By Austin Mahle ‘19
I recently got paid after working very hard over the past month as a busboy in a small restaurant. Since I’m paid monthly, the long wait can be tedious, however well worth it. My hard work had earned me, and the results shocked me: $5.84 subtracted for Social Security taxes (of which I’ll never get a cent of when I retire), $1.36 for Medicare and $2.89 for PA State taxes. I’ll admit it, I was seriously vexated. I’m not the only one who is angry though; across this nation, millions of Americans open their paychecks to see the heavy hand of government taking a significant chunk of their hard earned money to fund some seriously idiotic policies.
The recent omnibus budget increased spending in all different fields of government intervention: $886 billion for the military, $1.046 trillion for Social Security, and another $1 trillion for discretionary spending for the government. This burden only comes from the federal government, as citizens must account for state taxes, municipality taxes and other portions taken from our paychecks. At the end of the day, people are losing almost 15-20% of their pay on government spending, yet we are told it is for the good of us all. How is it good that I’m losing money before I even spend it?
Government has been expanding for years, but really took on the state it has today during the 1960’s during Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, where LBJ thought that America’s problems could be solved through spending and government. Here began the growth of the welfare state. Targeting poverty, which at the time was at 17%, Johnson increased the debt by billions, and at the end of his Great Society in 1968, the poverty level remained the same, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Yet today, Democratic politicians claim that we need all these welfare programs to help the poor, and that continued spending will alleviate all the ills of America; however, history has clearly shown it has not worked.
Republicans are just as bad! They’re spending always funds the warfare state they’ve crafted over the past several decades with spending only increasing over time, especially when they drag us into some stupid invasion in a foreign nation, while they constantly claim our forces are underfunded and can get nothing done due to lack of funds. President Trump, speaking on Hannity, stated “Our military is more important to me than a balanced budget.” Former Senator John McCain, in 2013, claimed, “I say to the defense doves…we need to negate the effects of the Budget Control Act.” Of all people stating this, John McCain surprised me the most, considering his service in Vietnam and chairmanship of the Armed Forces Committee, he would be the most educated on our military budget and how it is functioning. The facts prove different, as the U.S. is the largest spender on military forces, compared to the next seven nations combined, for a grand total of $892 billion, raised from $650 billion, and increased by President Trump’s Omnibus Bill. How is it that the party known for proclaiming fiscal responsibility suddenly wishes to exceed the budget. This position is flagrantly false!
Washington needs to hear this message: stop spending! Increased deficit spending, either for the welfare or warfare state, will not benefit anyone in this country except the politicians who use this platform to get into office. At the end of the day it is us, the regular people, who have to foot the bill for all this nonsense. Instead, we must get our representatives to see wisdom, and cut off these cancerous tumors of rampant spending festering on the body of freedom. I support our brave troops, but I don’t want to see them being sent to war in foreign lands because some contractors want to make a profit, and I also want to help the poor, but not through a government run Ponzi scheme called Social Security and Medicare, where the previous and current generation won’t receive a cent of those funds. We The People are calling for change, let us hope that Washington hears us.
Austin Mahle is President of the Young Americans For Freedom, host of “Mahle In the Morning” on WRSD 94.9 FM, and host of “AP Gov Review” on the RHS TV Channel