We voted today. Our state allows early voting and we zipped through the polling station without any delays. Now we can ignore the cacophony of competing TV commercials, lawn signs, and Facebook posts.
Four years ago, I wrote a post about the 4 things the new President and Congress could focus on to best help retirees. They are all problems the government themselves created. Predictably, 4 years later – despite for all of their promises – neither party has made progress on ANY of them.
It’s not even that they ignored them that is bothersome. It’s that all 4 things have gotten significantly worse through continued bad behavior or 4 years of inattention:
1. The Federal Debt cleared $27T two weeks ago. That’s up $7T since Trump took office. Most of that debt was added before the CV19 stimulus money when we had a rip-roaring economy. I read today that 22% of all US dollars in the world (M2) were magically created in 2020. Americans’ debt-to-income ratio is so low right now – compared to 25 years ago – that the government had to provide $ for almost every household and small business.
Related: Our National Savings Dilemma
2. Social Security / Medicare Reform – I don’t watch the debates, but in reading the headlines and talking to friends, there was no discussion of ‘fixing’ these programs. They are both demographic time bombs with upcoming liabilities in the tens of trillions of dollars, but still neither party will even talk about how they might be fixed. Better to kick the can down the road than even talk about the issue is the strategy, I guess.
3. Affordable Care Act – None of the GOP promises to ‘repeal & replace’ the ACA have come to fruition and all of the increased costs of ObamaCare seem to have ‘stuck’. Instead despite Medicare’s impending insolvency (will lose billions this year), most of the headlines this year were made by politicians wanting to make it bigger. While you may think this is a noble intention, expanding a money-losing program without massive reform probably won’t end really well financially.
4. Income Tax Reform – Retirees in our state didn’t benefit much from the Trump tax cuts as our relatively high state taxes were no longer deductible. I get that is fairer, but at least let’s simplify the tax process & loopholes. Our tax return totaled over 100 pages for 2019. We get a lot of help from our Accountant, but I still spend more time on income taxes than any other household ‘chore’ all year.
I’ll carryover these same 4 requests for the President & Congress that get sworn in this coming January. There are a lot of issues for them to focus on, but these economic issues just keep getting worse the longer they are left unaddressed. I don’t see how they won’t result in major inflation of interest rate crises.
Sorry for the glum post – it’s election season!
Anything else you would add to the list?
Image Credit: Pixabay