Running on Empty

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  • Published : November 17, 2012
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Karen Johnson
Opinion Paper
Running on Empty

The title of the book written by Peter Peterson Running on Empty describes the financial crisis in the United States. Peter Peterson has written other books about government and politics and has also had hands on experience in this field. Peterson is saying our country is in a crisis and totally in debt. Peterson’s experience in political matters makes it possible for him to call out mistakes made by both parties and to present nonpartisan solutions. Mr. Peterson has served as Secretary of Commerce and has served as a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank in New York. He also was one of the founders of the Concord Coalition in 1992. This was created in an effort to demand fiscal responsibility among the leaders of both parties in Washington. Peterson is a Republican, but he explains how both parties have been equally irresponsible. His book explains how the conservative and liberal parties caused this issue and what can be done to rebuild our future. I believe that the Democratic Party really honestly cares about all people being healthy and happy. However, they could help the financial crisis by reducing some of the social programs they have created to help people in our society. I think Peterson is correct when he states that not every interest group may not be able to have their own entitlements as it has now. It is possible that some of the burden of taking care of all people could be given back to the people. Our country used to be known for strong families and stronger work habits. However, I’m sure this would be much harder than it sounds because the way families live now compared to the past is so different. Some people have not ever developed the skills needed to take charge of their lives. To make these types of changes Peterson says that we have to hit the very bottom in order to be willing to make changes like this. In the chapter with the title “Ten Partisan Myths”, Peterson discusses how he thinks the Democrats and Republicans are different. It seemed like he favored the Republicans when he said that “every American is ‘entitled’ to government largesse”. I think that the American government should keep promises for our well being in order to try to reduce the trust of the American people. They need to stop making promises that they can’t keep. It is my opinion that the Republican Party often promises to make tax cuts to persuade the American people to vote for them. Like the Democrats, they don’t always keep their promises. Although the Republicans think that it is a good idea to spend huge amounts of tax dollars on military forces and supplies, perhaps they could decrease spending in this area. I don’t think that cutting taxes will help unless there are also huge cuts in spending. I agree with Mr. Peterson that the raise in taxes would have to be increased so much that it would be too much of a burden on the middle class. I also agree with Peterson that price indexing seems to be a easy way to solve this problem especially because it is fair to all and simple to start. Similar programs have been used in other countries with some success. I think both Democrats and Republicans would be in agreement that our country would benefit from less borrowing from other countries, less imports from other countries, having more exports, and being able to have a balanced budget. I think they would also agree that relying on other countries to bail us out of dept is a bad practice. Both parties have been guilty of blaming the other party for these existing concerns. Peterson explains in this book how the founding fathers of our country had strong opinions about creating large public debt and they gave advice that it should not be done. Year after year these problems seem to be ignored and instead both parties are more concerned in an immediate payoff and making their own...
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