There is a serious problem with government over-spending, and it is wreaking havoc on our economy. Our country is so much in debt right now that soon the money we have personally saved will be either taxed very high, rendered useless, or probably even taken away from us completely. There are already massive tax hikes for businesses so the government can pay for some debts. This has caused some businesses to go under or not hire at all, which caused a poverty level all its own. Over the past four years, I have heard so much on the radio and the news about what our government spends our tax dollars on, and it is very shocking. If we weren’t so overly taxed, our economy would be so much better. People would more likely be working full-time instead of part-time. Those who work full-time help the economy because normally they have the income to spend on things besides necessities, compared to those who only work part-time who only have enough money to spend on necessities. There is obviously a government over-spending problem in our country. Even though some government spending is necessary to pay for infrastructure, the government needs to pay attention to what is going on in other countries and stop over-spending and let the American people decide where our tax dollars goes. Some of our government programs should also be cut out and an amendment needs to be placed to prevent government over-spending from happening again and to show the future generations that government over-spending just doesn’t work.
One problem with government over-spending is the fact that so many of our tax dollars is spent to fight poverty. Some programs designed to fight poverty are welfare, food stamps, and disability. Some people who get this aid don’t even need it and sometimes the case-workers will literally find ways around the system to get a person that aid. I used to work with a man who told me that DHS told him that they couldn’t help his disabled daughter currently unless she got pregnant; another person I knew was married to a truck driver, and she was told she didn’t have to claim her truck driver husband because he was never home and so his address was not hers when it really was. Her truck driver husband also made more than enough to support the two of them. So how is spending tax money to fight poverty a good thing when there are obviously people lying to get the benefits? Even though there are people who truly do need these benefits, spending money to fight poverty discourages more productive behavior. According to Daniel J. Mitchell, an economist, “Government spending encourages destructive behaviors…These welfare programs encourage people to choose leisure over work.” Just about anybody without any money can get welfare assistance, whether they are disabled or not.
Another problem with government over-spending is the fact that taxpayers are fronting the bill for several subsidy programs whether the taxpayers believe in the programs or not. “There’s a news story just about every day that explains the latest way our government has wasted money.” (Americans For Prosperity Foundation). In 2009 taxpayer dollars bailed out the car industry and the banking industry. The taxpayers have also paid for energy subsidy programs for General Electric to fund research for new energy technologies. During the recent presidential debates I have learned that taxpayers even pay for funding for PBS, even though PBS hosts telethons to raise money. I have also learned in my Art Appreciation class last fall that taxpayers also pay for an art festival in New York City, along with other art programs. It is also sometimes speculated that the United States Government has given so much aid to other countries, but sometimes those countries haven’t helped us out. Shouldn’t “We the people” decide if it’s a good idea to invest in such programs and not the government’s decision?
If the United States Government keeps over-spending, it will eventually lead to an economic meltdown. According to the Americans For Prosperity Foundation, “Politicians are running up a tab and it will soon be due…It’s irresponsible and will lead to serious consequences for the taxpayers…Instead of helping our economy and create jobs…Our congress has…saddled our children with debt and increased our daily cost of living.” They also stated that congress had to double income tax rates to pay for the country’s debts which created less take-home pay for the average worker…Congress has (also) failed to pass a federal budget and had to borrow money from households to pay for government over-spending. The private sector isn’t even confident enough to create new jobs and hire people because of this problem. According to columnist John Hawkins, taxes will skyrocket. Taxes will get so high that one’s “life savings will be reduced to nothing overnight” (Hawkins). Because of the debt problem, the United States government prints more and more money causing high inflation and making any money a person saved worthless. Hawkins also reports that “overtaxing the rich won’t even work, it never has. They have the resources to leave the country if they get overtaxed.” If the government over-spending problem gets worse, there might be some serious consequences. It has been reported that the country of Cyprus (near Greece) has already taken some money out of some of their citizens’ bank accounts to pay for that country’s debts. David McHugh, an Associated Press journalist, reports that “The country of Cyprus planned to take 10% of its citizens’ bank accounts to pay for the country’s debts…a person’s money is not safe in banks in Cyprus because the government may take it.” McHugh interviewed Louise Cooper, head of a financial research firm in London, who said that “Europeans now know that their savings accounts can now be used to bailout banks.” (McHugh). Rich Smith, a financial journalist has also reported that the country of Belize has asked its creditors to write off 45% of Belize’s debts. If Belize’s creditors write off those debts, the American peoples’ 401(k), pension plans, and stocks are at stake because such plans are also invested in countries with high debt percentages (Smith).
The biggest solution to the problem seems simple: politicians need to just stop over-spending. They need to agree to a balanced budget and cut out as much as possible. All un-necessary spending should be cut altogether. There was a time when people invested in ideas they personally believed in, and organizations they also believed in. However, these days it seems as if we are forced to invest or donate through taxes whether we agree with them or not.
When filing taxes each year, there should be a form to fill out that states what one wants their tax dollars to go to that year and how much. Taxes from that particular taxpayer will only go to those programs they choose. This would make taxpayers much happier because even though they’re paying taxes, at least the money is going to programs they agree with and nothing more. Eventually congress will see what taxpayers want their money to go toward and will cut aid for the programs that taxpayers don’t want money going toward.
Some government programs need to just be cut completely or just reformed. Some programs I personally fill should be cut or reformed are welfare, drug war, and illegal immigration programs. We throw so much money away on these programs, it’s laughable. The drug war is unwinnable. What is the point? Those who want the illegal substances still get them, and illegal immigrants find a way to get behind border patrol. If we would just build a fence that money spent on trying to control illegal immigration would eventually be saved. People also get welfare aid because they are lazy, and find ways to get it when they are physically able to work. These programs need to just be reformed or cut out. Funding for PBS, NPR, educational programs, and arts programs should also be cut out. Even though some of these programs are great, the American people should decide for themselves whether to donate to these organizations or not.
An amendment should also be placed in the United States Constitution that would show future generations that government over-spending does not work. This would be in the constitution to state that it was tried but didn’t work, just like the 21st amendment was put in place to repeal the 18th amendment on the ban of alcohol.
The government needs to quit over-spending before our country has a major financial meltdown. Bailout plans and stimulus packages are not the way to go, and just make the problem worse. Some government programs are necessary, but should just be reformed so that so much money won’t be spent on them. The government also needs to step back and create a balanced budget and quit over-spending and cut all un-necessary spending. They need to let the American people truly be the ones who decide what tax dollars go toward. Only then can the government over-spending problem truly be solved.
Americans For Prosperity Foundation. Issues Spending Crisis. AFP, n.d. Web. 15Apr. 2013. <http://www.spendingcrisis.org/issues/>.
Hawkins, John. 5 Things That Will Happen To You When America Goes Bankrupt, Townhall.com, n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2013. <http://townhall.com/columnists/johnhawkins/>.
McHugh, David. “Money in the bank not safe in Cyprus \ Broke government aims to tax deposits.” The Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne, IN) Mar. 19, 2013, 1A. NewsBank Access World News. Web. 17 Apr. 2013. <http://docs.newsbank.com>.
Mitchell, Daniel J. “The Impact of Government Spending on Economic Growth.” The Heritage Foundation. The Heritage Foundation, 15 Mar. 2005. Web. 12 Apr. 2013. <http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2005/03/the-impact-of-government-spending-on-economic-growth>.
Smith, Rich. “Which Country Goes Bankrupt Next?” Dailyfinance.com. Dailyfinance.com, 22 Aug. 2012. Web. 18 Apr. 2013. <http://www.dailyfinance.com>.