Essay by:
Laura Ellen Walker
Emporia State University

Throughout the years, the United States overall financial debt has grown to unnecessary levels. The number that circles around now totals to over $11 trillion plus interest. If you think the interest you pay for your personal debt is outrageous, just stop and think one moment of the amount that the United States is paying in interest payments alone. Here are some questions that we should ponder. Although, the accumulation of this massive amount of debt has occurred for numerous reasons throughout America’s history, we should immediately ask, was all of the United States spending really necessary to achieve a “better” life? Would the United States be in the position it is today (i.e., facing a serious economic recession) if the government had not spent all the money and accumulated such a massive amount in debt? People probably like taxes even less than quizzes; in each case, it helps to be prepared.

The United States government stimulus package in 2008 that gave checks out to the American people based on their marriage status, children, and income levels really did not work in reality the way that the government intended. With the economy in the state that it was, people did not want to spend their money; they wanted to save their money just incase of the chance the economy would worsen or the chance of losing their job would increase. The current stimulus package that includes government spending is a much better idea for us to use these “borrowed” funds. When the government spends, its impact is multiplied because spending creates income and this income creates the ability for the recipient to spend. Money circulates throughout the economy trying to increase needed jobs, and when people have jobs more of them will begin to spend again, which in turn stimulates the economy. Yes, we as Americas are not directly getting the funds and you might think how is this going to help me, but in reality, it actually helps us more in the long run. This stimulus package of fifty billion is planned to rescue us out of this lousy recession. We have not quite seen this happen yet, but it is going to take some time for it to take effect and start seeing the results.

To pay this massive amount to funds back will not rely on our generation as much as it will in our children’s generations. There is no feasible way that America will ever fully repay its debt to its creditors, but we do need to take into consideration when we are going to start paying in rather that taking out. Eventually, our creditors are going to get fed-up with our way of borrowing. I think it is another important aspect that the politicians should be focused on as well. These creditors are not always going be satisfied with only interest payments. Eventually, they do want their money back in their hands and not buy more bonds.

Another topic that I believe will become more of an issue as time goes on is taxes. Considering taxes are more than likely the way that America might eventually pay back its massive debt. Let’s face it; nobody wants to pay higher taxes. The Average American would say, “It’s hard enough to get enough money for survival now let alone the government taking more of my income to pay taxes.” Although this is an issue that is right in our faces and we are sooner than later going to have to face them right back. Truly, I think to pay higher taxes is going to be the only way of possibly making a dent in the United States financial debt. When we pay taxes, Americans tend to receive benefits back in return. We have our streets, bridges, public schooling, and many more things taken care of for us through taxes. If we were to forgo taxes it would make it a personal responsibility rather that a collective responsibility. Overall, taxes benefit everyone and everyone pays in, without them, there would be many “free riders” thinking well you are going to do something anyway whether I chip in financially or not so they would not assist with the streets, bridges, or public schooling and yet they would still get use out them. What I am trying to portray with this scenario is that taxes are a good thing when used to improve our future, but we as Americans need to make sure they are going to the right places.

We have talked about the overall financial debt, stimulus packages, the repayment of our debt and the chance for higher taxes. All of these topics are very involved and I just touched on the very edge of them. So, now try to answer the questions that were posed in the beginning of this paper and think for yourself what are some of the things that the United States government could be doing to enhance the outcome of this nation?

Re: Taxes and Quizzes: It Helps to be Prepared

I agree that our country needs a combined effort of public and personal responsibility in order to save our economy from its debt and continue improving our nation. However, as you said, if we can be sure that the poor don't suffer more than they are, and the money from taxes is put to the best use, than I think your proposals will be very effective. Great job!

Toni Herman

Re: Taxes and Quizzes: It Helps to be Prepared

I agree with you that perhaps one of the best ways to start paying all of this debt back is to raise taxes. As long as the money is going to good use I wouldn't mind it as much; it's ridiculous to think of what some of the money goes toward. You did a very nice job on your essay.

Aubrey Koeppe

Re: Taxes and Quizzes: It Helps to be Prepared

I agree with your thought provoking questions. Your essay is right on with the current issues. Good job!
Sarah Swoboda

Re: Taxes and Quizzes: It Helps to be Prepared

Great title! I think you have some interesting ideas and articulated them well in this essay. I agree with you on raising taxes. No one likes to hear it, but we have to do something! Well done! -DeZ

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