Budget & Economy
Debt is the amount of liabilities owned by the U.S. The deficit is the difference in the amount earned versus how much is spent. Our national debt is $31+ trillion and keeps rising beyond our income. Our national deficit is nearly $90 billion. While the debt is complex the most comforting part about it is that we mostly owe ourselves. To that end, the answer to a good, balanced budget is to keep working on closing the gap between what is earned and spent.
The most serious threat to the United States is our own fiscal irresponsibility. Unless we act now it will only get worse. We are in desperate need of balanced budgets that lead to surplus. However, with each new presidency we seem to dig deeper and deeper into debt. In order to achieve fiscal responsibility, we need a true partnership between the government and the American people. Let’s review a brief history.
The national debt first began with the war for our independence. On the first day of our federal government, we were already in millions of dollars worth of debt. In 1835, our founding fathers eliminated that debt by looking at debt not as a problem, but as an asset. I promise to see it that same way. By seeing debt as an asset our founding fathers created a pathway for a gradual schedule of dependable tax resources and eventually generated revenue via taxes on land, luxuries, and yes, booze! They also created more liabilities and an active economy through the institution of banking. Nevertheless, the U.S. repeatedly found itself in more and more debt due to various reasons: perpetual inflation, war, and the institution of various social programs.
We must understand that the politics of sound fiscal responsibility is very difficult because the natural inertia is towards spending for necessary federal and social programs on one hand and providing tax cuts on the other. If we’re going to be successful, we must constrain our spending and provide for adequate revenue which means making difficult trade off decisions that involve Americans on how they want their money spent.
Now, here are a couple of comforting thoughts: first, our national debt can never be called in on the day of our creditors’ choosing. There are too many circumstances that prevent this. Second, politicians often tout that America should be run like a business: it should never spend more than it takes in! Nothing could be further from the truth. Very rarely do successful businesses operate like that. Most businesses do not wait to bring in tons of revenue before they begin operating. They borrow the money first and then begin building, gradually reducing their debt and deficits over time. In fact, businesses spend more than what they bring in all the time and governments are similar. The problem comes in when we, as a country are not able to pay our debts off due to loss in revenue and the deficit becomes so large it’s out of control. To that end, I intend on taking new bold steps to address some underlying problems in the economy by:
Reassessing the need for war and various social programs
Finding and implementing ways to generate new forms of revenue that the United States alone decides, implements, and controls (ex. Federal legalization of marijuana)
Supporting and/or creating any legislation that leads to an active and growing economy
Supporting and maintaining a progressive tax rate system: a tax rate that increases as the taxable amount increases (See more in Taxes)
Advocating for livable wages, ensuring consumer protections and holding global financial services firms accountable via more regulation