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Last updateWed, 16 Oct 2019 12pm

Politics

We Balance Our Checkbooks, Why Can’t Washington?

default article imageUnless you were under a rock this summer, most of the political headlines in July and August were about the debt ceiling debate.

For those who have no idea what this means it means that America was about to top its 14.3 trillion dollar limit for borrowing money.

This was important because without this borrowed money the United States would not be able to pay its bills, causing a default.

A default on these payments would send a message that the United States would not be able to make necessary payments to operate and in today’s economic struggles, it would put less confidence in America’s already struggling market and economy.

Trillion of dollars is a lot of money and while yes the debt ceiling is important, there is something to be recognized here. As the economy continues to struggle and unemployment is at nine percent, Americans are cutting out luxuries and spending only on necessities.

Most American families accomplish their needs on limited income yet somehow the government can’t handle its finances with over 14.3 trillion dollars at its disposal.

 Most students are willing to assume debts in hopes of landing a solid job once out of college. University sophomore, Adam Sharkey said, “It makes me cringe every time I receive a paycheck.”

This is the view of many worried college students who are concerned about whether they will be able to pay off their tuition one day.

Republicans and Democrats continue to play the blame game and claim the other party is at fault and not willing to compromise.

Professor John Buzza, Director of the Monmouth University Center for Entrepreneurship said, “It seems to be all about getting reelected. Just voting against proposals simply because they are presented by the “other side” is totally unacceptable.” This is giving Americans no sense of confidence in the government and tarnishes the international view of the United States. According to a poll conducted in March by ABC News and The Washington Post, only 26 percent of Americans are optimistic about our system of government and how well it works.

This is the lowest number since 1974 and this was before the debt ceiling standoff even began to heat up. Dr. Eugene Simko, accomplished writer and Associate Professor of Management, believes that if egos were put aside and all options were listened to and weighted based on fact there would not be these problems.

Simko said, “Do not change the system, change the attitudes and stress accountability to the politicians.”

Republicans argue that massive spending cuts are required and see the economy can be fixed by helping business owners with tax cuts to allow them to hire more workers, while Democrats believe that raising taxes is the correct method. In President Obama’s recent “Warren Buffett Jobs Bill”, he recommends using both ideas as part of the solution but as part of his idea of “shared sacrifice”, the rich will have to pay more in taxes since they make more annually.

Dr. Simko offers a different solution. He recommends a “Rainy Day” fund. Instead of dealing with the problem as it arises he believes that there should be money saved up for when it is needed. When asked to input his suggestions to Washington, he jokingly said, “Let business professors run the budget for a week to see what they can do.”

The whole problem is that the government expects families to make their payments on time and in the correct manner yet they set the worst example. The numbers are staggering as more people lose their homes and jobs along with having to make large financial sacrifices. Americans are getting discouraged and are losing sight of the American Dream our ancestors strove for. Those involved in the government need to stop fighting and start compromising. Start cutting out the luxuries and focus on the main goals.

Moreover, cutting out luxuries is an important part of this process. Spending millions of dollars on useless scientific studies is a great place to start.

This past May, ABC News revealed that the government used tax payer money to do a study on a shrimp on a treadmill. This cost taxpayers $500,000.

According to this same article, there seems to be no real scientific backing to it and no real reason for this study aside from trying to advance robotics. Unless the robot pays bills most people would not be thrilled with this “investment.” The government needs to buckle down and start focusing on the necessary costs while saving for the future.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the average American makes a little over $49,000 a year. While members of Congress make $174,000 a year and if you have a title such as Speaker of the House, it’s even more.

There should be more concern about the Average Joe. So despite not doing what they are elected to do, they still collect a very nice paycheck. I doubt most members of Congress are cutting it close with their bills.

Shared sacrifice has been a theme from every political figure during this entire debacle. Yet is it really?

When an American family falls through the cracks, they can’t turn to another country for a large sum of money.

No one is willing to help them out. The struggle of the American people to make ends meet is an everyday battle yet our government refuses to take responsibility for something that includes a 14.3 trillion dollar bank account. Shared sacrifice would be doing what every family is being forced to do and that is buckling down on luxuries and focusing on necessities while saving for children’s college funds among other future expenses.

While in a family household, parents must compromise on what is given up, the Republicans and Democrats are both putting their fingers in their ears not willing to listen to the other side.

Most people don’t care if you are Republican, Democrat, Independent or Tea Party.

They just want viable solutions and for them to actually be put into effect and release some of the burdens. In fact, instead of identifying yourself as a party member, perhaps Washington should consider themselves as Americans first.

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