National Defense and Homeland Security
Itemizing the key decisions in budget simulation and a brief summary
The first decision is the replacement of some of the military workforce with civilian employees (Option 15). This decision will help the nation to save $19 billion. Data from the Department of Defense indicates that thousands of military personnel who are work in support jobs perform jobs that can be done by civilians. These jobs are performed in military units. They neither deploy overseas for combat nor do they involve any functions that can pose personal or national security concern. The option seeks to replace 70,000 uniformed military personnel in commercial jobs with 47,000 civilian employees. The reduction in cost is due to basically because only a few civilians would be required in replacing a specific number of military personnel. Civilians do not have many collateral duties, and also, they do not rotate among positions as in the case with military personnel. (Rubin & Irene pg 104)
The cost involved in employing a civilian is much less compared to that used to employ a military service member. Proponents argue that employment of civilians would enhance efficiency. Few workers would be used and yet yield the same quality and quantity that could be offered by military personnel. The civilians do not also require a lot of job-specification training since they would not be subjected to frequent transfers that are evident in the military service. The opponents of this option argue that use of military soldiers is advantageous since they can be deployed in case of any military threat or any other national crisis. However, considering the cost saving benefit, this option is viable.
The second decision is the cancelation of the development of the larger combat vehicle for the Army (Option 17). The decision would save the government $ 11 billion. The Ground Combat Vehicle (GGV) program requires approximately $4 billion in the designing, testing, and evaluation of the vehicle. After 4 years, the program would require over $2 billion annually to fund the purchase of 150 GGVs. Even with that amount of funding, the vehicle cannot operate effectively in congested areas. The vehicle is very large and heavy such that it cannot maneuver in places with limited space. It is important to note that such conditions are likely to exist in future. The vehicle will, therefore, be ineffective. (Rubin & Irene pg 151-156)
The third decision is the elimination of health exchange subsidies for residents with more than 300 percent income of the federal poverty guidelines (Option 19). The option will help the government to save $109 billion. By enacting this plan, it would drastically lower premiums and encourage more than 1.5 million additional people to join the exchanges. For this reason, it is expected that the private sector would be forced to compete and lower health costs, benefitting everybody. Such capping exchange subsidies reduce the deficit without affecting the number of people that are not covered by health insurance, provided that employers offer insurance. The employers would offer better alternatives to employees than those that are available on the exchanges. This is because better insurance will attract and retain employees.
The other decision is raising the normal Social Security’s retirement age. The age would be raised gradually at approximately 2 months per year until the age reaches 70, which would be achieved at around 2038 (Option 26). The option would save the government $58 billion. This would increase the maximum, which was $113,700 in 2013, to $177,500. By doing this, it would account for 90 percent wage coverage instead of approximately 83, accounting for inflation since its inception in 1983. By doing this, it would drastically improve Social Security’s long-term financial outlook and only affect approximately 7% of the American wage earners while decreasing the deficit by $672 billion. . (Morgan, David & Kickham para2)
Another decision in the plan is to limit the deduction for charitable giving (Option 34). However, by allowing taxpayers only to deduct contributions of over 2 percent of their Adjusted Gross Income, it would drastically decrease the amount of small contributions that are a rampant source of abuse among taxpayers. Although some critics suggest that this plan may deter charitable donations, the deficit decrease of $212 billion is too glaringly obvious to ignore. When calculating the various programs listed above, it amounts to a deficit decrease of approximately $1,077 billion.
The other decision is based on the restructuring of discretionary spending based on inflation (Option 11B). This is vital because it helps account for an ever-changing population, economy and inflation growth. Despite the expenditure of $480 billion, it ensures a better long-term fiscal environment. Finally, the last decision is to establish a national infrastructure bank to support road improvement (Option 2). This $30 billion investment would help the economy by creating thousands of jobs as well as prioritizing projects that extend beyond one particular congressional district or state. This would only benefit the American public, promoting interstate commerce, creating jobs, while making it easier for people to move about
1. Chances of reelection as a member of the Congress representing the Republican district of Democratic district
As a member of the Congress representing a Republican district, my chances of reelection will be high due to the choices or votes, I made during my time of leadership. The choices will improve the security of the common people living in my Republican district as the federal budget will be balanced and the challenges of the financial deficit will be settled, with the implementation of my proposed changes on financial sources and expenditure. Option 15 will be aimed at deploying 47,000 civilians employees to replace the 70,000 uniformed military personnel in commercial jobs. This will create job opportunities for the civilians; this decision is likely to favor a larger population in a democratic district because of it relatively low income compared to the Republican population.
The decision to establish a national infrastructure bank to support road improvement as per option 2 would help the economy by creating thousands of jobs as well as prioritizing projects that extend beyond one particular congressional district or state. This would only benefit the American public, promoting interstate commerce, creating jobs, while making it easier for people to move about this a universal benefit that is likely to attract even more votes. (Morgan, David & Kickham para4)
The decision to add the public plan to health insurance exchange will ensure that the private sectors have lowered the health cost that has a universal benefit, especially to the democratic population. By implementing the public plan, the premiums will decline, and more people will be expected to join the exchanges hence saving $1.5 billion. The decision to increase the maximum taxable earning for the payroll security will be controversial and is likely to reduce my expected vote count especially in among the republic district but on the other hand, add-on votes on the Republican district. These decisions will improve my recognition regarding the public as they will help prevent the financial deficits in the federal budget and hence improve the district security.
2. Reactions of seniors, students, the rich, the poor, and the middle class feel about your decisions/votes
Different people will have different reactions towards the decisions to balance the federal budget. The changes have universal benefits, for instance, the decision to increase the funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency; will help save the lives and property of American people who have been subjected to man- made disasters, natural disasters or any other nation security threat. These extra funds will ensure a quick response to those that become victims of such disasters as opposed to depending on the congress that is often sluggish.
The children of the poor will also be beneficiaries of this decision as the universal pre-K program would help provide a pre-kindergarten program for low to moderate-income families and benefit the 20 percent of 4-year-olds that currently do not attend these types of programs, in turn closing the educational gap between the wealthy and poor. Such programs would help create a more productive workforce and limit, this $68 billion investment could result in up to $1,156 billion regarding intellectual and behavioral skills among at-risk kids, according to the results of the Perry Preschool Project.
The middle-class and the poor will also benefit from the low health costs, as a result of the implementation of the public plan to health insurance exchange hence drastically lowering t premiums and encouraging more people to join the exchanges .On the hand, the rich are likely to raise criticism and negative responses to this budget due to the impact of taxes on their wages and earnings. As much as the increase in taxable earnings for the social security tax will decrease the deficit by $672 billion the impact will be majorly be felt by the rich who cover approximately 7% of the American wage earners. (Rubin & Irene pg 161) Students and the poor will also benefit from the decision to establish a national infrastructure bank to support road improvement, would help the economy by creating thousands of jobs as well as prioritizing projects that extend beyond one particular congressional district or state. This decision will also benefit the American public, promote interstate commerce, create jobs, and make it easier for people to move about, the reach will also have an avenue for investment. The balancing of the federal budget will also ensure that the returns on investment improved hence benefiting the rich.
3. Attacks based on your decisions/votes in the simulation
However the decisions face criticism in various aspects, for instance, the population that will experience the impact of taxes on their wages and earnings will all be against this decision. As much as the increase in taxable earnings for the social security tax will decrease the deficit by $672 billion the impact will be majorly be felt by the rich who cover approximately 7% of the American wage earners. These groups mostly likely have a great political influence and can stand out to oppose the decision. Other groups will also be against the socialized insurance concept that involve the public plan to health insurance exchange (Rubin & Irene pg 163)
Morgan, David R., and Kenneth Kickham. “Changing The Form Of County Government: Effects On Revenue And Expenditure Policy”. Public Administration Review 59.4 (1999): 315. Web.
Rubin, Irene. Balancing The Federal Budget. New York: Chatham House Publishers/Seven Bridges Press, 2003. Print.