Britain’s Fiscal Cliff

Britain’s Fiscal Cliff

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Britain’s economy is heading for disaster, and 94 percent of the country knows nothing about it.

Most people in Britain think their government is doing a great job of handling its debt. A poll published earlier this month found that 49 percent thought the government was planning to slash the national debt by £600 billion (us$1 trillion) between 2010 and 2015. Another 14 percent said the government planned to keep it the same. Thirty-one percent weren’t sure.

More people believe that Elvis is alive than understand what is happening to the national debt.
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Only 6 percent said the government was planning to increase the debt by £600 billion. But the 6 percent are right!

Britain’s debt is exploding—and 94 percent of the country is ignorant of it. As one newspaper put it, “More people believe that Elvis is alive than understand what is happening to the national debt.”

There’s little wonder. Newspaper headlines, government ministers and opposition leaders alike all talk about “the cuts.” Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has talked on several occasions of “wiping the slate clean.”

But that’s not what is happening. At best, Britain’s leaders and journalists are refusing to sound the alarm while the nation lurches toward economic oblivion. At worse, they’re deceiving the public.

According to the government’s forecasts, Britain’s national debt is set to rise from £770 billion (us$1.25 trillion) in 2010, shortly before this government took office, to £1.36 trillion when Parliament stands down for elections in 2015.

That’s an increase of roughly £600 billion. The UK’s current population is 62.6 million. The increase in debt is nearly £10,000 (us$16,000) for every man, woman and child in the country. And remember, this is only government debt, not personal or mortgage debt.

Back in 2010, the government owed the equivalent of 53 percent of Britain’s entire economy. By the end of this Parliament in 2015, this figure is forecast to hit 79 percent.

However you look at it, Britain’s debt is rising—fast.

So why all the talk of cuts? Why do so many think it is falling? It all gets back to confusion between two words: debt and deficit.

Debt is the total amount of money the government owes. Deficit is the amount of money the government borrows each year. It is the rate at which the debt grows.

For example, in fiscal year 2010-2011, the government borrowed £136.7 billion—this is its deficit. The next year it borrowed £121.4 billion. It cut the deficit—it borrowed less in 2011 than it did in 2010. But it didn’t cut the debt, which still grew by well over £100 billion. All the cutting just meant that the debt didn’t grow quite as much as it did the year before.

This graph, from the Guardian, gives a good idea of how much the debt is growing each year. It may be growing by less than the year before, but it’s growing by more than at any time before 2009.

But politicians still talk as if they’re tackling Britain’s debt problem. The government wants people to think it’s taking the tough action necessary to solve Britain’s problems. The opposition wants people to think the government is being excessively cruel, cutting the budget too quickly at the expense of the poor. Unions want people to think that cruel government cuts are robbing their members of their livelihoods.

What no one wants to say is that Britain is spending wildly beyond its means. The government is like a helmsman on a ship heading for the rocks who is making only a few minor course corrections. The ship needs a complete change in direction.

The press is just as much to blame, if not more so. It routinely misuses “debt” and “deficit,” giving readers the impression that the government is solving Britain’s economic problems. How much easier would it be for the government to make the tough decisions necessary if the press was honest about how bad the problem is?

Britain’s debt is part of a failure that cuts across all its institutions. It’s a failure of government, of education, of communication and of morals.

But there is hope for Britain. There is a sure path to prosperity. Over the last 200 years, Britain has been given great blessings—including financial blessings—as gifts from God. At one time, the country was more responsible with its finances. God has a plan to turn Britain to Him so He can pour out those blessings in even greater abundance. This will start with providing proper leadership.

Before this can happen, Britain must turn to God in genuine repentance. This will require a lot of pain; it will mean economic collapse in the near future. But out of total collapse will emerge a nation whose prosperity will be a blessing for the whole world.

For more information on this hope, read our free book by Herbert W. Armstrong, The United States and Britain in Prophecy.

Germany May Take on Google—the Whole Internet Watches

Germany’s parliament is considering a bill that could force Google to pay for using contents of German newspapers.

Google has long argued that it provides a free service to newspapers by bringing people to their websites. But German newspapers want Google to pay for their stories that appear on Google’s news page. Many see it as a test case in copyright law versus Internet freedom.

Such an issue might not have been so highlighted if German newspapers were running well. Business daily Financial Times Deutschland was forced to close early this month due to reported poor management and what the newspaper claimed was an impact from the Internet. It is no surprise that German newspapers aren’t happy with Google News.

“They want their piece of the big cake and they argue that it’s their copyright that is used and if anyone is using content for business then they should pay for it,” said Peter Zschunke, journalist, Networld at German Press Agency.

The battle between the search engine giant and the Eurozone’s most powerful economy will end in what will most likely be a global precedent.

“The whole internet is watching,” added Zschunke.

If German legislators get their way, watch for other countries to follow suit.

Biblical prophecy describes a rapacious economic powerhouse emerging in the end time that rules over global trade and commerce. Europe is rapidly stepping into that role and is increasingly demanding the world get in line. Read our articles “Bending the World to Its Rules” and “Financial Regulation in Prophecy!” for more understanding on this subject.

To understand the depth of Germany’s ambition and how far they will succeed, read Who or What Is the Prophetic Beast?

Germany—Filling the Gap

Germany—Filling the Gap

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The recent move by Germany to deploy military personnel and missile hardware to Turkey hastens the fulfillment of end-time prophecy on two fronts.

The Balkan Peninsula, Malta, Greece, Cyprus, Lebanon, Turkey. These are the stepping stones from Mitteleuropa, via the Mediterranean, to Jerusalem.

With the German Parliament finally approving the deployment of 400 troops, and multiple batteries of Patriot missiles to Turkey, this has further enhanced the strategic linkage between Europe and the Middle East that German elites have desired all along. It literally hastens the prospect of the prophesied king of the north surrounding Jerusalem with armies (Luke 21: 20). All that now stands between this deployment of German military strength and its marching a peace-keeping force into Jerusalem is the dislocating nation of Syria. And as German-Foreign-Policy.com has noted, Germany is well embedded in the process of influencing the outcome of the Syrian debacle .

Not only that, with this move Germany also strengthens its strategic process of surrounding Iran in preparation for its projected assault on that nation.

The whole process began with Berlin stimulating the Balkan wars of the 1990s by unilateral recognition of Croatia and Slovenia as sovereign states separate from greater Yugoslavia. The Vatican quickly seconded that move. Thus began the revival of the old Rome/Berlin axis which had caused so much bloodshed in the past, most especially in the form of the Holy Roman Empire.

Drawing Malta, Greece and Cyprus into the EU maw was a natural progression of German Balkan strategy. The acceptance of Greece and Cyprus into the European Monetary Union, when clearly neither had met the criteria for membership, only guaranteed their future economic enslavement by Berlin once their respective economies failed, which under euro criteria they were bound to do. As a consequence, as this scenario plays out, Germany, via the European Union, will soon have possession of some of the most militarily strategic locations en route via the Mediterranean to the Middle East.

Germany’s linkage with Turkey is slated to play out against the strategic interests of the United States, Britain and the embattled nation of Israel, according to Bible prophecy. Yet it also gives Germany a missile base on Iran’s western flank, a very handy position for it to be in to fulfill the prophecy of its soon coming against the king of the south like a veritable nuclear whirlwind! (Daniel 11:40).

The great hope in all of this is that it portends the greatest event ever to befall this planet—the return of its Redeemer to put down all rebellion against the Creator and finally bring world peace to an everlasting reality (Luke 21:28).

Study our booklet History and Prophecy of the Middle East for more prophetic detail on these events.

Germany Increases Military Involvement in Afghanistan and Syria

Germany has said it will continue to intervene in Afghanistan and Syria. On Tuesday, President Joachim Gauck met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul. Gauck said that Germany will continue to play a major role in Afghanistan after it withdraws its combat troops in 2014.

Berlin says it will provide training for Afghan security forces, and that it will also help the Afghan people with development and reconstruction.

On Friday, the Bundestag voted 461-86 to deploy Patriot missiles to Turkey’s border with Syria. The two missile batteries, along with 400 German soldiers, are part of a nato deployment that will last for one year.

Bible prophecy indicates that Germany will become much more involved in both Afghanistan and Syria. In both countries, Germany is looking to contain Iran’s growing influence. The Bible says that tension between Germany and Iran will ultimately lead to another crusade that will pit Catholic Europe against Iran and radical Islam.

To understand more about Germany’s prophesied future, request our free booklets Germany and the Holy Roman Empire and The King of the South.

Will the World End on December 21?

Thanks to a Mayan calendar prophecy, many people think the world will end this week.

Germany Wins Battle Over Banking Regulation

Germany Wins Battle Over Banking Regulation

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Germany proves it controls Europe, and ensures things stay that way.

European Union leaders announced that they had decided on banking regulation in the early hours of the morning, December 13. European leaders hailed it as a great success. But a success for whom?

Germany got its way on just about every issue. These bank regulations demonstrate who controls Europe now, and will help Germany continue its control into the future.

Under the agreement, the European Central Bank (ecb) will oversee Europe’s largest banks. No eurozone members will be able to opt out. There are a lot of details, but the gist of the matter is that Germany wanted a small, impotent new bank regulator, and that is what it got. There are a few reasons for this:

  • Germany wanted its local banks free of the regulation. Some of these banks are dodgy—state-owned and lending money for risky, local government projects. They’re an important part of how Germany’s local government and companies are funded, and Germany doesn’t want an external regulator prying into that.
  • It doesn’t want to distract the ecb from its core purpose of preventing inflation. Germany is very concerned with inflation and it worries that giving the ecb more to do will detract from its main function.
  • Out of Europe’s roughly 6,000 banks, only 150 to 200 will be subject to the ecb’s regulation.

    But there is a more nefarious reason for Germany’s opposition. Currently, the eurozone is caught in a vicious cycle that drives nations to Germany. In Ireland, for example, the nation’s banks got into trouble. The government bailed out the banks, but this led to the government itself getting into financial difficulty. So Ireland was forced to turn to Germany and submit to its terms. The same process is going on in Spain right now.

    The ultimate goal of the banking union is to break this cycle. Instead of the banks getting bailed out by the government, they’d get bailed out by a central EU fund. If this was put into place, German money would bail out the banks directly. The national governments would remain solvent. Germany would get no control over nations.

    Handing over money without being able to control how it is spent is exactly what Germany is trying to avoid. From the German point of view it is quite reasonable—why hand over billions of euros if you can’t stop the nation you’re lending it to from repeating its mistakes and needing another few billion in a few years’ time?

    But, no matter how it looks to Germany, the process forces nations to hand over sovereignty. Once a nation is bailed out, democratically elected governments no longer make decisions about how taxpayers’ money is spent. European officials do it. It is a mild form of occupation.

    Last week’s deal will do nothing to stop this process. Countries whose banks get into trouble will still need to go to Germany for help. There may be some exceptions to this for the more “important” members of the eurozone. Spain, for example, was able to get a much better deal for bailing out its banks than Ireland.

    Allowing a central fund to bail out banks, something that would really stop the cycle, was kicked into the long grass. And Germany doesn’t want Europe to make any progress on this any time soon. “Angela Merkel has made it clear that Berlin is not ready to pay for the resolution of other people’s banks,” wrote the Financial Times’ Wolfgang Münchau.

    “The most I would expect is a small resolution fund, financed by the banks themselves—something too small to do the job,” he wrote.

    German politicians, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, have called for something resembling a European superstate. This implies they will form a banking union with a real bank bailout fund at some point. But Germany doesn’t want it quite yet.

    A European superstate is coming. But it will happen on Germany’s terms. Any efforts at integration, like this banking union, that come at the wrong time for Germany’s liking, won’t succeed.