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Government Spending: What Can Be Done?

1027 words - 5 pages

As a taxpayer, I wonder where all my hard earned money is spent. My biggest concern is the expenditure on welfare, the War on Drugs, and the War on Terror. I understand welfare can help those in need, that the war on drugs can prevent violence, and some may not view the spending wasteful. Although, these expenditures can be useful to an extent, I believe the spending should be decreased and monitored.

Some argue welfare is pertinent to all who receive aid and that it should not be limited. However, welfare has increased significantly over the years with no measurable decrease in the national poverty level. Welfare expenses have increased from “$445 per person […] in 1960” to “$13,061 per person” in 2012, which is an extremely large increase especially since these numbers have been adjusted for inflation (Federal Safety Net). Although spending has increased nearly thirty times, the level of poverty has averaged “between 12% - 15% of the population” (Federal Safety Net). The US government has spent a total of “619 billion” on welfare in “Fiscal Year 2012” (US Government Spending). These outstanding numbers makes me believe welfare needs to be reformed. One way of reforming welfare would be restricting alcohol, tobacco products, strippers, gambling, and body piercing through photo ID. For those who are unemployed, implementing mandatory job training or offer them jobs that need workers. Welfare has been created and changed “over a 50 year period,” “result[ing] [in] a complex system” that has many problems; undoubtedly, could be resolved from the revocation of all previously written welfare legislation and the creation of one well written law that covers every factor of welfare (Federal Safety Net). These changes in welfare would help fight off welfare dependency and help decrease the wasteful spending into this program.

My opponents exclaim that the War on Drugs prevents crime and is worth the expense of taxpayer money. The War on Drugs is very similar to Prohibition, which caused more problems than it solved. The War on Drugs has made purchasing syringes illegal which “spread[s] diseases such as AIDS,” (Jefferson Area Libertarian). Those who use drugs will go through any outlet to get drugs, but some outlets sell stronger drugs or even drugs laced with poison and other substances that kill. Those arrested for drugs have increased from “50,000 in 1980” to “half a million today,” which is more than twenty percent of all the people in jail (Drug Policy Alliance). The United States government alone has spent almost fifteen billion dollars on the War on Drugs this year add in state expenditures that adds up to more than 50 billion dollars. Legalizing marijuana alone could “bring in $45 to $100 billion a year,” some economists say (Huffington Post). The legalization of drugs would bring about new jobs for the growing, selling, distribution, and quality control of drugs, which also would decrease the drug trafficking and decrease in death by...

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