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Tom Wolf
Tom WolfDemocrat, PACurrent Position:Governorsince January 01, 2015
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We Don't Have A Taxing Problem, We Have A Spending Problem
Believe it or not, revenues coming into the US Government last year were a record high of $3.25 trillion. Unfortunately, the government spent a record $3.68 trillion. This can't keep happening!
Our National Debt is at an astronomical $20 trillion, yet all we hear is cries for "pay their fair share" or "tax the rich", when in fact we've been doing just that for years. In fact, as you can see by the tables below, revenues in the last five years alone have risen from $2.30 trillion to $3.25 trillion. The problem is we keep spending way more than we are taking in!

Federal Revenues, in trillions (source = http://usgovernmentspending.com)

YearRevs.
20112,303.5
20122,450.0
20132,775.1
20143,021.5
20153,249.9


While this is obviously a huge number, it is less than what the government spends each year:

Federal Spending, in trillions (source = http://usgovernmentspending.com)

YearSpending
20113,603.1
20123,537.0
20133,454.7
20143,506.1
20153,688.3


So the questions is: where would you be if you spent 25% more than you earned year after year? The answer: up to your eyeballs in credit card debt or in the proverbial poorhouse. But what happens when the government keeps spending more than it takes in?

If it were an individual, you might send him or her to therapy or to work with a credit consolidation agency to address the problem. Unfortunately, there is no counseling option for the government. In fact, most of the solutions are bad.
Let's look at some potential solutions:
  • Do Nothing
    Most politicians want to actually raise defense, entitlement, and other spending, but with the National Debt currently hovering around $19 trillion and projected to be $21 trillion, we'd be in big trouble. Spending on Social Security, Medicare, welfare programs, and interest on the national debt already comprise over 60% of our spending, and with more people approaching Social Security and Medicare age, these costs are only going to increase. Similarly with the national debt: while the interest rate in the US is basically zero, interest payments on our debt will increase substantially once interest rates rise.

    Doing nothing to cut spending on Social Security, Medicare, welfare programs, and interest on the national debt will only make these payment rise to approximately 80% of our spending. What happens then? Either we cut back on other spending such as roads, bridges, schools, police, fire, public transportation, etc., or taxes have to rise substantially. Neither is a good option.
  • Spend Less
    Everyone agrees that we must do something, but few seem to be able to do anything. Cut Social Security or Medicare? Political suicide. Propose cuts to welfare programs? Suddenly you are a racist.

    I know that many people live their lives day-to-day and though they might hear about these issues, they do not feel that government spending affects them.

    Unfortunately, such group think is detrimental to our country, and leaves our children saddled with a problem that only gets worse each year. As such, both political parties in our country need to come together to develop and implement a plan for spending less.
This ViewPoint submitted by: 3/28/2016 11:19:00 AM
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Voter Comments
We need a Constitutional amendment to keep a balanced budget and to limit spending. We do not need nor want the socialists in our government raiding our savings as has been done elsewhere. V.G. - Other, VT
7/29/2016 2:41:00 PM
am self-employed so I was on my ex-wife's health insurance through the end of 2013 when I got divorced; anticipating the need to get health insurance after the divorce, I went online and looked at my options in August 2013, and found a decent plan for about $180/month, thought that wasn't too bad. Divorce was final mid-December, went back online in January 2014 after Obamacare kicked in 1/1/14 and the same plan (the silver plan from the same insurer, although not exactly the same as the annual deductibles and max had gone up to $4600/$6300, respectively) had gone up to $350/month - - which I couldn't afford (i.e., to pay close to $9K per year before it would cover anything, and then co-pays after that), so I'm gambling and going without health insurance at the moment (and paying the ObamJ.T. - Libertarian, GA
7/29/2016 11:51:00 AM