Better priorities would strengthen national finances
Though the “fiscal cliff” was avoided in an 11th-hour vote, if the government does not change its spending habits, one day this country just might drive over a cliff.
The deal keeps income taxes from rising on the middle class and the poor, while allowing those taxes to increase on the rich and postponing decisions on more than $100 billion in defense and domestic spending cuts. A two-year, 2-percentage-point cut in the Social Security payroll tax was allowed to expire across the board. No decision was made on raising the federal borrowing limit to allow the country to continue paying its bills, though the debt ceiling could be reached within a few months.
The deal that passed enacts $10 of tax increases for every $1 of cuts and increases federal spending on unemployment benefits and other areas of government, while delaying needed decisions on changes to entitlement programs and the debt ceiling.
The government continues to battle over taxes but sometimes it seems little common sense is used in spending tax dollars. Our military, schools, and hospitals – all necessities – are constantly seeing cuts but the politicians making those rules are still bringing in six-figure salaries and enjoying trips, vehicles, dinners and events on taxpayers’ money. More and more people are able to lie to the system in order to collect free cell phone service, food stamps, medical care, and free education but very little is done to restructure such programs to ensure services target those in actual need. We send foreign aid to countries that despise America while deserving veterans are denied benefits because of bureaucratic red tape.
If the federal government and voting public really wants financial – and social – change in America, then it is time to prioritize.
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