By John J. Duncan Jr.
I am a big fan of the author Eric Metaxas and especially of his book “Miracles,” which I would recommend to anyone.
He wrote a best-selling biography of the theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer and a highly-acclaimed biography of Martin Luther.
His newest book, which I have not read but hope to, is entitled “Fish Out of Water,” about how out of place he felt as a working-class kid among the rich at Yale, from which he graduated.
However, I pulled out my copy of Bonhoeffer not for any theology but because of what he wrote about the horrendous inflation that hit Germany in the 1920s:
“For Germany, 1923 was disastrous. The German mark, which had begun to slide two years earlier, went into free fall. In 1921 it dropped to 75 marks to the dollar, the next year to 400; and by early 1923 it plunged to 7000. But this was only the beginning of sorrows.”
“The resultant economic turmoil would make the bleak conditions of a few months earlier look like the good old days: by August a dollar was worth one million marks; and by September, August seemed like the good old days. By November 1923 a dollar was worth about four billion German marks.”
And Germany at that time was thought to be the best, or at least one of the best, educated countries in the world. That inflation was one of the main things that led to the rise of Hitler.
Sometime in the very early 90s, I went to a presentation in Washington about what Argentina was doing to try to save its social security system, which was very similar to ours.
They had been hit by such terrible inflation in the late 80s that grocery stores had to raise their prices on average every four hours.
I thought of all this in relation to the “drunken sailor” spending the Congress has been doing over the last couple of years.
Our national debt was around three trillion when I went to Congress in 1989. I thought that was too high. Now, it is a humanly-incomprehensible 28 trillion, having risen a mind-boggling six trillion in the last couple of years.
President Biden’s so-called COVID-19 Relief Bill will add $1.9 trillion that we do not have to this debt, and most of it has nothing to do with coronavirus.
If we were going to spend this much, we could have given about $5,700 to every man, woman, and child in this country.
Instead, everyone making under $75,000 a year will get $1,400 checks on top of the earlier $600 payments. All the rest of this money will be spent by government bureaucrats.
Democrats believe that federal bureaucrats can spend your money in better ways than you can.
The worst spending in this latest bill is $350 billion to bail out the high tax states and cities that have forced so many of their citizens to move to low tax states.
The bulk of that money is going to the pious, holier-than-thou blue state governors and mayors who locked down their states and cities and thus now have the highest rates of unemployment.
I am blessed to have nine grandchildren, all living in Knox county, ranging in age from five to 17.
I know people love getting these checks from the government, but it is almost sinful how much debt we are piling on to our children and grandchildren.
Simply printing more and more money has never worked yet in any country. If you operate a national government in such a fiscally-irresponsible way, you end up with terrible inflation, terrible deflation, or, worst of all, a combination of both.
For some reason, too many seem to believe this country is immune from financial disaster. I hope they are right.