As the US continues to battle various economic and social issues, there are growing concerns that its leaders are falling out of touch with the needs and demands of their people. They undoubtedly have a sizeable amount to deal with currently, especially as they seek to finalise spending plans for 2011 with a financial budget for 2012 required in less than a months time. This lack of cohesion and measured planning is leading to several decisions that may well be considered as rash, all conceived with a view to cutting a vast national deficit.
With the US budget shortfall scheduled to rise to an unprecedented $1.5 trillion throughout 2011, the federal government are faced with the increasingly difficult task of reducing public spending by an amount lowers this deficit without significantly effecting the standard of life for US citizens. This balance is made even more difficult to obtain by a basic rule of economy, whereby a countries prosperity is only as effective as the capital that is invested into it, and governments who reduce spending too drastically will serve to undermine their economy even further.
Timing and Effective Budgeting
Part of budgeting is undoubtedly timing, and preparing a society as effectively as possible for any consequence of spending cuts. This serves the dual purpose of ensuring that any cuts are measured and can be absorbed by citizens without significant impact, while also keeping individuals informed and aware of how budget cuts will effect them directly. While even this is not a policy guaranteed to keep everyone within society satisfied, it does at least mean that the government is doing its best to serve its people and act in a well thought out and transparent manner.
An example this week was presented as the US government made public the possibility of reducing the amount of capital invested in the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. This is one outlet of two which is operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, came to prominence recently by warning US officials of the impending threat to the Californian coast from a deadly wave, which emerged in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that swept through Japan. It is proposed that though the cuts would not include either center been closed, it would serve to remove an estimated $455 from the 2011 budget.
However, given its role in averting a domestic disaster last week, as well as the current global interest in the nature and consequence of natural disaster, it seems a little inappropriate for the US to be considering such sweeping modifications. A good sense of timing would dictate that this is a government funded entity that has actually served an invaluable and practical service, and potentially saved billions of dollar by helping to prevent a natural disaster within US boundaries. This means that cutting its funding does so much more that simply render economic consequences.
The Morale and Understanding of Society
In effect, this also has a damaging impact on the morale of society, especially where the economic circumstances are already strained and difficult. Individuals see that something that they have helped to fund through taxes is working and providing practical benefits to the US, and can take solace in the part that they have played in an accepted success. As potential cuts are brought into the public domain, this then deflates an individuals sense of purpose and creates the impression of very little being able to prosper in the current economic climate.
This is why the government must take great strides to ensure that their proposals are well thought out, and announced and implemented at a time that minimizes the impact on society. This is no minor consideration, as it must be understood that drastic cuts in public expenditure create a great deal of debate, discussion and emotion amongst afflicted members of society. What the federal government, and indeed other bodies across the globe, fail to appreciate is the adaptability and awareness of the majority of their citizens, who are inherently more receptive to even negative news if it is argued clearly, based in fact and delivered at a time that has been specifically selected.
Planning Budget Cuts Wisely
The budget deficit is currently at an alarming level, and has gone beyond the point where even reinvestment can boost an ailing economy. Therefore, substantial cuts are a necessary evil in contemporary USA, as without them the countries debts will continue to soar and drive more and more of its citizens towards the brink of poverty and beyond. However, identifying that cuts are required is one thing, but it is quite another assessing where to make them and how to implement them into everyday existence.
As challenging as this maybe, this is how government officials earn their salary, and with a fundamental 2012 budget plan required fairly soon, an urgent plan of action is needed to drive the economy towards a full recovery. As long as it can practical and in the best interests of the majority of society, as well as being delivered to the public in a time effective manner, then it is most likely welcomed by the vast majority of the US. There is nothing worse than indecisive and ineffective government rule, especially when a country needs action like at no other point in its recent history.