America Is Paying More in Interest on Its $33 Trillion Debt Than on National Defense
Nations and empires usually fall apart when the cost of servicing their debts exceeds the cost of defending their borders. This is a reality that financial historian Niall Ferguson has been warning about for more than a decade. Many ignored Ferguson when he highlighted this point at the 2010 Aspen Ideas Festival. Yet they should take note now that the United States has reached this tipping point.
The government spent over $807 billion in interest on the national debt during the first 11 months of fiscal year 2023, according to the U.S. Treasury’s monthly statement. Meanwhile, it spent $696 billion on national defense. That means debt repayment is 116 percent of military spending.
These statistics are alarming for a number of reasons. For one, since China owns about 2.6 percent of U.S. national debt, America has paid its greatest military rival $21 billion in interest payments this year. It is hard to defend vital trade routes like the South China Sea from a Communist superpower when you are bankrolling its military. But this concerning monetary transfer to China is not actually the biggest threat posed by America’s ballooning national debt.
The main reason empires fall when the cost of servicing their debts exceeds the cost of defending their borders is that rising interest payments force them to slash their defense budgets. Interest payments on the national debt currently consume 20 percent of all tax revenue. If America wants to maintain its current level of military spending, it will have to either raise taxes or borrow more money. The first option will slow economic growth; the second will only drive up interest payments faster.
So America will have to slash its spending to pay its interest payments. Overseas troops and military bases cost U.S. taxpayers more than $156 billion per year, one fifth of all U.S. military spending. If the nation is forced to reduce spending, these bases will be among the first to go.
Hunter DeRensis wrote for the American Conservative:
As Sen. Rand Paul often points out, bankruptcy is the sword of Damocles hanging perilously close to Uncle Sam’s neck. What would transpire if Social Security checks stopped showing up in mailboxes and Medicare benefits got cut off? When presented with that choice, will the average American choose his social safety net or continued funding for far-flung bases in Stuttgart, Okinawa and Djibouti? Even the most militaristic congressperson will know which way to vote, lest they find a mob waiting outside their D.C. castles.
Shuttering foreign bases may buy the U.S. several months of financial solvency, but it will also transform America from a global hegemon into a weakened, vulnerable nation just trying to defend its borders. This is what happened to the Soviet Union, and the Roman Empire long before.
America is not too modern or sophisticated to fall. In fact, the Bible prophesies that it will.
Herbert W. Armstrong explained in The United States and Britain in Prophecy that the Anglo-Saxon peoples who settled the U.S. and Britain are descended from ancient Israel. This means that the Bible’s end-time prophecies concerning Israel are directed at the United States and Britain. These prophecies describe the dominance of America today—and prophesy of a nightmare soon to come.
Mr. Armstrong wrote, “An important additional proof of modern Israel’s identity is found in a fantastic, detailed and most specific prophecy found in Micah 5:7-15. It is speaking specifically about the ‘remnant’ of Israel—modern Israel today—wherever it is. It describes the wealth, the beneficent dominance among nations, and then the coming downfall of the American and British Commonwealth peoples in detail!”
Micah wrote that the “remnant” of Israel would be “as a dew from the Lord” and “as a lion among the beasts of the forest” (verses 7-8). This symbolism describes the last generation of Israel as a superpower, as two brother nations with the power to help establish peace for all human life on this planet.
But what happens next? “And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots: And I will cut off the cities of thy land, and throw down all thy strong holds: And I will cut off witchcrafts out of thine hand; and thou shalt have no more soothsayers: Thy graven images also will I cut off, and thy standing images out of the midst of thee; and thou shalt no more worship the work of thine hands” (verses 10-13).
Today, Americans worship the work of their hands. Because of this, God says that at the moment America reaches the zenith of its power, He will cut off its weapons systems and throw down its bases. He will break not just the pride of America’s power (Leviticus 26:18-19)—but its very power!
The United States and Britain in Prophecy explains numerous means and tools that God will use to accomplish His purpose—including economic troubles, loss of foreign assets, and weather disasters.
It is because America has turned away from God that He is stripping away its ability to finance its military. The U.S. is borrowing trillions from other nations. This rising debt will have a catastrophic end: the collapse of American power. This tragedy may seem like a matter of fiscal mismanagement, but it is actually correction from God designed to cause people to seek Him (Hosea 5:15).
This chastisement will affect the U.S. and Britain first, but then God will correct all nations. It is only after this punishment that people will cry out to God. Only those who voluntarily repent before this calamity strikes will be accounted worthy to escape this coming correction (Luke 21:35-36).
You will be held accountable for your choices. Therefore, it is vitally important to understand what the Bible reveals about America’s collapse. To learn more, read The United States and Britain in Prophecy.