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Budget Assignment

1130 words - 5 pages

The United States Government currently possesses more than seventeen trillion dollars of debt. Billions of dollars are spent each year on paying off interest payments, not the debt itself. Many spending cuts and tax increases must be made in order to stabilize the debt so that our country does not default on its loans. Before beginning the budget simulation, I set out to define my policy goals. Because in the United States, the top one percent earner’s income totaled 21% of the entire country’s pre-tax income (Piketty), I decided that America’s top earners would have to suffer the lion’s share of tax increases. I attribute this decision to the fact that many lower and middle class workers struggle to make a living, while upper class earners with much more disposable income do not have much higher tax rates. Corporations, many of which utilize tax credits and loopholes to pay very little in tax, are also looked at, as tax increases for corporations do not directly translate into lower wages for workers. I also kept an eye on the future, funding programs that would help future generations prosper, as the long term consequences of decisions have the greatest impact. I expected to be able to cut quite a bit from the budget, but feared that I would fund too many social programs and therefore not save enough money.
The most significant choice I made regarding the U.S. budget was which of the Bush-era tax cuts to renew. Due to my liberal nature, I chose the tax cuts for incomes under $70,000. This is because the majority of America would be unaffected by the tax increases, while those who are can better afford the extra costs. Although I tarried between renewing the tax cuts for all incomes below $250,000 and the policy I chose, I decided against protecting the upper-middle class from these specific tax increases, as this money is needed to fund social programs, many of which benefit everyone. The sustainable growth rate would be altered to grow at the Medicare economic index. The object of this would be to tie physician payments to the actual cost of their practice, whereas the other options significantly decrease doctor’s income, with no provision for raises due to inflation. I fear that its alternatives could cause a future decrease in doctors, as with less money to pay off the expensive students loans needed to go through medical school, many smart young men and women may chose a profession with greater fiscal rewards, and a shortage of physicians could be a significant blow to the quality of healthcare in the United States.
Regarding the Department of Defense, no change would be made to its size. Although cutting back the “grow the army” initiative would save a lot of money, every job cut would be another American unemployed, which weakens our country and ends up costing us more money. Also, America needs to keep its position as the world’s foremost military power. Troop levels in the Middle East would be sharply decreased to 45,000 by 2015, as...

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