The National Debt Is a Domestic Security Threat

The United States government will soon be spending more on interest payments than on national defense.

The United States national debt passed $20 trillion in September. Outgoing Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen recently testified before Congress that the nation’s current debt trajectory is “the type of thing that should keep people awake at night.”

Other economists may point to the fact that America hasn’t been debt-free since 1835 and that the national debt isn’t a problem as long as the economy keeps growing. But this assessment overlooks some fundamental realities. The national debt may actually be the most significant threat to America’s national security.

Why Is Debt a Threat?

The gross domestic product of the United States is $19 trillion. But since the nation carries $20 trillion in debt, America owes more than it makes in a year. In fact, America’s current debt-to-gdp ratio is higher than it has been at any point since the end of the Second World War.

During World War ii, however, the government was going into debt paying for a war that was going to end. Today, the government is going into debt paying for retirement and health-care programs that are expected to grow more expensive. According to Congressional Budget estimates, the national debt is projected to soar to an unfathomable $92 trillion over the next 30 years. By the end of the decade, the U.S. could be spending nearly $800 billion a year just on interest payments.

Financial historian Niall Ferguson has warned that nations and empires usually fall apart when the cost of servicing their debts exceeds the cost of defending their borders. Based on current budget projections, America will be spending more on interest payments than on national defense within five years. If interest rates on U.S. Treasury bonds increase, the nation could reach this point much sooner.

What Does the Bible Say?

In ancient times, God instructed the Israelites that blessings come from obedience to His laws, just as curses come from disobedience. In Deuteronomy 28, God specifically warned that debt problems are one of the many curses that come from disobedience. Specifically, God warned that if Israel turned away from Him, strangers would lend them money, but they would not lend to others.

America’s current economic woes are not the cause of its problems. Instead, they are one of many symptoms that point to the greater problem of rebellion against God’s law.

To learn more about the dangers of out-of-control government spending, request our free reprint article “The Biggest Threat to America’s National Security,” by Joel Hilliker.