Our government has operated with those in need in mind for a long time – basically since FDR’s New Deal policies post-Great Depression. However, too much of a good thing can be extremely painful financially as we can observe in Europe currently. 16 Trillion is more debt than any country has ever accumulated in all of human history – and it is unsustainable. The debt crisis that is inevitably coming will take down not only those in need, but everyone else with them.
Today’s political climate is one of austerity politics. It seems to be the “cool” thing to do nowadays – cut government spending to return money back to the top percentage of wealthy Americans. The numbers show that since the recovery began, they have posted monumental gains while the middle class continues to suffer. It is unacceptable that we continue to have what amounts to be a “landed aristocracy” running this country’s political climate. To me, this is a massive transfer of wealth to those without, those in need, to those in power and those politically connected.
Government spending isn’t inherently bad. It can be used for good. The recent IRS news shows us that democracy is needed to keep government agencies in check and working for the common good..but these occasional missteps shouldn’t mean we should tear apart the whole system.
Why isn’t it “cool” to help those in need – students with college loans that basically enslave them, retired people with no income, hungry children…Those are the ones that we can all work to help, and the government can be the effective tool to do this.
By John PharmD
I think it is a matter of prioritizing what we spend our money on. Yes we have a lot of debt, but we can still afford to pay for the people that need our help. We pay other nations billions of dollars in aide, even to countries that do not support our own interests. I would rather stop giving money to those countries and use that money to invest in our own people. Expanding the social safety net would not be so controversial if we spent all of our money on Americans instead of spreading our money all around the world.
We don’t need to expand the safety net, we need to make it more efficient.
What does “expansion” entail? The reversal of recent budget cuts? The addition of social programs? More funding for existing ones?
The last thing this country needs is a slew of new agencies that serve relatively similar purposes. We need to provide enough support to get somebody in need back on their feet, not so much that they can just lay back and take advantage of the many loopholes in our social programs.
@twocents The problem is, that if you actually look at what our federal budget looks like, hardly any gets used for foreign aid. The vast majority is spent on entitlement programs – which are currently set to bankrupt themselves and our country.
I think the social safety net needs to be modified. As @NathalieKupfer said, we need to make it more efficient. I would also add that we need to create standards to eliminate wasteful spending through the safety net. Some people definitely take advantage of the system, and we are in so much debt that we need to spend all of our dollars wisely! I also think of public housing. Many people use these programs as a stepping stone to become self sufficient and own their own house. But others simply take advantage of the system, and use public housing as an end rather than a means. Because the program has budget restrictions, many people are put on wait lists. During that time, they are homeless. It isn’t fair that because people are taking advantage of the system and living off of the government, people that would use it for its intended purpose cannot gain access to housing. These systems need more accountability!
The budget is so enormous that in reality no one can manage it.
The $800,000,000,000 stimulious was beyound Human ability to properly deploy it. There is not a company,not 50 companies that could have properly deployed so much money.
The correct,efficient way to deploy such an amount would have been to have a tax cut in that amount,spread out over the millions of individual taxpayers. In theory the larger taxpayers would have been the more successful deployers of money and better able to use it effeciently.
I expect serious disagreement with that precept and those will be, in many cases really correct arguments ,but taken in the largest statistical sense which the government seems to support the premise is probably correct.
In any case no matter how it was done it would have worked far better than sending the money to washington for the 30 to 40% overhead skim and then wasted on complete thrash “investments”
I firmly believe any politician who uses the term “investment”In terms of government spending should promptly be tarred and feathered and run out of towm.
They simply do not have ANY understanding of the concept of investing!
actually the biggest problem is that in reality most people do not truly understand the unintended consequences of their action. When you do something it effects many other things and our Leaders don’t understand these things.
@coopersmith Wait a second “hardly any gets used for foreign aid”. Hardly any amounts to $37,000,000,000 spent on foreign aid. That does not seem like “hardly any” to me. That is about $101,369,863 per day. This amount would fund the National Institute of Health (NIH) and have hardly any ($6,000,000,000) left over.
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