Debt And Taxes
My, we’re in an awful way here in the good ol’ U.S. Seems the federal government is running out of money, state governments don’t have any money, and each wants to take it out on us and business, whether we or the business resides in the state or not.
Let’s talk about debt first. More specifically, the debt ceiling. Basically, this is the figure that the federal government is allowed to borrow to pay its bills. What’s the problem? The problem is the federal government spends more than it takes in, especially when the overall economy is as bad as it is right now, and thus it needs to borrow more. From where? Banks, other countries, etc. But wait; aren’t some of these the same banks that we bailed out just two years ago? And aren’t some of these countries the same ones that we bailed out in both WW1 and WW2?
Yes, you’d be correct on that. This country borrows money to pay its bills to other countries that should have been paying something to us. But that’s water under the bridge, so we can’t go back there. We could stop giving money to other countries that don’t necessarily like us, which is all of them. Too bad that’s only around $250 billion; wouldn’t make a dent in the almost $4 trillion we owe.
If the U.S. didn’t pay it, what then? It’s not like a collection agency is going to show up at the door of the government and demand payment. No, we just go into default; pretty much like many people have had to do over the past few years because of bank failures and the housing collapse and unemployment. That wouldn’t be pretty.
And it would impact some federal workers; layoffs. It would impact Social Security; some payments wouldn’t be made. It would affect schools, Medicaid, possibly Medicare, and a host of other programs. It wouldn’t be pretty.
Whose fault would it be? That’s an interesting one. The Republicans say it’s the President and Democrats fault because the national debt keeps increasing. The Democrats say it’s the Republicans because before Bush Jr. assumed the presidency the country actually had a surplus, then because of is tax cuts, sending many of us checks for a few hundred here and there, and of course having the debt ceiling raised every time he asked for it, among other things, that the debt ceiling kept rising because he started it and President Obama has had to try to fight it the only way possible, spending money to try to make money. Works in business, but hasn’t worked as well in government.
So, now it’s about taxes. The Democrats want to raise taxes on the rich. There will be a tax (though they don’t want to call it that) on the middle class for the health care plan. States and counties and towns and villages are all raising taxes, reassessing property & saying it’s worth more than it could possibly be because of falling home prices across the country. In my state it was determined to add a “surcharge” of up to around $21 to every business in the state that has so many employees that has to be paid within a couple of weeks; yeah, that’s good for business in New York.
Then there’s the internet, the one place where many of us have been able to catch a break on purchases and making extra money in the New World. States are now going after all that cash that they say belongs to them, and it’s causing a slippery slope. Amazon is the biggest name more people know for online sales. Many states are now saying Amazon has to collect taxes for any purchases people make from people living in those states. Amazon instead pulls out of these states and now more tax revenue is lost for the state. I’ve never participated in Amazon’s program, but I have many others that have pulled the plug on me because New York wants them to do the same.
So let’s look at all of this. The country is in debt. The states are in debt. The people are in debt. The country wants to both raise taxes and kill programs that will affect the people negatively, people that don’t have money; after all, the people are in debt. The states want to raise taxes and reduce the amount being paid for programs that help protect the people, the same people that are in debt.
No one has come up with a way to raise revenue any way except raising taxes. No one has come up with ways to run many other things efficiently. No one actually seems to even be trying to come up with any ideas on this. And, by the way, death doesn’t help either because of estate taxes (luckily, most of us aren’t rich enough for this to be a problem) and the taxing of insurance benefits.
Debt and taxes; this is our world, and there seems to be no way to overcome any of these issues any time soon. Any of you have any ideas on how to fix things? I think our politicians need some assistance. Then again, most of them are rich; do they care?