Even wealthiest should sacrifice
Ever since the economy bottomed out in 2008, we've been hearing the same tired rhetoric: Everyone has to make sacrifices as the government works toward scaling back expenditures and bringing back America's former financial glory. It would be fine if this were true. If everyone really did have to sacrifice in order to do their part to help the country, then we would have no second thoughts about giving up the things we could afford to lose. Yet the unfortunate fact of the matter is that this burden has not been universally borne. Instead, it has disproportionately hit the middle and working classes, as evidenced by the fact that the wealthiest Americans are still being given the luxury of massive tax cuts. Perhaps a couple of numbers will make this fact even more salient: When lawmakers approved the federal budget last week, it was said that the country would be saving $38 billion thanks to the cuts. In sharp contrast, the extended Bush-era tax cuts cost the government $42 billion this fiscal year.
There's something terribly wrong with this reality. While valuable programs like Planned Parenthood are being stripped of funding, the people who least need social services are failing to do their part and sacrifice for the good of the nation. The politicians who pushed for and approved these tax cuts are at fault as well. If they had instead decided to end the cuts, the federal budget would not have suffered so much. In fact, the federal government would be $42 billion richer. When the government has money, America has money. When America has money, the people don't lose as much as they already have.
We are not opposed to the idea of sacrificing for the greater good. We are opposed to the idea that only some of us have to sacrifice while others feel virtually no pain. There seems to be very little value on community in the United States today. Instead, we have become, in many ways, a nation of people who look out for themselves and only themselves. Perhaps we should remember that it was that kind of selfish thinking that got the United States into this financial disaster in the first place.