I’m getting sick of some of the blame game going on in Congress, with the President, and across Twitter/Google+/Internet in general. I know some of my comments are going to seem as if I’m putting blame too, but please stick with me.
Our country is in massive debt, we all know that. Over 8 years, Bush increased the debt by $5.7trillion, in the last 2.5 years, Mr. Obama has increased it by another $1.65trillion+ as of 2010. Spending increases are the fault of both administrations.
Over the last several decades, this country has moved further and further into an entitlement society. More and more people expecting that the Government pay their way through life. Yes, there are those who simply can’t work, and who are disabled to the point that they can’t make ends meet (dispite assistance from family, etc.). These people deserve assistance, as they have no other way. I totally don’t mind paying my tax dollars into programs to help people like this.
On the other hand, poverty is a mindset for the rest. The single mom, who works to make ends meet, would need assistance, yes, and as Welfare was originally set up to be, it should be temporary. However, this administration, and the far left who follow him, believe that it should not be temporary, and that throwing more and more money at these programs will bring these people out of the slump that they may be in. The reality, is that that is far from the truth. The more money you throw at somebody who is poor, and has likely been poor most of their lives, is only going to leave them expecting more money, with no work to earn it. These programs need to be reformed to provide assistance, not in monetary funds, but in guidance.
Some former friends of mine are an example of this. They had more children, simply because they knew the government would pay them more in turn. This way the husband can just work part time, while the wife sat at home and pretty much lived the good life, letting her parents take care of the kids more than she did. They did decide to try and go to college, cause “that’s the thing that everyone does”, so they got a Pell Grant… since a portion of the Pell Grant is for expenses (books, travel, etc.), they were happy to accept it, and what came out of it was… breast augmentation. Ya, exactly. There was no responsible spending of those funds, only what they *wanted* not what they *needed*.
I have had this conversation with a few of my followers on Twitter. Their argument was that the Pell Grant money is meant to be used for whatever they feel is needed. I agree to an extent, as there are always helpful things that can help your college career, however, the “latest and greatest” are not a requirement. A new laptop is not required every semester, a new iPad is not a requirement, but a nice to have. When there were proposals to cut the amount of money provided from the Pell Grant, there was outrage by many. But not by me. Eventually, the student must take responsibility for their education, not me and my tax dollars. How are students to learn responsibility, and how life really is, if the government continues to hand out money when they need it. I am a stout believer in personal responsibility, and that *you* are the one who can make you go forward, and prosper, not the government.
Another couple pet peeves added by this administration, was the increase in unemployment to 99 weeks (*REDICULOUS*) and the lowering of availability of food stamps to families making $50,000 or less. If you are making $50,000 you should be able to provide for your family without government assistance. You simply have to make the right choices, and not blow your money on what you don’t really need. Everyone has to tighten their belts.
My last comment I’ll leave is about the misconception of who pays taxes and who does not. A lot of Americans still believe the “rich” (the reason I quote this is because it also includes those making $250,000, though is always called millionaires and billionaires), don’t pay enough taxes. According to CBO records, the top 10% of earners pay 45% of the Nations income tax. On the flip side, 53% of Americans pay no income tax at all; yet are the ones calling to tax the rich. This is despicable to me. I make $60,000 a year, that is our family income. I also pay my taxes, Medicare, SS, and health insurance, and contribute to a 401k. That drops that $60,000 a year significantly. I end up taking home about 68% of that. This happens to everybody who pays income tax, state tax, etc. Now, those who make $250,000+ are usually also business owners, and I know for a fact, that if you are a business owner, unless you want to be massively in debt, your money, is company money, so more likely then not, the payroll taxes come out of your pocket. You also pay those quarterly, not just on April 15th. In addition, companies also pay unemployment tax, social security tax, and medicare taxes. If they decided to provide the benefit, they also pay a portion of the health insurance that the employee does not pay for. How much does that really leave? Not as much as you would think.
Yes, millionaires and billionaires could probably afford to pay more taxes… but why should they? The burden is really on their backs and not the middle class. It just feels that way, because the middle class doesn’t have the extra cash lying around.
Close loopholes, that’s fine, and makes sense, remove some subsidies from companies that don’t really need it (aka are already beyond the beginning stages of company building, and are making a profit). But don’t blame the rich for “not paying their fair share”, blame the portion of the 53% who take the earned income credit (knowing they don’t have to).