America, we are down and out

By Timi Ajayi
Scarlet Staff

Okay, maybe there won’t be a government shutdown. But Washington has to lead in averting a fiscal black hole we are headed for.
Though it is mostly intended to keep the state apparatus afloat, the budget must also be geared towards future dividends. To change course from our debt predicaments, I highlight three critical elements of the budget that must be reformed, based on the data of the 2012 FY budget and US fiscal shortfalls presented here.

First, I propose an investment to raise per capita economic output, thereby, shrinking America’s gross income disparity. This can be achieved by directing some of the income security expenditures towards human development programs like education, and others aimed to increase skilled labor force – so that, in the United States, having shifted from an industrial to a service-based economy, a person with any full time job can maintain a decent standard of life.

If we are amassing such a great deficit, we might as well invest a huge sum of it to generate future surplus. The government is obligated to implement policies under which wealth can be accrued fairly. Luxembourg, whose per capita GDP is almost twice that of the United States, is a great model of this initiative.

Second: defense; the policy of preemptive warfare is a huge financial burden. Current ongoing military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan, and who knows where account for 7.89% of the nearly four trillion dollar budget.

Also, America’s involvement in nation building in Afghanistan, and countless dollars of foreign aid – what Ron Paul referred to as financing “the American Empire” – when Republicans in congress are poised to gut $75 million dollars of homeless veterans’ programs, and several schools are shutting down across the country, is absurd.
Lastly, though I disagree with politicians’ perception of wealth redistribution because of progressive taxation, I believe it is fair to cease issuing Social Security checks to wealthy seniors. If certain families are ineligible for Medicaid because of their high socioeconomic status, then wealthy American seniors can be denied Medicare too. Desperate times call for desperate measures. In this economy, giving our fair or unfair share is patriotic. I hope you agree.