The impact of deficits

The word “deficit” comes from the Latin word deficere, which means “emptiness.” Benedict XVI pointed out in Caritas in Veritate that financial deficits and moral deficits go hand in hand. When individuals in a society succumb to a loss of personal moral responsibility, one of the natural consequences is a loss of fiscal responsibility that negatively impacts the whole society. Our skyrocketing fourteen-figure national debt with its twelve zeroes is merely a symbol and a symptom of the yawning moral emptiness of our nation’s leaders and citizens in recent years. Without a general and profound moral reform of American society beginning with each individual American, no financial reform project will succeed or bear lasting fruit. Only through a timely return and re-commitment to personal moral responsibility—aided by devout religious faith and the wisdom and example of the Founders—on the part of America’s citizens and leaders alike can our nation yet hope to pull away from the giant black hole of financial self-destruction toward which it is now hurtling at breakneck speed.