The answer: Jobs, but compromise eludes
To the editor:
It seems clear to me that the answer to the debt and deficit problem lies in creating more jobs. The more jobs available, the more revenue received by federal, state and local governments. The greater the gross domestic product, the smaller percentage of it is held by the deficit, and the faster we move toward a balanced budget.
In order to create jobs, the government does need to spend now on infrastructure, education, research and the green energy of the future. That’s short-term spending, which will be richly rewarded with a growing economy that diminishes the debt and the deficit.
As for cutting spending, that can come once the economy is growing at a good pace. Cutting spending now, especially government spending, will simply put thousands of people out of work, leaving us in even worse economic shape. It will eventually be time to carefully and wisely cut waste and overlapping institutions of government when those who lose their jobs will be able to find new ones. And certainly, cutting any spending that hurts those most in need is immoral. There are many ways to cut spending that don’t hurt the vulnerable, for example:
We can cut subsidies to oil companies and to agribusiness, which make huge profits. (We might consider, instead, subsidizing small sustainable farms.)
We can make sure no corporation is “too big to fail” so taxpayers don’t have to rescue them.
Reworking the tax code will be very helpful, if done thoughtfully.
I’m sure there are many other options that are fair and productive, but I have no confidence that such sensible suggestions would ever pass muster in the present Congress. Until redistricting is done in every state by non-partisan commissions, so that elected officials represent a cross-section of political beliefs, compromise will be extremely rare.