Each week I write a political issue that affects YOU and THE WORLD around you.
This week’s political report: Holiday Spending and The Looming Fiscal Showdown
As we move closer and closer to another fiscal showdown (Dec. 13th)—a showdown that will no doubt hurt every struggling American this year—it seems as though that the average American has embraced financial conservatism. Because this holiday season holidays shoppers have spent an average of $407.20 between last Thursday (Thanksgiving) and Sunday, down 4 percent from the $423.55 they spent last year–a 2.9% reduction from last year’s spending. (Washington Post) What does this mean for you? It means that you are now becoming smarter with your money than the previous year. But it still indicates that our economy is not over the bridge to recovery (from last year’s report) and that Americans are still cautious in spending this holiday season.
After just recovering from an unnerving Government Shutdown, (which the GOP are still struggling from their hit in the favorability polls) Capitol Hill is still in a disarray of how to handle its own budget, when Americans are not. How come? The answer to this question has always been ideology; or difference of opinion.
“Should the working poor, or middle class Americans, shoulder the economic deficit by working more hours and paying more in taxes than the average person from Wall Street? Or should Wall Street or multinational corporations continue to expand by having no government regulations (like not shipping jobs overseas) and paying lower taxes?
The answer is common sense, but having the majority of votes to support that common sense is difficult–and that’s when you get a fiscal showdown.
From an American perspective there should be economic growth in both sectors: public and private sectors. People who want to serve our country by means of public service (being a soldier, police, doctor, firefighter, teacher, bus driver etc.) can have the financial stability to support their families (meaning no sequester cuts). And where people can start a business (with little to no risk) in the private sector, but must give back to their country, through means of American jobs and fair taxes.
As I mentioned before, “I hate taxes!” But I hate it more when people misuse our tax system by paying for lower taxes or jumping through tax loopholes. We should play fair when it comes to taxes–and not have military families or middle class families shoulder the burden by paying more in taxes to fix our economy. To put it simply, in terms of dating.
“When the dinner bill comes to the table, pay it in full–don’t let your date pay for it! And if you do split it, then pay for your fair share!”
I am glad that America is practicing financial conservatism, but if Congress does not pass a legislation on Dec 13th that reflects growth in both sectors (examples: no cuts to dire programs like Social Security etc. or cutting tax loopholes) and support from 90% of middle class families (and not the 10% of wealthy Americans) than Americans may have to shop even lesser than before this holiday season. But trust me when I say that the world will not end if the budget resolution does not pass–I think we survived enough cataclysmic events, for the past two years now, for us to not lose our insanity 🙂
If you are one of those people that must have that plasma television, iPhone, jewelry, laptop, car, flashy toys, games then STOP!! And think before you buy. If you still haven’t paid your electric bill, and you plan to sit in the cold tonight to get the new iPhone or Plasma TV, then STOP Right Now! Pay for your electricity first! Until we can cut our TRILLION DOLLAR deficit, you still need to think about your costs of living. Interest rates on everything are still up (student loans, mortgages, insurance, credit cards etc.) and will continue to rise, so be smart!
As tempting as it is to buy that latest technology or game console, especially from outside the U.S., still remember to read the label first and invest in American made products. Not only do you want to receive satisfaction in buying a gift for that special someone, but self-confidence too–knowing that your money contributed to our economy. And where can you find the best American Made Products? You can find them in your own community.
Go to your local arts and crafts show and help your small business grow. By going to these events, or small business stores, you will be able to experience America’s greatest pastime: “bargaining.” You will get a chance to meet new people and build new relationships with small business owners.
By shopping at your local small business store you will not only produce savings for yourself and your family, but you will be giving back to our economy which will then help our country grow even more prosperous.
For this Holiday Season, practice financial conservatism and invest in small businesses.
DISCLAIMER: THIS IS MY OWN POLITICAL OPINION. FOR ANY COMMENTS OR QUESTIONS PLEASE DIRECT THEM TO MY CONTACT ME PAGE
This report was influenced by The Hill and Washington Post.