America is nowhere near the conditions of the Great Depression.
So why are we spending like there’s an economic boom?
When logic tells us budgets should be tightened and debts should be paid, is the solution really to drastically increase our deficit by spending more? Everyone would love to spend like we’re back in the Reagan administration, but the fact of the matter is that we’re spending like we’re still in the Bush administration. Spend now, pay for it later, seems to be the new American way. Federal spending this year is already $900 billion more than expected, and President Barack Obama plans to spend $4.9 trillion in 2018, $550 billion more than what was predicted.
And who will be paying for this? That’s right. You and me; the next generation.
It seems that Obama wants to change the way Americans view the government. He does plan to abolish the subsidized loans and gain access for students to borrow directly from the government. For incoming college students, this opportunity will be very beneficial. But the master plan is to spend $3.55 trillion in the 2010 fiscal year, which sounds good to me, I’d love the government to help me get out of debt. But this is a deficit in itself, and it’s just like getting vaccinated. At the time, it’s a boost for the body, but without taking habitual care of the body, sickness will strike again. A shot is a temporary fix, and with Obama’s plan to cut that shortfall in half by the end of his term, on top of a $1.4 trillion current deficit, I don’t see all faring well for taxpayers.
Don’t get me wrong, I’d love the opportunity to get $8,000 from the government to buy my first house. But the fact that I’m already in debt with student loans, facing a hard time getting a job out of college, and will be unable to maintain the house on a low salary after 2009 makes me think this might be counterproductive. The $8,000 must be spent in 2009 toward a new house purchase and the owner is obligated to pay it back (though it’s seen as tax credit) if the owner does not live there at least three years. This replaces the bill that gave a $7,500 tax credit under the Bush administration that needed to be paid back on a 15-year schedule. But this bill isn’t going to help any of us already getting government assistance for our higher education, although I’m certain we’d all like to own a home after graduation. Again, the administration seeks to soothe our wounds now by packing on debt that we shouldn’t think about until later; later affects students immediately after graduation.
Obama has the nation’s best interest at heart and recognizes deficit is inevitable. But Bush’s deficit is now Obama’s deficit, and it is now his responsibility.
What spending is really necessary in order to “put our nation on sound fiscal footing,” as Obama said in his presidential message? I have faith in his capability to govern our nation, but I am disheartened to know that I’ll be paying for benefits I’m not qualified to receive.
Before you take the bait on all the “free money” that the government is offering through national health care and a stimulus deal for the housing industry, just remember that we are all going to be paying for this sooner or later.
Ashley Tambunga is a junior English major from Fort Worth