How Should the U.S. Government Spend Tax Dollars During Economic Hardship?
In a plunging economy the world is weathering I’m inclined to stress the importance of how taxpayers’ dollars are spent. I believe that taxpayer’s funds should be used to better everyone’s situation and used where there is the most need. Due to the recession that the United States government has been plagued by due to unaccounted revenue, therefore, resulting in a negative lash back. Therefore, the government is forced to make better choices as it relates to ensuring that services are covered now and down the line.
In order for this recession to turn around and receive some positive feedback the focus needs to shift to where the tax dollars are being spend and is it the best use of the funds. The federal government is in charge of funding a number of services through the federal budget each year. The fiscal year operates from October 1 through September 30. A couple of the services include social security, medicare benefits, national defense and net interest to name a few.
Tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans must be allowed to expire as planned at the end of next year – returning tax rates for the top 2% of Americans to their levels during the 1990s when we enjoyed both record budget surpluses and robust economic growth. (Tsongas) The five biggest chunks of spending for 2011 for the U. S. were Welfare at 11%, Defense at 15%, Education at 15%, Pensions at 16% and Healthcare at 18%(Chantrill). Fig1.
A pie chart showing the total spending of the United States for 2011. Chantrill) The federal government is also in charge of funding income security programs (unemployment, retirement and disability programs, food stamps as well as subsided housing). As well as programs for healthcare assistance for the poor through Medicaid, training for healthcare professionals and medical research activities. The government is responsible for education, training and social services. They also provide grants for state and local governments for social service programs. Tax dollars are also used to provide benefits for veterans and their dependents as well as transportation.
Never in recorded history have Americans been more distrustful of how the U. S. government spends its money (Bradford). If Americans can’t trust the government to use the money for legitimate purposes then maybe it’s time the government didn’t have the power over our tax dollars. The government is playing with the funds and making all the decisions. I must say they are making some very bad decisions and the only ones that suffer from this juggling act are the taxpayers. President Obama proposes a drastic reduction in government spending by sharp cuts to the 2012 fiscal year.
The cuts are aimed to trim record federal deficits by 1. 1 trillion over the next decade (Montgomery, Murray). Government spending need cuts, but that alone will not solve the problem of bringing the budget into balance. As a result the middle class will be affected by eliminating public education, food and drug safety, air traffic control, highway and bridge safety, border security, consumer protection and national defense (Tsongas). Obama demands that Congress extend jobless benefits and a cut in the Social Security payroll tax (Taylor).
I think that the push for the benefits for the unemployment to continue is a great way to spend our tax dollars. The unemployment rate is increasing each week and some people have no choice of not working because most jobs are downsizing, outsourcing to different countries, or some snag that prevents them from hiring citizens in the U. S. In the meantime there are so many Americans that are facing homelessness, hungry, losing custody of their children and a number of other things all do to the recession and the uncertainty of unemployment benefits.
How many jobs are being occupied by immigrants while the U.S. citizen suffers? The government needs to crack down on fixing this problem so that the unemployment rate can begin to decrease. I think our tax dollars should be used to help stop foreclosures, some people have worked a lifetime to own their homes and do to the economy have fallen on hard times and as a result now face foreclosure. The government can step in and provide a bailout for the car dealers and not provide a way out for the homeowners facing foreclosure. What’s wrong with this picture? I say let the car dealers go under and help the families keep a roof over their heads.
Where is the importance in bailing out the car dealers versus bailing out the U. S. citizens? I would love to see tax dollars being contributed to battered home shelters for women with children, transitional housing, soup kitchens, food pantries, and free clothing centers. There is such a need for these types of services, but they remain unmet because not enough people take the time or are concerned enough to take the first step in establishing these type of services. I believe that every child should be afforded the opportunity to be all that he/she can be as it relates to an education.
There are special programs in the public schools that are being considered for elimination (gifted programs, sports, and other extra-circular activities). Some children have been given great talent and should never be stopped from cultivating that gift into its full potential. I feel that money should be given to schools for this very purpose. Children are the next generation and their minds certainly are a bad thing to go to waste. And lastly and certainly not least I feel that tax dollars should go to high school students that wish to pursue a college education and may not be able to afford it otherwise.
So many children dream of pursuing their dreams of becoming doctors, lawyers, scientist, business owners, policemen, etc. and I don’t think that anything should get in the way of achieving those dreams. The employment rate is steadily rising and bailouts are being given to corporations that certainly don’t have a need, but important issues are put on the back burner and true needs are overlooked. The government needs to be held accountable for spending money where it is not of the upmost need but those that truly need assistance can’t get it. There needs to be a shift in government spending and decision making.