To the Editor: I wondered how long it might take for those with a conservative bent to bring up the "D" words—deficit and debt—once Joe Biden took office. Given the lag between writing a letter and publication, it would seem that one writer (Nov. 20 issue) did so immediately upon the news that Mr. Biden was our President-elect.
In true form, the letter makes the comparison between Federal and family budgets, focusing solely on the spending side of the equation. What never seems to occur to the "fiscally responsible" (who only speak up when a Democrat is President) is that the problem may be an INCOME issue. What do the heads of families do when their pay is slashed year after year, decade after decade? It seems to me they either demand a raise or change their employment situation.
THIS is what has happened in our country for the past 40 years. Republican after Republican—Reagan, two Bush's and Trump—have systematically cut our government's salary through tax cuts for those who need them least. Compounding the problem have been the disastrous policies each man employed that further drove down income/revenue while driving up spending. Crippling recessions (1987 and 2007) and a mismanaged pandemic this year precipitated the largest drops in GDP (and tax revenue) since the Great Depression, while requiring massive government spending to bail out savings-and-loans (1989), Wall Street (2008) and Everyone (2020).
I don't mean to say that wasteful spending hasn't also had an impact. Trillions spent on "Star Wars" weapon systems (that become obsolete without ever being used) and failed military adventures that made us less safe have contributed to our growing debt. If this is what the writer means when he says "changing priorities within" the Federal budget are needed, I agree wholeheartedly.
Alternatively, if the reference means that we should postpone moving toward universal health care, rebuilding infrastructure, investing in our people and revamping the tax code, I couldn't disagree more.
Retired 28-year DOT Employee
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