Obama calls for a reduction in the U.S. deficit???
Only days after signing the largest stimulus package known to man, as well as instituting a number of other costly bailouts to various market sectors, President Obama issued a statement that he has set a goal to slash the United States annual deficit in half by the end of his term. Mr. Obama inherited a deficit for 2009 of close to $1.2 trillion, which is expected to rise to more that $1.5 trillion given the initial spending from the stimulus package. I am not criticizing Mr. Obama for either of the two issues but I am having a hard time understanding how he is going to accomplish both of these lofty goals. With the economy being in its worst condition since 1982, the U.S. government needed to step in to provide some much needed relief and did, coming in the way of the bailouts and stimulus package. By doing so, the U.S. deficit took a extremely large hit, but this was the lesser of two evils, hoping that the $800 billion stimulus package would stop this downward spiral and spark some hope in the eyes of everyone across the world. Also, Mr. Obama has intentions to deliver this year on ambitious campaign promises to implement his health care and energy policies, which undoubtedly will add to the already enormous deficit. Mr. Obama also has plans in the future to reconstruct the country's education system by providing schools with increased funding and pay for teachers. I don't claim to be a very smart man but even a child can understand that a great deal of money will have to be provided to accomplish these goals and agendas. One way of raising the necessary funds to achieve his aspirations would be for Mr. Obama to raise taxes on the citizens of the U.S., which in these economic times would only act as gasoline on an already out-of-control fire. Another option President Obama has at his disposal, is to borrow even more money from foreign countries to finance his political agenda, leaving the tax payers, me and you, with more and more debt, with interest, to repay. This is a classic example of having your cake and eating it, too!!! It just can't work!!! The two major goals that the President is trying to achieve are contradicting!!! In a recent article published in the New York Times, Mr. Obama was quoted saying, "We can't generate sustained growth without getting our deficits under control." If that is in fact true, and I personally think it is the case, it is vital that we put all other agendas, policies and goals aside and focus on reducing the deficit to generate growth in the U.S. The stimulus package may in fact be necessary to stop this economic downturn but the line needs to be drawn somewhere!!! Everything that the government has done to stimulate the economy is water under the bridge and now the government needs to take a step back, focus on reducing the deficit, and let the economy run its course. This isn't the first recession we have experienced and it certainly won't be the last. The economy has always come out of the contracting state and this holds true for the current recession. Once we have weathered this economic storm and the U.S. budget has been somewhat controlled, then if the President want to look into these political policies, I see no problem. A good leader is one who can assess the current situation and make adjustments to the overall objectives to ensure the best possible outcome for his/her team, company, or in this case, country. Let's focus on the most important objectives, economic growth, and then work our way down the list when the time is more appropriate.