Go to the website www.usdebtclock.org, and stare at it until your eyes bleed.
Currently the total US debt exceeds 58 TRILLION dollars. Do you know how many dollars a trillion dollars is? Infinity dollars.
This year, US federal tax revenue was something like 2.4 trillion dollars. US Federal spending was above 3.5 trillion. COME ON. I know 3 year old children that can balance a budget. It is really quite easy. All you have to do is spend less than what you make. SO WHY DID OUR GOVERNMENT SPEND OVER A TRILLION DOLLARS MORE THAN WHAT THEY MADE THIS YEAR?!? A trillion dollars isn’t an accidental oopsie. It’s not like the government can say “well, we had everything budgeted out properly, but then Air Force One needed some unscheduled maintenance, and the water heater broke in the White House, so we had to dip into our savings a little bit, but we’re back on track now.” No. A trillion dollar deficit is our government saying “Yeah, we’re not even trying anymore. If you don’t like it, you can go fuck yourself. We hate each and every one of you individually as a person.”
I wish I could choose where my tax dollars go. That would be awesome. I don’t mind paying taxes, i’m a civic minded individual, and I enjoy things like well maintained roads and reliable emergency response services, but i’m sure a significant portion of the taxes I pay go toward funding things I don’t approve of. They probably go toward things that actively hurt me.
When a big corporation is struggling financially, they take the necessary painful steps to get back onto a successful path. They cut spending. They figure out ways to make more money. They sell off unprofitable lines of business. They adjust, improve, and evolve. Maybe our government should think about doing the same things?
How much of our government’s spending is actually necessary? 16%? There are huge expenditures we can cut out of our budget. Here’s an idea. Get our military out of whatever sandy garbage heaps they’re currently serving in. Unless we are actively invading a country to take it over for good (i’m looking at you Canada), we should remove every single serviceman from land that doesn’t have an American flag flying over it and bring them back to help out around here. I guarantee we have more than enough military hardware and personnel to protect the homeland. We don’t need to keep spending money we don’t have producing more. We just have to tell the rest of the world we’re sorry, but they’re going to need to be adults and deal with their own shit for a while, because Uncle Sam’s got his own problems to solve. I have a sneaking suspicion we won’t be missed, and boom, we’ll also be saving hundreds of billions of dollars every year.
The military isn’t the only thing we can cut back on either. Things we need: roads, bridges, dams, hospitals, etc. Things we don’t need as much: agricultural subsidies, corporate welfare, regular welfare, tax credits, federal grants for dumb stuff, humanitarian aid overseas, coffee and donuts in the Capitol break room, etc.
New Zealand cut its government spending in half, and they seem to be doing alright. Is Frodo Freaking Baggins that much better with his money than us?
Cutting spending would help, but it won’t be enough. The government also needs to make more money. How might it do that? Well, i’m glad you asked. Here’s an idea. Taxes. Every politician ever promises to lower taxes when they are campaigning, so people vote for them. Fuck that. I’ll vote for the first politician that says they’re going to raise taxes. It sucks, I know, but we can’t pay real bills with imaginary money. Rich people get a lot of tax breaks. Why!? They’re rich. Tax the fuck out of them. Robin Hood those rich mother-truckers if you have to. They have lots of money. They can afford to give a few more pennies. Let’s be fair though- tax the middle class as well. Tax poor people too, what the hell, why not? Everybody should be pitching in. Will it be popular? No. Will it fix some problems? Smell yeah. The only way to make debt go away is, surprise surprise, to pay it off. Our Government can definitely come closer to achieving that by cutting spending and making more money.
There are other ways to make money besides taxing away our hard earned dollar bills. Has the government considered having an optional fundraiser dedicated to paying down the national debt? Maybe Congress can have a bake sale. Or sell a Supreme Court Hotties calendar. Hell, they can even make a sad television advertisement asking for just 50 cents a day. If people are willing to send Sarah Mclachlan money to help nasty goopy eyed dogs, and those dirty-faced UNICEF children with mismatched shoes and a sad story are always getting sponsored, imagine how much money could be raised with a down on his luck Uncle Sam commercial.
Another smart thing corporations do in times of recession is sell off unprofitable lines of business. If a particular product or factory isn’t making money, they get rid of it. That way not only do they get a sweet check from whoever they sell it to, they also get the reprieve of not having to operate a money-losing facet of their business anymore, as well as being able to focus better on the remaining portions of the company. In business, during a tough economy, focus and specialization are good.
This doesn’t just apply to businesses either. Sports teams get rid of their weakest players all the time. Maybe it’s time for America to trim the fat as well.
We have 50 states. It’s a nice, even number, I know, but do we need all of them? Does America really benefit from keeping Missississippi? What about West Virginia? Do we reeeeally need Kentucky? How about Alabama? Surely some money rich but land poor country would be willing to spend a pretty penny for Arkansas. What do you say Japan? Switzerland? Anybody? Plus think of all the jobs we’d create producing all the new 45 star flags.
It’s an idea.
In closing, Future President,
No, I did not vote for you. Since I didn’t bribe/contribute millions of dollars to your campaign I know that you don’t have my best interests at heart, and that all of your campaign promises to people like myself were emptier than my dear mother’s post-menopausal uterus.
I wrote in Bill Clinton on the ballot. That guy’s the man.