As the national debt quickly approaches 16.5 trillion dollars, it is obvious that the way the government operates must be radically changed in order to avoid Obama’s “fiscal cliff”. BBC published an article on Wednesday discussing the President’s plan to increase taxes on the rich while extending Bush-era tax cuts for everyone else. His plan is supposed to generate $1.6bn in new revenue over the next 10 years and in order to avoid an estimated average $2,200 rise in taxes in 2013 for middle class families.
What is the point in raising $1.6bn dollars over the next ten years if our national debt will nearly double in the same time? $1.6bn in new revenue is like giving a starving man a piece of candy. It’s nice and all but it will not solve the problem.
The only way to avoid Obama’s fiscal cliff is to cut government spending. A massive military budget, two never-ending wars (the War on Drugs and the War on Terror), and the money hemorrhaging space program are just a few sectors that are wasting the time and money of the American people.
At $695.7bn, the US military budget is more than the next 5 highest military budgets combined. Earlier this year, the Army’s chief of staff Gen. Raymond T. Odlerno asked Congress to cease the production of tanks for three years until new technologies can be developed. The General claimed that, by shutting down production for three years, the tanks currently in use would be more than sufficient to maintain national security and it would save the taxpayers as much as $3bn. That is twice the profit made off Obama’s tax plan and no taxes had to be raised. The U.S. has not stopped production of tanks since before WWII. We own more tanks than the Army knows what to do with. Cut the military budget by employing the technologies we have already invested in instead of blindly spending money in an attempt at obtaining a false sense of security. For specific information on tank overproduction and military resistance to overspending see the CNN article “Thanks, but no Tanks.”
Space exploration is an important pursuit for the continuation of the human race. One day the rock we call Earth will explode or implode or shrivel and die and the only way for us to survive is to have the ability to leave. The federal government will never get us to this goal. Despite a massive budget, space travel continues to be stuck in the Cold War. Private companies such as Virgin Mobile and Amazon have invested heavily in space travel and exploration and the competition created will foster innovation. Privatized space programs will make space travel cheaper, more efficient, and less dangerous.
There are hundreds of areas in which the government is spending unnecessarily and even more where they are spending money in sectors they do not belong. The conversation of how to deal with the national debt always seems to revolve around “tax these people or tax those people.” Where is the decreased government spending plan? When did the solution to debt become to spend more money? Occupy Wall Street demanded increased taxes on the 1%. They were wrong. The solution is not to overtax anyone; it is to tax only for programs that are absolutely essential to effectively govern. Private institutions, such as space programs, save the government money and put more people to work. Stop spending and begin repaying and we will have more money and more stability in the future.