Views of the Author
The author of the article appears to be providing the citizens within the region with information that can assist them make proper choices in terms of facilities provided by the Government (Appelbaum and Gebeloff 1). In the beginning the author confronts Mr. Gulbranson, a local who owns a logo apparel shop and a few other small enterprises to sustain his family.
Probably out of lack of knowledge Mr. Gulbranson is of the opinion that too many Americans rely on Government aid. He further shows support for politicians who approve reductions in government expenditure (Appelbaum and Gebeloff 1).
Surprisingly, Mr. Gulbranson is awaiting a subsidy offered to working families known as the earned-income tax credit. In addition to this he has signed up all three of his children into programs that provide them with free breakfast and lunch at federal expense (Appelbaum and Gebeloff 1). Furthermore, Mr. Gulbranson makes use of government financed Medicare to provide health services for himself and his family. Through Medicare Mr. Gulbranson has managed to take his mother for hip surgery twice.
The author uses the Gulbranson case to indicate to the public that a large number of the critics of the Government Safety Net benefit from the services provided immensely. Due to this awkward position held by a large percentage of the population Politicians have began to make efforts to increase such benefits (Appelbaum and Gebeloff 1).
However, this approach is suitable in a case where the government has adequate funding. Unfortunately, trends in the global economy have led to a situation where the government is falling into debt (Appelbaum and Gebeloff 1).
The situation has become national dilemma with almost 70% of the population accepting a proposal to raise taxes. At the same time 56% were of the opinion that the government should make cuts in Medicare and social security (Appelbaum and Gebeloff 1). The government on the other hand needs to solve the situation soon as it seems like it could become a major issue in the nation in the coming years.
Policy recommendations made by Author
As the article progresses it becomes clear that majority of citizens, especially those in the middle class appreciated the help they received from the government. Mr. Gulbranson indicates that he would rather do without the government subsidy on school lunches but maintain the taxation that contributes to social security (Appelbaum and Gebeloff 2).
This point is supported fact that Social security taxes can manage the benefits for a worker after retirement. However, this situation is also getting complicated due to the fact that Social Security has to contend with the benefits of spouses and workers earning lower wages (Appelbaum and Gebeloff 22).
But the problem with Medicare is worse because a worker contributing $1 to Medicare receives $3 worth of services. This happens because whereas Medicare is meant to serve as an insurance program, the premiums paid are not nearly enough when compared to the service offered.
Due to this position many of the older citizens feel they are taking more from the government than they paid in taxes. This situation suggests a worse picture in future which is likely to affect the young members of society. This assumption is based on the opinion of the senior citizen known as Mrs. Barbara Sullivan who is 71.
In the article Mrs. Sullivan highlights her distress in relation to her grandchildren who may have to contend with much higher taxes in the future. This sentiment has also been reported by politicians who suggest there is a need to break away from government aid if the future is to be any brighter (Appelbaum and Gebeloff 3). One issue that remains not addressed is the issue of increasing taxes.
Upon going through the article it becomes clear that while the US government has gone to great lengths to spend money on improving the life of citizens, this expenditure is leading the nation into debt. This position can be assumed based on information that indicates that government programs sometimes spend more on service provision than they receive in the form of taxes and premiums (Appelbaum and Gebeloff 3).
It has also been noted that as a result of these programs the amount on National debt has been rising steadily in the recent past. Because of this increased debt many Americans, especially older ones who rely on social security feel that the government should reduce the amount of money it spends on a variety of subsidies (Appelbaum and Gebeloff 3). Because of the current situation many senior citizens foresee a much tougher taxation regime in the future to offset the national debt.
It has also been established by some respondents that among the reasons these reductions should be made is due to the fact that some beneficiaries spend carelessly (Appelbaum and Gebeloff 4). This opinion was based on the assumption that the respondent aims to work throughout and not retire. However, when asked about how they will cope with reduced performance brought about by old age, the respondent appeared to understand the need for these programs.
After careful consideration it would appear that the best way to tackle this dilemma would be to raise taxes reasonably. Another option could be to increase the age for eligibility for those in need of social security. This opinion comes based on the fact that even in the current population many people agree that increased taxation is possible.
For that reason it would appear there is a need to sensitize the population on the economic situation within the country. It is believed once the population is aware of what lies ahead they will be ready to embrace the change that is required. This approach has already been successful in answering the questions of the respondents of this survey. It can thus be assumed that a similar approach should work in the country in general.
Appelbaum, Binyamin, and Robert Gebeloff. Even Critics of Safety Net Increasingly Depend in it. (2012). Print.