By Cynthia Capota:
There are many factors affecting the fluctuations of economic patterns: unemployment, consumer confidence, foreign relations, the stock market, and naturally, political decisions to name a few. But, despite the rumors of economic recovery, I have seen few steps taken to improve the economy, as well as meager amounts of evidence suggesting true economic growth.
According to the US Debt Clock, over 50,000,000 people are living in poverty; 34.2% of US families, or 39.3 million homes, received governmental aid. Allow me to illustrate how much money this is costing the Fed: $451.9 billion were spent on welfare in 2012. This translates into $1,500 annually per family and $958 per month. The fraud rate was reported as being at roughly 2-3%, so 785,000-1.2 million families were illegally receiving welfare. This means the government lost $9 to $13.5 billion in 2012 on welfare! These abuses to the welfare system are costing taxpayers dearly, taking the money intended for fixing the nation, and instead unfairly sustaining the poor.
Alongside the dysfunctional welfare system, Obamacare poses serious economic threats to both businesses and individuals alike. $52 billion will be pushed on businesses as a consequence of the employer mandate, which necessitates that businesses with 50 or more full time employees must provide health care for their workers, or face heavy fines. This will be a catastrophic blow to the smaller businesses, seeing as they will not be able to pay for their employees’ health care and thus, will be forced to cut hours, which will simultaneously affect the workers, and even further, the economy. CBO Director Doug Elmendorf testified before the House Budget Committee that Obamacare will also eradicate 800,000 US jobs, causing the unemployment rate to skyrocket and more people to be reliant on welfare programs, squandering even more taxpayer money. In January of 2009, the unemployment rate was at 7.8% and escalating quickly thereafter. By October of 2009, the unemployment rate peaked at 10%. Currently, it sits at 7.6% (this is the official unemployment rate; in reality it is about double), but Obamacare will certainly change that. To make things worse for our economic situation, Obamacare will add an estimated $1 trillion to the deficit in new health care spending.
Unfortunately, this is not the end of the road of fiscal irresponsibility on which our politicians are trekking. Lawmakers are entangling themselves in many other webs of wasteful spending. For one, illegal immigration costs taxpayers circa $100 billion per year. Sadly, even after the government spends US tax dollars on them, they rarely pay income taxes, thus frittering away their chance of contributing to the economy of the country from which they are receiving. Jack Martin, the director of special projects for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, explained how serious the economic effects of border security deficiencies are: “More forceful implementation of immigration laws could save each US household in the neighborhood of a couple of a thousand dollars a year.” Government spending for illegal immigrants includes such resources as public schools, medical care, incarceration, and unemployment benefits. This allocation of American taxpayers’ money once again goes not to fixing the nation, as it should, but to sustaining those who are not contributing members of society, and thus is taxation without representation, the main cause of the American Revolution.
Moreover, the government’s involvement in the Middle East comes at a high price to American taxpayers. Drilling for oil there has added more than $160 billion to the deficit. If the decision were made to drill in Canada or Alaska, the government would reduce this extra spending considerably. On top of that, the war in the region has cost almost $400 billion. To put the icing on the cake, job outsourcing will be incredibly detrimental to the US economy. Since 2000, the US has lost 750,000 jobs and by 2015, an estimated 3.3 million jobs will have been lost to outsourcing. All in all, US deficit spending amounts to $3.5 trillion. Think about it: for how long can a nation taxing itself into prosperity and spending money haphazardly survive? This behavior on the part of our lawmakers is immensely destructive to the livelihood of the United States of America and it needs to change, otherwise the results will be cataclysmic. Economic ruin will be afoot in our country.
The answer is quite simple: fiscal responsibility needs to be preached and embraced by the people and it must be required of the leaders of our country. We cannot allow our politicians to tax us and use that money for purposes which either do not affect us or that we do not condone. Instead of drilling for oil in the Middle East, we need to drill in Alaska or Canada. We must withdraw from the war in the Middle East. Border security needs to be made more of a priority. Obamacare cannot be adopted, for it will lead to more unemployment and economic turmoil. If jobs were brought back to the US, the unemployment rate would go down, consumer confidence would go up, more money would be beneficially circulated within the US economy and we would be prosperous. Just considering the waste I mentioned previously, the government could save around $1.3 trillion dollars and with all the other unnecessary expenditures accounted for, we could slowly dig our way out of the deep hole of financial demise we are currently in.
At the rate we are going, the faltering economy will not sustain itself for long. Unless our lawmakers start taking progressive steps to fixing it, we will suffer the consequences for generations to come. The government cannot keep borrowing money as if there is no tomorrow, no future for America, because there is a future. Our future. When the government fails to take action and stop the economy from crumbling, it compromises our future. Our chance at a happy life. Our ability to sustain the next generations, our children. Our ability to have great, secure careers and eventually retirement. We will be affected directly if the economy collapses. We need to “secure the blessings of Liberty [for] ourselves and our posterity.” Right now our economic liberty is at stake, therefore it must be protected. If the right steps are taken, we can pull ourselves out of this mess as a country, but we cannot expect economic recovery if we do not make it known to the government that change has to occur. Real change. Now is the time for action, before it is too late and the economy falls apart before our very eyes.
Views expressed are not endorsed or put forward by Turning Point USA