COMMENTARY | A poll conducted by the National Association for Business Economists revealed the majority of the membership feels raising taxes and reducing spending is the best way to scale down the national debt, according to the Associated Press. Well, they got it half right. If spending practices were guided by reasonableness and social services programs were lowered to fiscally responsible levels, a tax increase would not be necessary. If government spending continues at the present level, the deficit will exceed $1 trillion for the fourth year in a row.
Bragging about small economic gains will not serve President Barack Obama well on the campaign trail. His message of hope and change will not likely woo even the most disillusioned of liberal voters a second time. The Republican candidates fighting for the nomination might leave many fiscal conservatives feeling less than satisfied, but the nation cannot afford four more years of Obama's policies.
Even though 87 percent of the economists polled believe taxes should be raised, the group could not agree on tax reform specifics, the Associated Press reports. Approximately two-thirds who participated in the survey feel payroll tax cuts should continue through the end of the year. Raising taxes on businesses will only hurt employees and consumers. There are loopholes that need to be closed, but an outright increase will only hamper the little economic progress that has occurred.
Unsustainable government spending must be addressed or long-term fiscal health will remain a pipe dream. Reducing spending should be a top priority for local, state and federal officials. Democratic politicians fearful of angering the public employee unions which support their campaigns are reluctant to make any real changes to the status quo.
Right to work states attract more business than states locked into fiscally irresponsible collective bargaining agreements. Union negotiations typically fall apart not because of workplace safety issues or job requirements, but because of unaffordable benefit packages and performance evaluation mandates.
Social services programs such as welfare and food stamps were designed as temporary aid and not as a generational lifestyle choice. Entitlement program fraud costs American taxpayers millions of dollars each year. Once public spending problems have been resolved, the nation should consider a flat tax to adequately and fairly collect taxpayer dollars.