Now that President Obama has warned over and over that this economic crisis could turn into a “catastrophe” if Congress doesn’t act quickly on a stimulus package, I'm trying to get an image in my head of what “catastrophe” means.
The Oxford English Dictionary led me to a synonym - “cataclysm.” And right there at the top of “cataclysm” in the Oxford English Dictionary is this sentence: “A great and general flood of water, a deluge; esp. the Noachian deluge, the Flood.”
The ultimate example of a catastrophe or cataclysm may very well be the story of Noah and The Flood. Genesis 6:5 – 8:22. We are already experiencing a flood of job losses. Nearly 600,000 jobs cut last month, following a similar number in December, certainly qualifies as a deluge. As President Obama said accurately, our economic problems “are accelerating, not decelerating.”
Some Republican opponents of the stimulus plan say they’re more worried about a different kind of flood – a flood of taxpayer dollars being spent in ways that are not guaranteed to work – a flood of debt passed down to our children. That’s a legitimate fear that must be addressed. But there’s no questioning the flood we face right now.