Throughout the last several weeks, I see a constant stream of news stories about the state of the economy of various European countries. The whole continent is in a crisis with over a dozen countries on the brink of having their credit ratings lowered. Cities all over the United States and across the world have had the highly publicized Occupy protests.
Here in America, in the coming years, government programs such as social security, health care, welfare, and a host of others are going to continue to cost this country trillions of dollars that we do not have.
With the Occupy protests, one of the significant beliefs is that the rich need to be paying more in taxes.
Should they be?
To a degree, I think tax increases could be justified, however with the way in which the government is spending, the rich aren’t going to make enough money to have taken from them to finance the burdens that our government is strapping onto the back of this nation.
In short, I think that we are still ultimately doomed, regardless of what happens in the next presidential election.
The politicians have to dramatically cut spending, which they won’t because they’ve brainwashed the people into thinking that all of these programs are rights that they are owed. When politicians try to scale these programs back, they are viewed as evil and as pandering to the rich and big business.
So if a politician does want to get serious about cutting spending, he or she will essentially be a fiscal martyr. Is it worth getting elected to make changes if those changes will lead to almost certain defeat? Possibly.
I believe Barack Obama will lose next year, but even the best president cannot undo 80 years of bad social programs. And four years, or eight years later, another future president will pound a few more nails in the coffin of America.
And as a society, we have brought this on ourselves.
We have become a society of class warfare while largely missing that the politicians who make the laws are effectively a ruling class. Term after term, they are reelected in districts and states where the system is setup for incumbents to be reelected. They rail against the wealthy, despite the fact that most of the people in congress are rich. The two chambers are full of “one percenters” who don’t have to personally suffer the negative consequences of what they are doing.
Historically, this nation teeters back and forth in presidential elections, but our presidents keep moving us closer to the brink economically. Regardless of what party we choose, each of them does more damage to the federal budget. Sometimes there is chatter about cutting spending, but the government never makes significant cuts.
And if they do, the next politician will just take further steps to continue to increase spending in order to give a little bit more cake to their constituents and to do a little bit more to help their croanies who contribute to their campaigns. Changes need to be made, but they need to be made from within the government.
They are procrastinating with the budget. There is a vision for America and where this nation could go economically, but the president and congress are taking us further away from that goal. Getting us headed in the right direction will take hard work, and those in power are not making the difficult decisions now that will create a better life for this nation tomrrow.
There is a “Now America” and a “Future America.” Right now, we don’t suffer the consequences of all of the government’s actions, and Washington carrys out actions as if the problem were much more mitigated than it actually is lending us to even greater economic hardship in the future.
The idea that the rich need to “pay their fair share” is a common sentiment among many in America today. But again, how much would be enough in taxes? It’s not like the government just needs more money and everything will be fine. If anything, if they had more money, the government would just feel empowered to be all the more irresponsible with the people’s resources.
Again, my point isn’t to say whether or not I think taxes should or should not be increased. My point is that the government needs to cut spending. Increase taxes or decrease taxes, I don’t objectively know which one works, but I do know that we cannot continue to spend as if we have an infinite amount of money.
“Well Bush spent a lot.” I don’t disagree with that. But I also don’t see how Bush being a fiscally poor president gives Obama license to be even worse.
“Well Obama has to spend to fix Bush’s mistakes.” Oh? If spending lots of money fixed things, shouldn’t the economy have gotten better when Bush was in office?
I’m not pretending to be an economist. In fact, there are economic schools of thought that argue that it can be a good thing to increase governmental spending in a time of recession.
Are they right?
I don’t have any idea but I have never heard anyone who is an economist (or a person who has any common sense) seriously believe that it is advantageous to continue spending trillions of dollars that we don’t have and to exponentially expand our debt with each new administration and to expect that to work.
So again, I think Obama will lose next year. People bought into hope and change, and now that we are three quarters of the way through his term, we hope for another change as nothing has seemed to get better, and people are fed up with how things are. But to think that the real hope and change will come from a successor is wishful thinking.
The Tea Party Movement was a cultural phenomenon who made a significant dent in the congress. People were hopeful that new blood would make a difference. For the most part, the new politicians are just as bad as the old and the republican leadership has been impotent in terms of fostering significant economic reform. I think that the political games will contniue while always undermining real solutions such as spending cuts.