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Essay by:Clifford R. D. Tollett
Emporia State University
For a nation, such as the U.S., it is hard to have so many hands reaching out to you for help. And why should we not help when we have all these resources and the power to change so many lives. But, how much can we give of ourselves without stretching ourselves to thin? The national deficit is just one of the examples of us as a nation spreading our resources too thin. How you may be asking? It is simple, the U.S. gives out large sums of money to aid other countries, El Salvador, Mexico, Africa, etc… not to mention the money it takes to maintain peace and order in so many parts of the world. That would be fine if we had the money to give, but when our nation must take loans and monies from other countries to pay the bills, now that is a problem. We must be self reliant as a nation. What happens when one day the countries we borrow from ask for their money back now, or else? War is what; we need to stop the money bleeding from our generosity vein. Some people in this nation have it so good, that they often forget the starving people we have here. Is it more charitable to send the money overseas to show the world, “Look, Look, Look what we did for these people” that is not what charity is about. America has a duty to country first. How many people needed assistance after hurricane Katrina, earthquakes, flooding up North, or even Greensburg, KS after that massive tornado devastated that city? Our country needs and spends money too! Ever heard of saving for a rainy day? Or who was it that said, “A penny saved is a penny earned”, could it be Benjamin Franklin, one of our nations fore fathers. Do you think that he would recommend going so far in debt that the average American owes something like 100,000 to get rid of this debt? At this rate our children and our children’s children will be stuck dealing with this trillions of dollars deficit, is that fair?
A way to increase American tax dollars to wipe out the deficit, without raising taxes, would be getting more people to pay taxes. This may seem a little odd, but how many illegal immigrants live within our borders? How many of said people have children in public schools? Of those said parents, how many pay the full amount, if any, in income taxes? The answer would be low or nothing. I propose tightening the borders, and giving the illegal immigrants the right as Americans to pay taxes. This would not only give the government more spending money, but would also give more funding to our public schools among other things. The important thing is that America reduces its deficit and is more humane than uprooting and deporting so many families. Plus we all have rights, American or not.
Americans come in all sizes, colors, and ages. Most important to my essay is age. With increased life expectance of the elderly, the cost to support them also goes up. Medicare and Medicaid are federally funded programs that suck millions of dollars if not billions of dollars from our nation. I do not feel it right to take away much needed assistance to the people who need the care the most, as I said, we all have rights and most of us have an aging parent or grandparent who we can visualize when we speak of such things. However, I feel a change must occur soon in order to save and preserve our health care system. We must reform it completely, make it modern as technology and sciences are improving. The more effective and efficient it works, the more money we save as a nation to counter the rising debt.
I had a Vietnam vet tell me how to solve the problem of this recession and health care. He proposed that the government give every American over the age of 65 one million dollars, with one attachment, you had to stop working immediately for the rest of your life. I laughed, but once he explained that older people retiring would open up jobs for the younger generations I started to listen. “It would almost be less than what the government gave all those CEO at the financial institutions to stay open,” he told me. He gathered that his idea would let people pay off their mortgages, they would buy new cars with cash, give some to their kids to do the same, and they would have enough funds to pay for their own insurance for the rest of their days. Thus stimulating the economy, government gets the money back, and the banks stay open to fail another day. The wisdom of the elderly is too often overlooked.
In conclusion, the deficit is a complex problem, and whatever we decide to do it is going to take some major overhauling. But our nation cannot afford anymore I.O.U’S, especially when we do not have the money to give. I do not know if I will see the deficit fall, but I hope our law makers remember with change comes progress, and a penny saved is a penny earned.
Clifford R. D. Tollett
»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.