Problem avoidance by the US government when it comes to neglecting the economic interests of the United States is twofold. On the one hand, Congress continually fails to balance the National Budget. The result is an exploding National Deficit and a National Debt of more than $21 trillion, which actually fails to reflect the true fiscal crisis. The problem is the failure of Congress to either tax and tariff enough to cover current and past Federal spending or stop spending enough to make the current tax and tariff levels viable. That said, the US government has failed to cultivate an economic environment that provides for the needs of the American People. To simply blunt the measure of inequality, lower-income Americans must rely on social welfare programs and tax off-sets, but inequality only hints at the reality faced by low-income Americans and those consumed by debt. When the median income for the bottom 90% of Americans is around $34,000 and wages have flat-lined for the majority, it is very difficult to even meet ever-growing living expenses.
On the political Left, the solution is to largely cut defense spending, raise taxes on richer Americans, and spend more on social welfare programs. For the Right, the solution is to cut domestic spending, especially on social welfare programs, grow the tax base by pressuring people to find more jobs, and spur economic growth by slashing taxes on businesses and investors. Although there are countless specifics and variations to the policy preferences of individuals from both sides of the political spectrum, the fundamentals of their policy preferences fail to reflect the totality of reality. The blunt truth is that the US does not have an endless capacity to spend money while individuals need more income to survive and thrive than government can provide. Conversely, taxes, tariffs, and regulations are needed to pay for past and current government spending. The United States as a country incurs expenses while it has amassed mountains of debt by failing to recognize its willingness spending is far greater than its willingness to raise revenue.
With that in mind, everyone has an opinion on what the government should and should not spend money on. Everyone has an opinion on how government should raise money and how it should not. What the government actually spends money on and how it actually collects revenue should align with the plurality of every Americans’ opinions, but that is thoroughly irrelevant when it comes to fiscal responsibility. The American People as a collective and their representatives in Congress need to have an open and realistic conversation on both government spending and revenue generation. It is a part of the problem that the US has avoided for years. Instead of Right-wing or Left-wing spending and taxation priorities, public policies need to represent the priorities of average Americans. Those employed in the political industry need to stop muddying the water by confounding issues and policies, stop blaming their revivals to get ahead, and start problem solving. They need to decide it is more important to solve America’s economic woes than it is to push their political agendas and advance their political careers.
Furthermore, the economy is not something that exists in a textbook. The condition of the economy impacts the lives and lifestyles of all people on a daily basis from their childhood to their retirement. When it comes to economic policy, there is an attempt to divide and short-circuit the problem solving process. Some, mainly on the Right, argue that economic policy should either focus on increasing wages or increasing opportunities to find jobs. In the real world, people need both jobs and incomes that are high enough to meet their current financial needs. Quite frankly, economic policies that do not spur both job creation and income growth simply solve one-half of a problem at the expense of the other half. It is not enough to create jobs that also force people to rely on social welfare programs while it is not enough to create higher paying jobs for a shrinking percentage of the population.
Government exists to solve problems for people. A free market economy that provides for the needs of the American People and self-regulates would be ideal, but it is not realistic. The current economy is not providing for the needs of all those willing and able to work nor are a good number of individuals on track to achieving financial security and success. From public transportation to social security, there is a massive need for social welfare spending. As long as the economy distributes an insufficient amount of income and wealth to a significant portion of the US population, there will be a need for social welfare spending. Failing to address that need will, in turn, exasperate that need. People are living creates. When their basic needs are neglected, there are costly consequences, which is why social welfare programs were created in the first place. To solve the financial and fiscal issues faced by the American People, Americans need to confront and embrace the economic realities than build solutions that can actually solve the whole problem.
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