Forget the IRS and Benghazi! Here’s the Real Scandal: Profli-Gate, observes Crown’s Chuck Bentley in the Washington Post

Scandals in American government are nothing new.  As King Solomon noted, “There is nothing new under the sun.” In fact, most of us can recall a number of major government failures that have come and gone.

Forty years to the week (May 1973) of the Senate hearings of the Nixon administration’s Watergate scandal, we have Benghazi GateIRS Gate and theAssociated Press Gate all converging in the second term of President Obama.

  • Benghazi Gate. The government is accused of spinning the truth about what actually caused the tragic events at the American Embassy in Benghazi, Libya. Hearings will reveal more details in the days to come.
  • IRS Gate. The government acknowledges that hundreds of conservative groups were singled out for additional IRS screening in an effort to identify those that were politically active and therefore not eligible for tax exemptions.  Some of that private information was reportedly leaked to political operatives favorable to the White House.
  • Associated Press Gate. The government acknowledges that it tapped the private and business phone conversations of Associated Press reporters and one AP editor as part of a Justice Department leak investigation, placing a higher value on uncovering the source of the leak than the First Amendment rights to a free press.

The problems facing our President and his administration are formidable and troubling to all Americans.  We need to sincerely pray for all of our leaders and our nation.

Do I believe that this convergence of actual and suspected scandals will lead to the downfall of President Obama or any of his loyal staff and operatives? Not for a minute.

America is a different nation than it was 40 years ago.

All the scandals receiving intense media, legal and political scrutiny today are ethical in nature. While some will cry they are a violation of the sacred trust we place in those elected to provide good governance to our nation, moral relativism rules the day.

Without a moral compass, an absolute standard to determine right from wrong, one man’s ethics are quickly dismissed by another man’s counter argument.

“Spin” and outright propaganda are so prevalent that they are no longer considered a serious breech of trust. They are standard operating procedure in American political machinery.  Ethical deviations are dismissed as nuances, part and parcel of the political gamesmanship conducted by both sides.

Today, we also have an unprecedented level of government dependence. A record number of the American population receives some form of income from a government program, estimated to be as high as one-half. Many are unwilling “to bite the hand that feeds it.”

But in the midst of the present-day drama with both sides entrenched in a battle to discredit the other party, a bigger scandal is underway right under our noses: perpetual runaway federal spending. We are now a people governed by profligate spenders.

 Profligate means  .  Our tax dollars fall short of the annual expenses of the federal government by almost one third or more, year after year. Since World War II, we have overspent our national income in all but eight years. Worse, the money that is borrowed is consumed on inefficient, bureaucratic programs that accomplish little, but pile up debt seemingly impossible to be repaid.

This scandal shows no favoritism. It holds the potential to deliver the most devastating consequences to all Americans – those that receive government income and those that do not.  This scandal is not a judgment call based upon personal ethics. It is a mathematical fact measured by the gap between our nation’s income and expenses. It is measured in trillions of dollars and growing.

By attempting to borrow our way out of a debt problem, we are attempting to put out a fire with gasoline.

Forty years ago, we were the largest lending nation on Earth, today we are the largest debtor nation on Earth.  We lost our basis for common ethics and our prosperity will surely follow. Proverbs 22:7 warns: “The borrower is servant to the lender.”

God’s Word is the only source of absolute ethics. He told the Israelites that their collective prosperity would be conditional upon their personal obedience to His commands.  Deuteronomy 28 lays out His conditions in vivid terms:

“If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all His commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on Earth.” (v.1)

“However, if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all His commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come upon you and over take you:” (v.15)

Regardless of the outcome of this latest round of government misdeeds, theProfligate Scandal marches on. Neither Republicans nor Democrats nor the American voters have yet to muster the courage to call for it to end. We can’t even agree that it needs to end.

Americans somehow are blinded by the myth that it will magically disappear through economic growth, more federal debt, minuscule reductions in annual budget deficits or through the next promising politician.

Like a high stakes game of musical chairs, the music will stop and the charade will one day become painfully apparent. Profligate will be revealed as the greatest scandal ever perpetuated on the American people. The good faith and credit of America, once trusted the world over, will be gone.

Can it be averted? Only if we return our hearts to God and carefully obey His ethics.

That will come through a revival at the grassroots level, in the homes and churches across our land, not through the political process. But to end this cycle of scandal, even in Washington, D.C., personal character must be revived in all.

Chuck Bentley is CEO of Crown, a nonprofit business and personal finance policy and educational organization and author of “The S.A.L.T. Plan: How to Prepare for an Economic Crisis of Biblical Proportions.” He is the host of the nationally syndicated radio feature, My MoneyLife™. Follow Bentley on Twitter @chuckbentley.

About Chuck Bentley

CEO, Crown Mininstries
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5 Responses to Forget the IRS and Benghazi! Here’s the Real Scandal: Profli-Gate, observes Crown’s Chuck Bentley in the Washington Post

  1. Lee Sorenson says:

    I wonder why so few people are listening? The Handwriting is on the Wall………..

    God is sovereign and I will trust him.

    Lee Sorenson

  2. Jo Turner says:

    Chuck, it really does seem like things will get better, because in the news you read about unemployment being lower, the economy “seems” to be recovering some, etc., etc. Or, maybe with the next administration things will be better. I hope we aren’t headed for major disaster, but maybe we are lulled into a false sense of security because everything goes on day by day and our economy hasn’t totally collapsed, yet anyway. I hope it doesn’t. The only real security is in God. Good article!

  3. Regina says:

    I respectfully disagree with many of your comments. Yes there are serious issues with profiling many members of the TEA Party but profiling occurs in this country all the time with members of certain ethnic groups. “America is not what it was 40 years ago”? America was not this pristine Holy Nation 40 years ago. There were so many personal rights violations that occurred against women and minorities to say the least. Yes the irresponsible government spending and mismanagement of government programs are bankrupting our country. Those of us who pay taxes are being treated unfairly as we are forced to pay for programs we do not support. Have you mentioned in your commentary about the fact that Goldman Sachs and none of the banks were prosecuted for their involvement in the violation of anti-money laundering laws? It is my understanding that HSBC alone failed to monitor wire transfers in over $200 trillion dollars. The fines they received were nominal. Everyone must be held accountable. What about all the 501c3 organizations that use this business model as a tax shelter? Are some of these organizations receiving government handouts too?

  4. Bonnie says:

    Great article.
    Keep up the good work Mr. Bentley!

    God bless

  5. Suzanne says:

    Well said.

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