The Messy and Confusing Presidential Elections

We are in the midst of a very scary economic reality as the United States is facing significant and fundamental budgetary challenges and yet the rhetoric from the presidential candidates is abundant with promises that none of them can keep, accomplish, or have any possibility of passage in the Congress.

Presidential candidates Donald Trump (L) and Hillary Clinton (R)
Presidential candidates Donald Trump (L) and Hillary Clinton (R)

According to a report published by the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan Washington based research group, an estimated 45.3% of American households—roughly 77.5 million—will pay no federal individual income tax in 2016. Roughly half pay no federal income tax because they have no taxable income—the other half get enough tax breaks/credits to erase their tax liability.

Also, according to the report, despite the fact that rich people allegedly paying little in the way of income taxes makes plenty of headlines, the richest 20% of Americans fork over nearly 87% of income tax collected by Uncle Sam. The remaining 80% pay 13% of the tax collected.
This is totally out of balance, and not sustainable long term. It makes no economic sense.

There is a dire need to fix/reform the tax code, to balance revenues with spending and reduce the budgetary deficit and the national debt. The economic condition of the country is a major
security issue. There is a major problem and no one wants to come up with reasonable, workable and achievable solutions. Neither of the candidates has proposed a viable plan in which the numbers make sense and add up. Broad terms with few specifics.

The U.S. national debt is 19 trillion dollars. This is an unfathomable figure. The budget deficit in fiscal year 2015 is projected to be 439 billion. Soon, the debt will exceed 20 trillion.

A significant part of the budget is spent on annual interest- presently 6.03% of the budget for an amount of $ 229 billion- a percentage and an amount that will continue to grow as deficits accumulate, debt increases and interest rates are expected to increase.

Whatever analysis is issued by a partisan group is flawed because the figures are manipulated in favor of a candidate’s plan.

What a mess? What a circus?

And yet, for the past several days the news coverage and headlines have been mainly about:

1. Trump’s lewd comments in vulgar terms in a 2005 video which captures Trump talking with Billy Bush on a bus. His comments are deplorable. But this is not serious politics. It is a soap opera which distracts from the serious issues.

2. The release of emails covering Clinton’s paid closed door speeches to Wall street banks, which clearly reveal that her positions on economic and world trade issues are conflicting and contradictory. What she says in public on the campaign trail is different than what she says in private behind closed doors with Bankers.

By the time this article is published the second presidential debate would have taken place. And there will be a lot of coverage by the pundits about who won or lost the debate. Will it make a difference? Who knows.

Hopefully after the debate we shall be in position to make a better judgment on the candidates.

This certainly is a messy election.



Vart Adjemian

Vart K. Adjemian was born in Cairo, Egypt, in 1943. He became an ARF member at the age of 16 and was a contributor to the Armenian daily newspaper “Houssaper.” Adjemian worked for a German company in Egypt that was awarded the project of saving the Abu Simbel Temples, as well as for the Australian Embassy in Cairo. In the early 1970’s, he moved first to Montreal, Canada, and then to the United States. Adjemian worked for the Continental Grain Company (New York) for 30 years, holding executive positions in the United States, Italy, Switzerland, and England; the last 8 years of his tenure was as executive vice president and chief operating officer. In 2005, he retired to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He is an avid supporter of the ANCA and a regular reader of the Armenian Weekly.

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  1. A most critical and important analysis. A trillion has 12 zeros. A figure that is beyond comprehension.
    With this unfathomable debt level it is unreasonable and impractical to find or allocate additional funds:
    a- To help and support the poor,
    b-Improve the crumbling infrastructure.
    c-Improve and support the educational system which is getting worse in the inner cities and poor municipalities.
    d- Upgrade and increase military spending.
    e- Reduce taxes; on the contrary a tax increase is inevitable,

    Both Republicans and Democrats are making empty promises and are playing games with the country’s economic stability and long term
    well being.

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