|Register or Login >>|
The Porkalicious Rich Kid: The U.S. and its...
Get Email Alerts
Essay by:Ryan Wilson
Emporia State University
The United States government is like the rich child who has a large hole in his pocket—every time he moves, large bills scatter into the wind, where one will never see them again. This problem continues even now, as the debt clock racks up astronomical amounts of money that the United States owes to itself and other countries. When it receives these loans, it does not repay these financial obligations. Instead, it continues to borrow even more, and this rich child becomes even greedier, wanting and demanding more without realizing the consequences of borrowing money. The challenge the nation faces with its debt issues will not just affect the rich, but it will also make the standard of living worse for all. Therefore, it is time that we take a stand and find innovative ways to solve this constant issue. Through changing our methods of taxation through both changing income taxes and cutting pork barrel spending, the United States can begin moving forward on controlling its outrageous spending problem.
Taxation, especially income taxes, has always been a headache for almost all United States citizens every year. Indeed, every year, millions of people hit “crunch time” when the magical date of April 15 rolls around. Through the collections of W-2s, either scrambling to do it by oneself or finding a tax collection agency, doing income taxes is not a fun project for anyone. In fact, it is not even an effective form of taxation of all. Through the way that social security and Medicare are now, the United States has implemented a regression tax. In other words, when one makes a certain income, the tax that they pay is a fixed rate once they have raked in a large enough income. This, simply put, taxes the poor person more than it taxes the richer person, hence widening the gap among low, middle, and high socio-economic statuses. This is not healthy for the economy, and it lowers the standard of living for us all.
We should instead have families report their income by April 15, but pay no more income taxes. In lieu of this dreaded regression tax, the U.S. should increase the sales tax, on many items, and that would be the only tax given. In addition to this, the United States should set up individualized retirement accounts for people into which one can invest to secure retirement. This will rid the need for Social Security and Medicare, which is an economic pitfall in the end. By going completely to sales taxes, an individual or family unit can pay their taxes immediately, so there is no guesswork at the end of how much money they owe for income taxes. In addition, this rids the headache of income taxes.
Since we do not wish to hinder those who have invested in Social Security, the government should pay back all citizens who the government forced to invest into it, and help them set up an individualized account. Though the older generation will be unhappy with this, it is necessary for the United States to implement this to ensure a healthier deficit in the end. This could easily pass if the younger generation went to the polls and outvoted the elderly people. Since the government will finally have ridden itself of Social Security and Medicare, it can stop having to poor unnecessary funds into it, and begin to ease the deficit problem. Especially since the government no longer is holding the funds captive, all of this extra money that was invested in these programs, in addition to the large amounts of wealth that people will invest for their retirement accounts, will go to capital goods, which will enrich the economy for the United States as a whole.
Fixing the Social Security and Medicare problem is not enough. No, the government needs to stop pork barrel spending as well. Pork barrel spending, called pork for short, is government issued funds that come directly from taxpayers to programs or projects that are supposed to benefit the public. While this sounds serendipitous in theory, in reality, it robs the private sector, or other motivated individuals into which they could invest their time, from doing the same job more effectively. Oddly enough, Social Security and Medicare could follow under this definition, where the individuals are the average U.S. citizen! Another prime example of pork barrel spending is the channel PBS, the Public Broadcasting Station. Although many enjoy this channel, which provides operas, musicals, and children’s shows, and art-related television programs, taxpayers should not have to pay their hard-earned money on such an investment. In fact, if the government would stop wasting the citizens’ of United States money on such a frivolous cause, then many private individuals who find this channel valuable would easily fund it, and the government could refocus this money on the deficit.
In conclusion, these are simply two ways the government could help ease the ever-growing deficit. If only more people knew of the banes that Social Security and Medicare have placed upon our economical well-beings, they would realize that it is their duty and job, even if the government were to help, to ensure a successful retirement. In addition, the government needs to realize that it cannot keep spending money it clearly does not have on pork. No business in their right mind would operate so deeply in the red on such unnecessary luxuries, so why should our government, our very elected officials, do the same? It is time to act now, voice opinions on how to stop the madness the government has created. Though it worked at one time, we have clearly moved into the twenty-first century, and the United States people need a wind of change. Too bad the only wind they are feeling now is their money being blown away, forever lost to the wind.
»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.