No. 731



A few days ago I ran across a cassette, stuck back in a drawer, which contained a number of speeches by the late Bob Murphy. Bob was a wonderful Christian gentleman, and before his death several years ago he was known as one of the best humor speakers in the nation. I was privileged to know him personally.
During one of his speeches he tells his audience, “I am not the best speaker you could have hired, but I am probably the most honest. I am honest to tell you that I don’t know anything about national defense, I don’t know anything about the balance of payments, I don’t know anything about the deficit, I don’t know anything about taxation, I don’t know anything about health care, I don’t know anything about the national debt, I don’t know anything about inflation. I am a little bit surprised that I ain’t been elected to Congress.”
While it may sound vain, I have come to believe that I know as much, and maybe more, than some of the members of Congress. There is no way that intelligent people would let our nation get in the financial mess that we are in. What we have had in Washington for the past 30 to 40 years is a party, paid for by the taxpayers. To my way of thinking, it’s one thing to have a party at taxpayer’s expense, so long as we have the money, but when we start printing money and borrowing money from anyone that will loan it to us, that’s an entirely different matter.
Now, I understand that it takes massive amounts of money to run several wars or a police action, as in the case of Korea, but that pales in comparison to the massive amounts of money spent, or wasted, by politicians trying and getting re-elected. My question is simply this: what happens when the party is over? Will there be a day when we can no longer borrow money to finance the interest on our national debt and keep our economy going? Our forefathers had great wisdom in drafting our Constitution, adopted on Sept. 17, 1787, that established three branches of government to create a balance of power. Since that time it has been amended a total of 27 times.
Keep in mind, these were citizen legislators who expected to serve their country for a brief period of time and then go back to their farm or business to resume life, doing what they did before they were elected to serve. They never intended to become career politicians, like we have today. I just bet if the members of the Second Continental Congress had the chance to do it all over, they would include a national balanced budget amendment and term limits for members of Congress, like we have in 15 states today. In my home state of Arkansas, we have a balanced budget amendment, and our governor just cut $100 million from state spending to insure that we have money left over at the end of the biennial accounting period.
I am not smarter than members of Congress, and I realize the chances of this ever happening are slim and none. The thing I regret most is that younger generations of Americans never experienced what it was like when one income would take care of a family’s needs, with money left over, people had the incentive to buy things and expected to work hard and pay for them, and family values were more important. We also didn’t have prisons bulging at the seams with people who are violent or trying to beat the system. Career politicians have given away our financial stability and made us a debtor nation, from which we may never recover.
It’s a good question. What happens when the party is over? May God give all of our leaders wisdom for the important years to come.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.)