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Finances: What Do We Do Now?
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Essay by:Megan Biehler
Emporia State University
I can remember years ago when the crop markets hit an all-time low. My dad, who has been a farmer his entire life said the government was starting to get careless and as providers for this country, we really need to start pinching pennies because farmers are the ones who will be hit first. From January 2008 to September 2008, fertilizer prices hit an all-time high. We had to cut back on fertilizer, the amount of seed we plant per acre, and we went to the no-till method because it requires less fuel. So far, my dad’s farming corporation is still floating. If farmers, the people who work seven days a week, 16 hours a day, 365 days a year, can find ways to cut corners, why can’t our government?
This past year, my hometown voted on a $29 million school bond twice (once in the last fiscal year and once in November) and each time it didn’t pass. My hometown, Herington, has a population of 2,421 (as of 2007; see the link at the bottom of this essay). Considering over half of the population has retired or is on welfare, obviously the town couldn’t handle the tax increase considering we just built a new overpass. Therefore, if the towns people couldn’t afford the increase, the farmers who have property in that school district would have to pick up the slack. Can farmers afford this increase? Of course not! Therefore, I propose, in order to protect the farmers, we turn our schools into schools that have tuition (ex. Emporia State University, Kansas State University) to help support the much needed updates without wiping out all of our farmers. All students are granted the right to a free and appropriate education, but right now, we can’t afford free. Everybody needs to pitch in!
After looking at the facing up website, it was rather frightening to see how far we, as a nation, have plunged into debt! How do we get out of this hole? My proposal is everyone should have the same tax rate. The poor should not be taxed more, or the rich taxed less as a percentage of their income; otherwise, the gap between classes will continue to grow. If everyone was taxed at the same rate, America may be able to pull themselves out of a recession at a quicker rate.
Another cut we can make is in some welfare programs. Rather than let people make a career out of sitting at home and receiving paychecks each month, why not give everybody a total of six months of assistance that they can use whenever they need it? In my home town, some people use welfare assistance as an easy way out. They apply for jobs like they are required to, but present themselves in an inappropriate manner so nobody will want to hire them. It was also brought to my attention that the more kids you have the higher amount you get each month. This appears as more of an incentive to be on welfare rather than to try to stay off of it. I understand we want to try and help people who are going through a rough time in their life, but at the same time, helping is one thing, supporting them is another. I had to laugh at my last meeting with my financial aide advisor when I attended Washburn University because I make more money per year than most people my age so her advice to me so I could get more aide each semester was either quit my job or have a child. I chose to ignore her advice because I am able to support myself and I take pride in that. Why would I want to take the easy way out just to get a cheaper education?
As a nation, I feel like we could make more sacrifices and if we would help each other rather than be selfish and inconsiderate of others, then we wouldn’t even be in this situation. Yes, that means giving up our private jets and going to the world’s hottest vacation places to hold our company meetings. We need to stop shifting the burden of this generations finance issues to next.
I feel that if we start sacrificing the things we don’t need and helping others, change some of our welfare policies, and have equal taxes, we will be able to get out of this recession and move on without carrying all of the burdens of this generation to the next.
»A new report finds the main problem in getting the public to deal with our fiscal problems isn't opposition to tax increases or spending cuts -- it's their lack of trust in the government to spend their money wisely.