The politics and policy of taxes and deficit spending
As you have seen, public budgeting is inherently political. Indeed, it is driven by an acutely political cycle: For example: 1) Politicians promise benefits in order to get elected;
2) Those promised benefits often come at high expense;
3) If campaign promises are to be kept, taxes must be raised or reorganized in order to transfer and transform private wealth into government revenue to cover those expenses;
4) Individuals losing wealth through higher taxes may seek to remove from office the politicians that raised their taxes, and so on. In light of this cycle, many individuals, institutions, political challengers and think tanks may work to hold elected officials accountable for their public budgeting decisions. In this week’s discussion board forum, please provide and explain an example of political strategies used to hold elected officials accountable for taxing/spending policy and an example of a political strategy used by politicians to avoid the potentially negative consequences of deficit spending or tax increases.
Policies of Taxes and Deficit Budgeting
In recent years, the common citizens in the country are increasingly becoming aware of their rights to better governance and thus are increasingly pressuring politicians to be accountable for all their activities particularly spending. Those who hold public offices have a responsibility of ensuring that they prudently spend public money for public gain. However, most politicians take public budgeting as a political process and an event that should be carried out for political gain. In a real sense, public spending should focus on allocating resources regarding opportunity cost where they are needed most and where they will have the greatest impact on the lives of common citizens in a country (Srithongrung, 2017). This assignment will attempt to identify ways through which the general public can hold politicians accountable for their spending habits.
Research shows that the notion of holding politicians accountable begins and ends with the voting system. Therefore, one of the political strategy to hold politicians accountable for their activities and spending by voting them out during an election if at all they were not accountable during their time in office. The vote is often considered as the true leverage and can be used if politicians break their promise. Thus, political power rests on the shoulders of the common citizens as they can vote them out next election. On the other hand, politicians are known to use corporate social responsibility politically to increase their spending and taxes without being held accountable (Claibourn, 2011). A great deal of politicians has been known to engage in philanthropic activities, offer incentives and even offer to subsidize public projects. Unfortunately, all these activities are carried out with a political motive so that they cannot be held accountable if they misuse public funds or increase taxes.
Claibourn, M. (2011). Presidential Campaigns and Presidential Accountability. University of Illinois Press.
Srithongrung, A. (2017). Capital Budgeting and Management Practices: Smoothing Out Rough Spots in Government Outlays. Public Budgeting & Finance. doi:10.1111/pbaf.12167