SCOTT DREYER: What A Difference A Year Makes

“The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.”  – Proverbs 22:7 (NIV)

The above ancient warning from the Book of Proverbs opened my inaugural column with the Roanoke Star on May 1, 2020. 

Thank you, Roanoke Star owner and publisher Stuart Revercomb, for your trust and the opportunity to add my voice to your burgeoning platform. And thanks to you, dear readers, who have taken the time to pursue my musings, comment, hit “like,” and share the content with others. 

Remember the early day of the quarantine, just over a year ago? Social media has since been flooded with memes and jokes about people eating all their quarantine snacks and gaining weight, but the quarantine is a lot like life: you get out of it what you set your mind to. A few days ago in Arizona my wife and I had the pleasure of catching up with some dear friends from our days together in Taiwan in the ‘90s. Rather than gain weight, one friend used his quarantine time to hike, bike, and kayak, and lost 50 pounds. 

Remember? Other memes last spring urged us to use our time wisely, with lines such as “Sir Isaac Newton invented calculus during a pandemic.” (This is actually a fact.) If you’ve never thought of yourself as a person of influence, ponder this. Under one such meme a church friend and also mother of a former student I had taught tagged me and wrote: “Scott Dreyer, we have high expectations from you.”

Her comment honored and humbled me but caught me off guard. “What am I supposed to do? Can I receive this time of isolation and quarantine as a gift and do something new with it?”

That mother’s brief, encouraging, challenging comment helped set me on a path of growth and exploration, with you now sharing the ride. 

With a few weeks of prayer and contemplation, I sensed a nudge in my heart–maybe it was the Holy Spirit–to contact Stuart. He and I had met once about ten years earlier, when he spoke to my honors students at Patrick Henry High School about his experience creating a positive alternative newspaper for Southwest Virginia. 

He was as open and cheerful as I had remembered him from our first encounter a decade earlier. He told me to pray about it and submit a writing sample, which he kindly published on May 1, 2020.  

That first column was about the dangers of debt and the need to live debt-free. It’s focus was on personal debt, because after all, meaningful change must begin with ourselves. (We revisited this issue in the April 8, 2021 column.) However, the national debt is also a huge issue.

When that first column went live, in May 2020, the US national debt was $25.7 trillion. (In case you’re like me and didn’t know, 1 trillion is followed by 12 zeros.) According to, as I write this on May 1, 2021, it’s now over $28.2 trillion.  In simple math, the US national debt has skyrocketed over $2.5 trillion in just the past 12 months. 

It took the USA from Presidents George Washington to Ronald Reagan–over 200 years–to rack up our first trillion in debt. Simply put, we’ve now accumulated 2.5 times as much debt in the past 12 months as our forefathers accumulated between Washington and Reagan. Let that sink in! And yes, in the past 12 months, both Republicans and Democrats have controlled the White House and Senate at different times. That tells me, both parties are guilty of this outrage. 

Someone said, “politicians are like master magicians. While they wave their magic wand to focus your attention on one hand, they are doing their real work in secret with the other hand.” 

As the national debt has exploded, what has so much of our national conversation been diverted to the past few years? Among other things, slavery and confederate statutes. 

(I find it outrageous that US Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), who is often busy fulminating about Civil War statues and military bases named after Confederates who died generations ago, actually chose to live most of his adult life–28 years to be exact–on CONFEDERATE AVENUE in Richmond, the former Capital of the Confederacy. Also, to my knowledge, my March 15, 2021 column is the only news/commentary source in Western Virginia to ever point this out. Where have the other news channels been the past 28 years?

For some, this may be a news flash: The Civil War ended in 1865. The North won. Lincoln, the nation’s first Republican president, ended slavery. I attended the 150th anniversary of Lee’s surrender to Grant at Appomattox Courthouse National Park, and have the t-shirt to prove it. 

If we’re really concerned about slavery, let’s live in the “here and now” instead of the “there and then,” and focus on the real slavery that the Bible has warned about for over 2,000 years: debt. 

A mother recently told me her 17-year-old son had heard the government is printing money out of thin air as “stimulus payments” and exploding the debt. He exclaimed: “If we keep doing that, pretty soon our money will be worthless!” If a high school junior gets it, why don’t more adults and our political leaders get it? 

To sum up: Thankfully, Stuart and enough of you readers enjoyed my first column, so Stuart has allowed me to keep writing. I am grateful and humbled.

Last spring, I think most of us had no idea of the MASS CENSORSHIP that so many in the media and big tech were preparing to unleash on the American public later in the year and in 2021, censorship most of us Americans have never experienced before and thought unthinkable in what we believed was a free country. Therefore, free-minded, alternative news and views are more needed than ever before.

 Thanks again, and with God’s help, the journey continues.

Scott Dreyer in his classroom.

– Scott Dreyer

Publisher’s Note: Thank YOU Scott for the well informed and uniquely gifted perspective you bring to all your columns. You’ve increased the quality of our writings in this section no less than our recent government officials have increased the debt! (Hate to use such an inverse positive to negative example but it was the one at hand!)

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