The only two ways the United States government will ever be able to get its fiscal house in order are if there is some sudden economic boom and it quits borrowing so much money but instead depends upon taxes to pay for current expenses, or if it can somehow cut out unnecessary spending (always subjective) and collect enough revenue (taxes) to pay its current obligations, plus enough to pay down and eventually eliminate the national debt.
As some have suggested, it will take a combination of raising some taxes and cutting waste and/or extras.
The economy and the fiscal solvency of the federal government is the overriding issue (or should be) in the upcoming presidential election.
Mitt Romney might well be more likely to deal head-on with the fiscal problem, but there is no way of knowing whether he could actually make any progress, and he would more than likely do things to accommodate his own class, the wealthy, which is not the same as getting the economic house in order. George W. Bush made it clear that his constituency was the wealthiest in the nation and yet he presided over the meltdown of the economy and a dramatic rise in the national debt largely due to wars paid for off the books so there was no fiscal accounting or easy accounting to show the disastrous effect on the nation’s fiscal health.
President Obama campaigned on dealing with Wall Street and its vices but in reality has done little to nothing in that regard, as far as I can tell. He also threw tax money at failing auto companies when he should have let them make it on their own as Ford has done.
I am not an economist and some might say my notions are simplistic and even inaccurate.
But I say argue with this:
It’s better to pay as you go and stay out of debt, resorting to it only in national emergencies (of which wars of choice are not) and be willing to make tough decisions on what is necessary and/or affordable spending and what is not.
The rich have to be taxed and probably have to be asked to pay a higher percentage of their income because they have more discretionary money available to them, but it is neither right nor practical to simply expect them to pay for everything — they can and will move capital elsewhere (even though those who do should no longer be afforded the protections of the U.S. government). And besides, there needs to be an incentive to become rich. That has been what has made our American society so successful in the past and a beacon of hope for a better life world wide .
But as I like to say, not everyone can be rich if for no other reason than no one can be rich unless others are poor (it’s a comparative thing). It remains the responsibility of all in society to look our for the less fortunate. And often this is done through government efforts or programs — private charity cannot and will not handle it all.
On a related subject, don’t we really need higher interest rates to create an incentive to save money through investment vehicles which in turn raise capital for economic/business expansion?