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Nevertheless, he held firm to his ideals. “I place economy among the first and most important of virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers to be feared,” he wrote.

But for witty teaching instructions in economics, it’s hard to usurp Benjamin Franklin, whose timeless truths (such as “a penny saved is a penny earned”) found in Poor Richard’s Almanac and an essay, “The Way To Wealth,” continue to instruct our society.

Franklin warned: “Think what you do when you run in debt; you give to another power over your liberty.”

Freedom from debt is true liberty, as “the borrower is servant to the lender,” just as we learned in the Bible from Proverbs 22:7.

Today what Americans owe — and the interest we must pay — is accumulating at a record pace. In 2010, the United States accumulated more than $3.5 billion in new debt each and every day. That’s more than $2 million per minute. It’s a shopping spree almost impossible to imagine.

It’s time to fight for financial freedom of the next generation. Our children and grandchildren are being saddled with “unsustainable” debt that will surely lead to a crisis if we continue on this course.

We are fast becoming the generation that enslaved our children because of our own reckless addiction to spending and borrowing. As the 31st president, Herbert Hoover, observed, “Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt.” I say, rather than pass along our debts, let us bless our children by beginning to pay down the debt with a definite goal to achieve the vision of Andrew Jackson to “unfetter” our national resources.

America and her leaders should commit to reining in its spending and borrowing that would tyrannize the next generation. American families must show the way by doing in our personal lives that which we expect of our federal, state and local leaders.

Chuck Bentley is CEO of Crown, a nonprofit business and personal-finance organization, and author of “The S.A.L.T. Plan: How to Prepare for an Economic Crisis of Biblical Proportions” (Crown, 2012).