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  • Writer's pictureTroy Riggs

The Greatest Threat to America

Unethical Leadership

Troy Riggs

Have you ever read news stories about millionaires who have filed for bankruptcy? They couldn’t live within their means. We all look with confusion on how someone with so much could lose it all due to living an extravagant lifestyle without any regards for the future.

As unexplainable as this is, our nation is on the same trajectory.

The United States of America was already living beyond its means before the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the beginning of the pandemic trillions have been paid out. Unfortunately, much of this money was for special interest issues which had nothing to do with COVID. This enormous influx of money has raised our debt at an unprecedented amount and is one of the major causes of inflation. It seems we are in a full-on debt crisis, and no one seems to care.

“It is my belief that the

massive debt of the United States of America

is due to an ethical crisis!”

Why do I believe unethical leadership is to blame? The decision making of the current and former presidents and congressional leaders demonstrate an unethical approach to leading this nation. It is this lack of ethical decision-making that has resulted in placing the wealthiest, most powerful nation in the history of the world in a precarious position that threatens the quality of life and international leadership Americans have come to expect and enjoy.

Our leaders have failed us and we have failed holding them accountable. Enjoying the freedoms and wealth, without investing in this country’s future as previous generations have done is perhaps a fatal mistake.

I believe it is unethical decision-making that has led to our massive debt. It is this debt that threatens our stability as a country, our leadership position in the world, and quite possibly our ability to defend ourselves from aggressors. Unfortunately, we have done this to ourselves.

Currently the United States budget deficit is 30,500,000,000,000—that’s 30.5 trillion dollars--meaning, every American citizen’s part of the debt is $91,435; or every current American taxpayer’s share of the debt is $242,501.

This is troublesome enough, but does not tell the whole story. Unfunded obligations (examples include social security, medicare, etc.) are at a record 169 trillion dollars. That is a liability of $508,449 per citizen.

We must realize that these numbers do not capture state and local debt or the numerous pension plans with funding incapable of handling future liabilities.

Debt and unfunded liabilities of US federal government is approaching $200,000,000,000,000. The number of US citizens available to pay for it is 329,000,000. However, the nation currently has 125,000,000 taxpayers. Here is a visual that puts our debt into perspective.

$199,500,000,000,000 Debt and unfunded liability (Federal only)

125,000,000 Taxpayers

Solomon is considered by many to be the wisest person who ever lived. He had this to say about debt in Proverbs 22:7--“the borrower is the slave of the lender.”

We are mortgaging our future, our children’s future, and have placed our nation’s future in jeopardy.

I believe it is a lack of ethical decision making by leaders of both political parties. Decisions should be based on what is good and right for the citizens and not for self-serving reasons. This fiduciary responsibility should be paramount, but it is treated with contempt by too many of our elected officials. I believe it is a leader’s duty or obligation to those he/she serves to be honest and address this growing crisis.

Let me share a few questions which should be asked and my thoughts on each:

--Is it financially acceptable for a nation to have such tremendous debt?

There was one other time in our nation’s history where our percentage of debt was similar to where it is today. That debt was due to the high cost of World War II. In this case, I believe it was ethical to hold so much debt. The future of our nation and the world hung in the balance.

However, we are in a much different position today. Elected officials are printing and borrowing money we don’ t have and, in my opinion, rewarding those with similar ideologies or using the funds to support their reelection campaigns through a whole host of give-a-ways.

--Is it ethical for a nation to have such debt?

There is nothing good, right, or moral about such a lack of fiscal discipline. Stealing from the next generation for our comfort today is wrong and unethical.

--Doesn’t a leader have a fiduciary responsibility to ensure stability for current and future generations?

Leaders who fail to make tough fiscal decisions, mortgaging the future for their reelection campaigns are not leaders. They are opportunists who care more about themselves than doing what is right and prudent. These officials need to be replaced with individuals who understand their commitment is to current and future American generations.

What should we do about our current crisis?

Let me be clear, the debt belongs to all American citizens. It grew because we allowed it to do so. It will only be reduced, if we demand action through ideas and long-range planning.

While there are opportunities for our country to get back on course, there are also additional threats the must be overcome--a rush to Socialism by so many threatens our finances and liberties; COVID mutations or another pandemic; and the rise of China as a formidable adversary with the goal of surpassing the United States economically and militarily.

I still, however, believe in our country and believe it is not too late to address this issue. America has faced and conquered numerous challenges. I pray, that ethical men and women will stand firm and challenge the status quo. With good, ethical leadership, debt can be eliminated, and the United States can usher in a stronger, more vibrant economy, and continue to lead the world with an economic strength never witnessed before.

We at Riggs Ventures would love to hear your thoughts:

Please participate in our 1st Amendment discussion below to share your ideas on moving forward to ensure America remains the great and powerful country with a history as promising as it’s tremendous past.

Please share link on your social media with #ethicaldecisionmaking

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