It is a known and accepted fact that Barack Obama’s preferred policy with regards to tax is to increase the liability of the wealthy, while easing that which rests upon the shoulders of low and middle income households. This is a measure that is apparently well supported within the US government, with a vast majority of Republicans, Democrats and Independent representatives all in agreement that individuals or households who earn more than $250,000 per year should bare the brunt of plans to reduce the national deficit.

Not only this, but US citizens also seem to agree that this is the most positive step that their government can take with regards to taxation. The New York Times recently revealed in a poll that an estimated 72 percent of adults approve of increasing federal taxes on households earning $250,000 per year or more, which is a significant portion of the voting demographic in the US. Though this suggests that the government and its subjects are in accordance, there are economic and ethical issues concerning such a practice within a free and democratic land.

A Thriving Economy

From a purely practical standpoint, there are two significant reasons why increasing the tax liability of the rich would be either inconsequential or potentially detrimental to the economy. Firstly, given the effects of the global recession and subsequent recovery, there are a paucity of individuals and households who earn more than $250,000 in the US. This means that by targeting this demographic as opposed to imposing a 1 percent increase on each level of household income, the government will acquire far less reveneue over the next decade than they have the potential to.

The US is currently at the mercy of harsh and strained economic conditions, and its middle and lower classes are exposed like at no other time in their recent history. This period of fiscal tumult is also proving a catalyst for alternative social issues, such as benefits protests from public sector workers and a steady rise in national hate groups within the countries boundaries. One of the most significant issues within the contemporary USA is increasing poverty, especially in the face of steadily climbing food and fuel prices, which is threatening to create a significant divide between the north and south of the nation.

The Basics of a Strained Economy

The fiscal circumstances of the current US are of course a reflection of the recent recession and subsequent painstaking recovery. The main issue with a recession of this nature is its presence as a vicious and divisive cycle, that often sees unemployment rise and citizens unable to contribute to an economy. As a consequence, governments are coerced into reducing spending and inflating taxes and prices, creating a situation where basics such as food and drink are more expensive and increasingly out of the reach of struggling citizens.

It is one of the more regrettable aspects of human nature that people apply blame to innocent associates and things for their own abhorrent behavior. This is not a new phenomenon, as examples of such conduct can be traced back hundreds of years. For example, the renowned phrase ‘money is the root of all evil’ is an adaptation of the bible verse ‘the love of money is the root of all evil’, which is a clear criticism of greed and how it creates deceit and ill judged conduct within society.

However, the contemporary adaptation of this phrase suggests that it is money which stands as the significant factor in all that is wrong with the world, and not the people who handle and abuse it. This is an entirely inaccurate and irresponsible conclusion, as it absolves individuals of their duty to spend and save money responsibly. A simple phrase it may be, but its meaning is a clear indication of the blame culture that exists with regards to personal finance and expenditure.

The Concept of Financial Infidelity

The concept of financial infidelity is a further example, and is the process of one person keeping financial secrets and trends from their life partner. Instances of this behaviour seem to have increased during the global recession, which suggests that people have taken to creating their own individual financial safeguards even within a relationship of marital environment. There may be may potential reasons for this, but these issues are more likely to be the cause of the deceit rather than the presence of money itself.

In many ways, the period of economic recovery that follows a recession is an often unsure and frustrating time. This is in part due to media coverage and its emphasis on sensationalism, where every single optimistic portent is heralded and perceived as a huge step towards prosperity. This creates an unrealistic expectation amongst society concerning unemployment trends and personal finances, as individuals seek a quick and effective resolution to economic hardship and periods of fiscal difficulty.

The fact remains however that while the are undoubted reasons for economic optimism for the forthcoming year, there is an inherent misunderstanding of financial reporting and the core processes of an economy. This is what causes many individuals to misunderstand the portents and indicators that are presented by media resources, and subsequently develop disappointment and frustration as the economy does not display the rate of growth that is anticipated.

Understanding the Numbers and Economic Cycles

The main issue facing society is the representation and usage of statistics and figures. While it is easy to adopt a piece of numerical data to argue a point or economic trend, it can often be contracting or negated by another piece of information within a related field. As an example, it was proudly proclaimed that unemployment rates in the US dropped by 0.4 percent at the end of 2010, and this figure was indeed reflective of a positive trend. However, this rate was inclusive of individuals who had simply stopped seeking employment or claiming welfare, so the actual number of those who had sourced work was less than initially perceived.

Given the recent reports concerning proposed economic prosperity for 2011, it was logical that Barack Obama would cite the literature in his weekly address to the US. He identified the positive trends that have been established in job creation and reduced levels of unemployment, and suggested that these figures herald the beginning of a brighter year ahead for the country. His speech was an exercise in accentuating the positive, and an attempt to capitalize on the growing optimism in US society.

Although these reports suggested a level of economic growth that was underwhelming when compared with economists predictions at the close of 2010, there was still clear progression and improvement in the fiscal circumstances. Unemployment dropped from 9.8 to 9.4 percent throughout the last month of 2010, and although it has been suggested that this is due chiefly to the fact that many stopped looking for work during the festive period, the government is keen to assert that this is a portent of things to come.

The Wider Picture for the Growth of the US Economy

It is widely known that the condition of the US economy in 2012 could well be the deciding factor in Barack Obama’s prospects for a second term in office. It is all too apparent that a large and disproportionate amount of responsibility for the economy falls on the shoulders of the president and his representatives, which is especially concerning given the size and capitalist nature of the country. It is arguable that the responsibility for such a diverse economy should be more equally spread, with businesses and individuals being encouraged to take control of their own financial health and well being.

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