Government living on credit : Part 2

Published 7:00 am Friday, January 13, 2017

Borrowing in addition to printing money and artificially low interest rates has kept the stock market on its upward track. It must be an election year.

Unemployment is reported at nearly a record low but I feel everyone needing a job is not counted. Like the GDP the correction will come later.

Now that Trump is the newly elected president, will we change course? He is talking about another stimulus bill in the approximate amount of $1 trillion for infrastructure, roads, airports, bridges, etc.  No doubt they have been neglected but not necessarily due to lack of funds.

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There are all sorts of taxes in place for roads and bridges. Taxes on fuels, tires, excise taxes, road tolls and the list goes on. How did we let our infrastructure get in such a poor state? The money was spent on other more voter friendly giveaway programs, such as welfare.

Trump’s talk of import tariffs is most probably pie in the sky. All the import tariffs have been tried before and they have proven themselves unable to raise revenue. Instead, these efforts have proven themselves to have diminishing returns once in place.

Buy now-pay later. Let the good times roll. I learned early in life that there is no such thing as a free lunch but it appears a free lunch is the theme

on which our politicians are extolling, never mentioning the $19 trillion in debt. Perhaps we can pay that later.

So how do we bail the country out of this very deep hole we have allowed Washington to dig. The best avenue and the one most past due for correction is the government spending and long-term commitments.

Trump mentioned a decrease in government hiring, letting attrition lower the over stuffed payrolls. It will take much more than this.

Whole departments will have to be eliminated, starting with the department of education. Let the states do their thing on this. The department of labor could sure use some trimming as well as the Attorney General’s office.

Trump also mentioned that the U.S. has been furnishing a military shield over both Europe and Japan since WW II, a great burden on our taxpayers. This is just a few observations that show what could be a start to balancing the budget and beginning to pay down the national debt.

We as a country must learn to tighten our belts and start living within our means, which should include retirement planning from the first paycheck forward. Congress must make it mandatory to have the Office of Management and Budget put all spending through a cost/benefit analysis to check for feasibility.

All of us, and especially the politicians, must realize we have reached the end of buy now pay later practices we have followed over the past 60 years.

By Paul Ingram