The Republican tax bill passed and was signed into law by President Trump, which means the US debt may grow by another 1.5 trillion dollars. Can we avoid having this skyrocketing debt load cripple our economy? If so, how?

Gastonia, NC Correspondent-The current Republican tax bill is the biggest batch of big-business sops, sham “benefits” for the middle class that will end up costing them and social engineering camouflaged as financial policy ever put forth. The GOP is trying to foster its spurious “business-first” agenda by giving gigantic tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy, while stripping the middle class of things like the state and local income tax deductions. Yes, there’s a short-term tax cut for the middle class, but that will expire…and the loss of the deductions won’t.

The only way this tax plan will pay for itself is if the businesses receiving the tax cuts put the money they’ll collect off our backs back into the economy, which they have shown no inclination toward doing. Rather than help the little guy, they’ve proven themselves determined to build up giant cash reserves, reward the shareholders, drive up stock price and hide money overseas rather than expanding workforce and giving realistic raises to their current employees. Thus, the tax base won’t increase, the real economy will continue to be stagnant and the government coffers will go wanting. It will fall to some future administration to sort the mess out, and of course they’ll immediately be vilified by the Right for “raising taxes,” when if the supposedly deficit-shy GOP had stayed true to its roots, the mess would never have happened in the first place.

Sheffield, Jamaica Correspondent-And the newly passed Bill was Trump’s way of making America great again? Surely, he could have done better. That Bill will only keep the poor…poor. From a business perspective, Trump’s many businesses will benefit and turnover some massive profits, but with less money heading into the Treasury.

Surely, that’s not good for the ‘Great’ America. Whether we like to admit it or not, the aim of contending with debt is to ensure that a solution is put in place to curtail it, turn things around, as it were.

However, Trump seems to be behind time because he has chosen to plunge the country into more debt, rather than relieve it. Frankly, I don’t see any viable solution to preventing America’s economy from collapsing. I take that disposition for two main reasons.

Tax payers drive or build America. With this tax cut, the poor will be forced to pay what they don’t have, while the rich amass more in wealth. With less revenue from taxes pushed into the Treasury, America won’t have the spending or buying power it needs to operate as a functional system.

To supplement, the economy will collapse because of its leader. Trump is a mere businessman. That’s how he was bred. He’ll always think about means and ways to create opportunities for corporations and businesses, not necessarily for the greater good or benefit of the entire country.

The only way to remove this large debt is to reverse or repeal the decision that got it there in the first place.

Owatonna, MN Correspondent-Today our present massive federal debt exceeds our annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The government now owes a whopping $18 trillion to its creditors. Sooner or later, a day of reckoning will come. Either a recession/depression will strike and cause massive unemployment and reduced tax receipts, or our creditors will lose faith in the dollar as the world’s reserve currency and demand their money back. The consequences of those financial and economic disasters will doom our economy to one of two possible responses: much higher inflation if government prints more money and adds to the deficit; massive tax hikes if we choose to pay off the debt.

True leaders would realize that perpetual deficit spending will sooner or later end in catastrophe. They would preach frugality and reduce spending, raise taxes, or do both until the debt is reduced to a manageable percent of GDP. Unfortunately, our current political leaders seem addicted to tax cuts and piling on debt, so drastically reducing our deficit isn’t likely to happen.

The sanest way would be to enact a policy of stricter fiscal discipline and debt reduction by limiting expenditures to a specific dollar amount per capita. Indexing that amount to the core inflation rate will allow for inevitable price increases. This would be the equivalent of a balanced budget law—but not an amendment to the Constitution, which is far too drastic and rigid. Limiting spending to that level will require either spending cuts, benefit reductions (always unpopular in our ever-growing entitlement society), or automatic across-the-board tax increases for all businesses and individuals to make up the difference. With such a law in place, Congress will be forced into fiscal discipline or face the wrath of voters who don’t want to pay more in taxes. The key is to reduce that debt gradually over time so it will be less of a shock to our economy.

Unfortunately, since no one likes paying taxes and we as a nation don’t seem to mind fiscal irresponsibility from our government, this will be a hard sell. The only way this can happen is if a small but vocal minority start advocating fiscal responsibility by educating citizens, then Congress, about the inevitable disaster that awaits us if we spend ourselves into oblivion.

Myrtle Beach Correspondent-The only way this added debt won’t cripple the economy is if we find other ways to lower the debt. The tax bill makes sense to put more money back in the pockets of our citizens. But, it does not make sense from a national debt standpoint. We need to find another way to combat our debt, taxing citizens isn’t the way to do it. I don’t have any solutions right now.

Cartwright-Again, I feel like I’m in the minority here, but I believe the tax reform package will actually pay for itself by unlocking a lot of untapped potential for growth in the economy and incentivize the repatriation of corporate profits trapped offshore and overseas. The economy is doing well right now. I know it’s hard for some people to believe and many will just not accept the fact that the economy has been doing well since President Trump took office. Businesses and consumers are more optimistic than under the previous administration. President Trump is widely viewed as a business friendly president and his policies are aimed at reducing regulatory burdens on businesses of all sizes. Remember, small businesses account for the majority of employment in this country and they are disproportionately impacted by regulations and tax policy.

Where I’m going with all of this is quite simple. The cost of the tax package can be easily defrayed if we have a healthy, growing economy and more people working. As the economy grows and businesses expand or new businesses open, you have more income generated which will then be taxed and you have more employees who are paying income taxes not to mention taxes for Social Security and Medicare. The better the economy does, the less the tax package actually costs. To be sure, there is no way to accurately predict the final cost of the tax package and whether it will add to the debt or not. All of the numbers we hear from the media, politicians, and others are just estimates; they are nothing more than guesses, some educated and some not. I don’t have a crystal ball to see into the future of the economy and the impact the tax package has, but I do believe that if the economy continues to grow and people continue to work the net cost will be much less than anticipated. I guess we’ll have to see who’s right in about ten years.

Let’s put a few things in perspective. Even if the tax package adds $1.5 trillion to the national debt, this is a paltry amount compared to the nearly $8 trillion added to the national debt under the Obama administration and the nearly $6 trillion added under W’s administration. In the last seventeen years, we’ve had costly adventures in the Middle East, bank bailouts, union bailouts, a government takeover of our healthcare, and massive waste and fraud in the federal government. In less than two decades, we’ve increased the national debt from $6 trillion to over $20 trillion. This should clearly illustrate that the federal government has a massive spending problem. This is what needs to be addressed immediately. We can’t spend our way to prosperity, and we can’t spend our way out of debt. We need to reign in federal spending and the only way to accomplish this is through a reduction in the size and scope of the federal government.

Will this be easy? No. Will it be painful? Yes. Will this result in a lot of people who are currently benefiting from the federal government taking a hit? Yes. Does this mean that a lot of workers in the federal government would lose their jobs? Yes. Remember when we had the sequester and the partial government shutdown a few years ago? Remember how they said that all non-essential federal workers would be furloughed? All those people got their back pay when the shutdown was over. But think about…non-essential workers. If they are non-essential, why are they there in the first place? They’re just sucking off the teat of the taxpayers so let’s permanently eliminate those positions to start. Then, let’s have the secretary of each federal department and the head of each agency provide plans to reduce the size and scope of their departments and reduce the actual size of their budget by a certain percentage per year so that we get back to pre-2000 budget levels.

We have to start somewhere, and I think this would be a good starting point. Then, we need to move towards reform of Social Security and Medicare. Unfortunately, no one in the Congress has the will power to do any of this. Perhaps President Trump will eventually tackle these issues and be the first president to show any leadership on these issues. Time will tell.

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