where it was in 2008. It is easy to see a deficit of $3-5 trillion if the Great Recession II were to play out.
We are now going into the 10th year of what is the longest period of economic growth in American history. The Federal Reserve lowered interest rates last week by .25% during a time of low unemployment and record stock prices. It made that unusual move because the Fed governors can see the strain debt is having on the global economy. Calamity is headed in our direction, and it is only a matter of time before the fundamental rule of basic economics catches up with us.
Because the rapture is said to be a timeless and tranquil event, I believe it will happen before we reach the breaking point. The longer things hold together, the more convinced I’ve become that there is a connection between the economy and the rapture. It is obvious that something will happen in short order.
“But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:37).
“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way” (2 Thessalonians 2:7).
Roaring Sea in Roaring Twenties
An old apothegm applies, I think, in considering where this generation stands and what it faces: “What goes around comes around.”
This nation, in particular, is beginning to revisit times like experienced early in the twentieth century. I refer to the era termed the “Roaring Twenties.”
The 1920s in America–and in France and other places–saw an outbreak of loosened morals and observable detachment from common sensibility. Also called the “Flapper Era,” because it featured young women scantily dressed and exhibiting comportment totally foreign to earlier modesty, America seemed poised to throw off all shackles of godly influence.
It seems that as we go into 2020 and beyond–the “Roaring Twenties” of these latter days–we’ve reached the point on that turntable of “what goes around, comes around.” That is, we are watching while America is shedding any modesty left and is casting off its common sensibility. The next step on that turntable of history repeating itself isn’t a pleasant prospect.
History shows that judgment of a sort followed the 1920s of a hundred years ago. The judgment was in the form of a corrective action from Heaven. The Dust Bowl followed in the wake of the Roaring Twenties. The Great Depression brought America to her knees and nearly choked the life out of everyone who went through that terrible time.
It took a horrific World War, with the lost lives of millions, to start this nation on the road to recovery from its sinful, life-debilitating addictions.
So it is that we are about to enter the twenties of the twenty-first century. The addictions are not on the cusp of afflicting the people of America; they’re already full blown, with nearly half of the nation seemingly in full-blown rebellion against the God of Heaven. If this generation is at the end of this Age of Grace as I believe it to be, there will be no time for remedial or corrective action by Heaven’s hand. The judgment and wrath will finally put an end to the rebellion of the incorrigible among God’s creation called man.
In terms of Bible prophecy given for the Tribulation, the words of Jesus come to mind: “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring” (Luke 21:25).
That nations are currently in “perplexity,” there should be no question. We’ve dissected matters involved many times in these commentaries, as have journalists of every type in their own forums. Whether considering things geopolitically, socioeconomically, religiously, or any other way, governments are “perplexed” as to what to do about mounting financial distress and violence among the masses they seek to govern/control.
To touch briefly on the latter of these worldwide problems, let’s look at Jesus’ forewarning about these very times, which I’m convinced we find ourselves in today.
The Lord said the nations would be in distress with perplexity with “the sea and waves roaring.”
There are differences of opinion, some believing that Christ was talking here of the physical sea and waves, while others believe He meant the peoples of earth would be raging in wave-like motion. I believe He meant both.
It is the symbolic meaning I wish to look at briefly.
Politically in this nation, we have seen an uproar of epic proportion. The anger and rage over the last few election cycles have been phenomenal–unprecedented in the history of America, as far as I can discern.
But, we’ve looked at all of that many times here. I want us to consider the things going on at this moment not just in our nation, but around the world.
France has seen multiple uprisings against the French government of Immanuel Macron for his confiscatory taxation. The governments of Greece and Italy have been in flux for years due to the mismanagement brought on by social spending insanity.
The people of Great Britain have been roaring against the sovereignty-robbing impositions of the EU. They voted to remove their nations in what has come to be known as Brexit.
Protesters by the thousands have ignited an uproar in Hong Kong as their government has moved toward giving the Chinese Communist government control over previously promised self-government. Many observers fear that a Tiannanmen Square-type massacre could take place in the near future.
We remember the roaring going on in and around Venezuela, with the people trying to take back their nation from the communist-influenced dictatorship.
The masses were raging recently in Puerto Rico, demanding the resignation of their dictator-like governor, Ricardo Roselle.
We are too familiar with the roaring in recent days, with masses of South and Central American citizens trying to illegally break into the U.S., and this administration’s efforts to combat the assaults. As of this writing, despite President Trump’s best efforts, the roaring of the masses from the south continues.
The videos have gone viral–often to the laughs and applauding of many on social media–of New York City policemen being doused with water and hit with buckets and other objects.
Flash mobs continue around particularly America’s big cities, with thugs stealing thousands of dollars worth of merchandise from stores.
Now, gangs of young women–mostly teenagers–in the inner cities of the country have formed and are attacking those with whom they come in contact, beating their victims senseless for no reason.
The sea of humanity is definitely roaring, with wave after wave of violence that, it seems to me, matches the violence of Noah’s day as given in Genesis chapter 6.
Jesus’ foretelling of this very hour at the end of the age appears to be right in front of us. We see it all developing in these viral videos and even through our hourly news. It all indicates that we’re nearing the midnight hour of human history.
Christ is about to call the Church–all born-again believers living and dead—to Himself. Christians don’t face gloom and doom because of having to endure God’s judgment and wrath; believers can look forward to a truly glorious prospect indeed!
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)