Why would a nation that is deeply in debt punish those who work, and reward those who don’t? Wouldn’t it get deeper into debt?
Why, surely. And then? Simple! It will print more money.
Indeed, our printing presses are vigorously at it. Soon people may need a wheelbarrow full of money to buy a loaf of bread. It happened in Germany in the thirties and it can happen here. Work needs to be rewarded and encouraged, so people find pride again in their civic responsibility. John F. Kennedy put it so well, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
Sadly, today’s employment agencies go begging for qualified applicants. They say that those who receive unemployment benefits would jeopardize them if they’d return to work. So many don’t. Even their medical benefits are better than those of the working middle class, who pays a high price for them.
In an attempt to refute the accusation that the United States is becoming an entitlement society where social programs undermine work ethics, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities showed where the benefits go. Among its charts is one entitled: "Wealthy Households Receive Disproportional Share of Tax Expenditures." According to this chart 21% of the country’s top earners receive a 90% “Share of Tax Expenditures.” Unfortunately, the meaning of tax expenditures is not defined. (Figure 3, http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=3677 ),
Yet, many people do take pride in their work. Actually, honor and ethics are an innate trait of most people—well, for some it may be hard to resist the lure of government handouts. Would job training improve the situation? The job market is changing faster than ever. Skills needed today did not exist twelve years ago.
Those who do work, tend to work hard and long hours to make ends meet because the government must take the money somewhere. That somewhere is the American working middle class. They are punished with higher taxes, increased medical costs, and endless restrictions affecting their business.
In 2013, an extra 3.8% Medicare surtax was levied upon people who have an annual income of 200,000 a year or more.
Since 2014, there’s a stiff “Marriage Penalty.” For example, a single person earning $300,000 a year will be in the 33% tax bracket; if both husband and wife earn that amount, they’ll pay 39.6%, a difference of $39,600 a year in higher taxes (U.S. News & World Report Mar 12, 2014 http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/my-money/2014/03/11/how-much-the-marriage-tax-penalty-will-cost-you ).
One could go on and on, but enough. Who would forgo that grand feeling of having done a great job? The joy of accomplishment is often worth every drop of sweat and sweeter than government handouts.
Until next time,