Political Change and the Future
Change. It’s on all of our minds. It’s the beginning of a new year. We’ve set goals for ourselves. We want to lose weight, go to the gym, start eating healthier, and earn more money. We want to improve ourselves. Maybe even improve our relationships as well. But mostly, we want change.
This year marks a historic year. We have a new president and cabinet. New leaders for our country. Donald Trump will be stepping in as our nation’s president and Barack Obama will be stepping down. Whether you lean to the right or to the left, it’s going to mean one thing. Change.
This could mean a great deal of things for preppers. The way that you prepare can be drastically changed by the way our nation is run. Let’s take a look at a few of the ways we could see a change in the next couple of years.
With the passing years, we have become increasingly focused on our economy. Trump himself has suggested that we may be heading for a recession, but that he has high hopes for being able to fix it.
In an effort to stimulate the economy he will be focusing on infrastructure. During his victory speech, he stated, “We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, and hospitals. We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none. And we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it.”
With the restoration of our infrastructure comes a large increase in jobs, especially in the construction sector. As the jobs become available and workers are snatched up, companies will begin to offer better and more competitive wages and benefits to attract only the best workers. This might mean the perfect opportunity to leave a job you’re not satisfied with or to switch career paths completely. More jobs means more stability for the homes and families in our country.
Trump has also suggested big plans for federal income taxes. Keep in mind this does not affect the taxes you will be filing in April of 2017. Those are for your earnings of 2016. However, for your tax filings next year, the tax brackets will be dropped from seven brackets to a mere three. These brackets will change and lower the overall percentage of taxes paid for the majority of the nation’s taxpayers.
The current taxing brackets are as follows:
Rate Single Filers; Married Joint Filers
10% $0 to $9,325 $0 to $18,650
15% $9,325 to $37,950 $18,650 to $75,900
25% $37,950 to $91,900 $75,900 to $153,100
28% $91,900 to $191,650 $153,100 to $233,350
33% $190,650 to $463,700 $233,350 to $416,700
35% $416,700 to $418,400 $416,700 to $444,500
39.6% $418,400+ $444,500+
These brackets are expected to be changed to the following:
Rate Single Filers; Married Joint Filers
12% $0 to $37,500 $0 to $75,000
25% $37,500 to $112,500 $75,000 to $225,000
33% $112,500+ $225,000+
From the 2014 statistics found on the IRS website (https://www.irs.gov/uac/soi-tax-stats-individual-statistical-tables-by-tax-rate-and-income-percentile) you can find that majority of Americans filed taxes within the 15% range. Your income would be between $18,650 and $75,900 as a married joint filer. With the new taxing bracket that most likely drops you into the 12% range. Meaning, less money paid in taxes and more money in your pocket.
Trump has vowed to stimulate the economy. He has built a 7-point plan to fight for free trade which will help support that. (https://www.donaldjtrump.com/policies/trade) While this could bring about plenty of jobs in the U.S. this also has the potential to cause a trade war.
Several of his points could indicate added tariffs or taxes to imported goods for some of our largest trading partners. By adding tariffs for other countries such as Japan, China, and Mexico, we could cause them to retaliate and are inflicting damage upon ourselves. They themselves could also add tariffs on exported goods from America. This will increase the price of the goods purchased by consumers.
Many major manufacturers rely on parts that are imported from other countries. If a tariff is imposed on these parts, the overall price will climb. This could cause a domino effect for other companies that may rely on them.
For example, if a part needed for building a Semi-Truck now has an added tariff, the cost of the truck will go up. The trucking company that purchased the truck now charges higher fees to transport goods. The farming company that needs to ship the goods must pay a higher trucking fee and then jacks up the cost of the apples. As the consumer of the goods, you have now paid a higher price for the apple that came from the farm across town. This was caused by the tariff placed on the semi-truck parts.
Trump has also said he’d like to repeal the health care overhaul or “Obamacare” which would impact quite a few people. Some small businesses and individuals have been able to get health care coverage through Obamacare that they wouldn’t otherwise have had the opportunity.
Repealing the plan will be messy to say the very least. There are an estimated 20 million people (http://obamacarefacts.com/2016/07/27/obamacare-enrollment-hits-20-million-as-of-march-2016/) covered under the various sectors of the Affordable Care Act including Marketplace and Medicaid. Without a definite plan in place, these people could be left without insurance.
Under the Obama presidency there were several groups that feared the second amendment would be repealed. While that was highly unlikely and nearly impossible, gun control and gun rights were proposed numerous times during his presidency.
Trump takes a slightly different approach, focusing instead on building programs to put criminals behind bars through programs such as “Project Exile” (https://www.crimesolutions.gov/ProgramDetails.aspx?ID=413) and developing treatment programs for mental health. He believes that by taking criminals that commit gun crimes off the streets and helping those with mental health issues, that gun crime would decrease significantly.
While he doesn’t propose that we expand the background checks (https://assets.donaldjtrump.com/Second_Amendment_Rights.pdf) for firearms, he does suggest that the system be “fixed” to better identify individuals that should not own guns. This would require better medical and criminal records being entered into the system by the states.
Climate change can be a hot topic. Obama’s ‘Clean Power Plan’ (https://www.epa.gov/cleanpowerplan/fact-sheet-overview-clean-power-plan) to cut emissions from power plants and boost renewable energy is not on the top of Trump’s to do list.
In fact, Trump has made several indications of supporting coal and oil over wind and solar. He would like to tap into the natural reserves found in our country. While this would reduce the cost of the product and provide more jobs here in the States, it also would mean protected land would be turned into oil fields.
Budgets are tight within the Pentagon, but Trump has vowed to increase our national defense. Suggesting even to “submit a new budget to rebuild our depleted military.” In other words, he needs to find the money to fund it. In addition to increasing our troops and firepower, he would also like to increase cyber security by identifying our weak spots and then using that for both defensive and offensive strategies. There’s no doubt cyber security could be a huge benefit to our country.
Prepping for Change:
With all of the potential changes on the horizon, how can we know what to be prepared for?
Economic Preparedness and Job Loss
During an economic recession, trade and industrial activity decline. There is generally a higher unemployment rate and consumer confidence is down. By creating a safety cushion of savings and food storage, you have the means to provide for your family, even if you end up losing your job. While there could be potential for more jobs created in the future, they may not be in your field. Increase your knowledge and become a jack of all trades. Education could become a very realistic part of your preparedness plans. There are free online classes and a million “do-it-yourself” tutorials to learn a new skill.
You could also develop your hobbies to become a second income. Maybe you have a knack for carving and by turning wood into a hand-crafted art piece or a hand-made piece of jewelry, you could have the potential to turn your hobby into a home business. By having a second income, you can provide financial stability should you lose your primary job.
Taxes and Savings
The change in the tax brackets could leave a little bit of extra cash in your pockets. However, tempting as it may be to spend that extra money on frivolous items, put your tax rebate into savings, pay down debt, or invest in preparedness items such as food storage. It may not be as fun as buying a four-wheeler or going to the local theme park, but those extra funds could save you when times are tough and your wallet is empty.
Prices Variances and Food Storage
Prices can vary on a day to day basis for food. By investing in food storage now, you are securing the food prices in your future. For example, if you purchased a year supply of food today, it won’t matter if the prices skyrocket tomorrow or in future years. The price of your year supply stayed the same, meaning you saved in the long run. This can help protect you from the additional fees added by tariffs overseas.
Although your health care could possibly change, you can make choices now to help you prepare. Paying attention to your diet and choosing healthy options boosts your immune system. Exercising to build a strong body means less doctor’s visits in your future. Between a healthy diet and exercise, you can reduce your risk of a multitude of diseases. Maybe a higher deductible plan won’t be so bad after all.
Protection of Home and Family
Safety of our loved ones should always be at the forefront of our minds. Whether this means teaching your family about internet security, self-defense, or just being prepared themselves. Take the time to protect who you love and spend a moment to teach them how to help themselves as well.
Having a backup energy source can be extremely beneficial during an emergency. Oil and gasoline can be hard to store and gas powered generators can be loud. Not to mention the city restrictions imposed on storing fuels. Having a renewable energy source such as solar provides an appealing quiet, clean solution for refrigerating necessary medications in the event you lose power. With home systems, you could be saving on your monthly bills as well, just be sure to save that extra cash for a rainy day.
Preparedness Means Normalcy
Many of the political changes in our future could be in our best interest as preppers, but some of these changes may bring up concerns for your family. By being prepared, you’ll be able to provide the best you can for your family even if things aren’t ideal, easing your concerns. A little bit of normalcy provides comfort to those you love most.