President Trump's administration saw a steady growth in jobs and sustained wage increases, which promoted economic recovery his first few years in office. In fact, October 2019 reported the lowest unemployment numbers in half a century, giving voters a sense of security going into an emotionally charged election. Then 2020 brought the coronavirus, a viral pandemic that brought the economy to its knees, and economic concerns are suddenly at the forefront of the upcoming election.
The stakes are high in the next presidential election, and campaign promises run the gambit. Fiscal policy implications will reverberate throughout the country, yet Americans aren't being presented with strong economic proposals.
Partisan candidates are presenting diverging economic policies as the backdrop to their vision of America, but studies show that Americans want to see strong fiscal plans based on data. While healthcare reform and terrorism did make the list of priorities, the economy, jobs and budget deficit are among top concerns for voters.
Evolving economic landscape
Congress is acknowledging the gravity of the looming pandemic crisis by enacting coronavirus response bill, but these grossly enlarge the already-near-wartime national debt, and many are worried about permanent economic damage. The national debt has been on an unsustainable path since the economic crash of 2008, which caused more than $20 trillion in damage and changed American lives forever.
The country still carries the debt (and has added another $2 trillion to it), and many Americans are still affected by the 2008 crisis. With the presidential election on the horizon, American citizens have been expected to cast their vote for partisan hopefuls who are not taking an analytical approach to fiscal policy.
Candidates are running on hot button issues such as inequality, reparations for the actions of our ancestors and even affordable housing. However, no candidate has declared any fiscal position on the American debt or presented any financial policy positions thus far, much less a data driven approach to lowering the massive national debt.
The bottom of the fiscal totem pole
Large financial firms have far too much power over the economy and everyday lives of Americans. The last bailout of 2008 has shown that, but these significant contributors seemingly still have a blank check from American taxpayers. It seems the subprime mortgage crisis that caused so much damage and required a cash infusion of $250 billion into the financial sector taught us little.
Largely unregulated, massive corporations have incredible influence over the decisions of policy makers, and reckless financial behavior is helping to widen the gap of public inequality. Americans are working harder for less money and still struggling to make ends meet. Rising costs could help abate investments in areas of economic growth, and taxpayers are living in constant fear of another corporate bailout.
This is not the economic landscape we want to inherit or pass to the next generation. The national debt should not be larger than the gross domestic product, and fiscal challenges threaten to derail the economic health of the country if we fail to get actively involved. Passive voices are rarely heard, so amplify yours with Up to Us. We foster a collaborative approach to awareness surrounding fiscal policy and the national debt. Together, we can ensure the next generation inherits more than the tax burdens of poor fiscal policy.