Topic: federal deficit
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August 21, 2013 at 5:55 AM
Deficit versus debt
Paul Krugman’s thoughtful column, and in particular his concern about how ill-informed voters are about the deficit, raises a question. [“Truthiness on the budget deficit,” Opinion, Aug. 18.]
Is it possible some of the people who were asked about the topic may have confused the deficit with the national debt, which has continued to increase, even while the budget deficit each year was decreasing?
Bill Beck, Maple Valley
Deficit and debt connected
Professor Paul Krugman gives a perfect example of how to misinform the electorate.
In his entire column, he never once mentions the national debt. The debt has increased by about $6 trillion during Barack Obama’s presidency.
Where does Krugman think this increase comes from? It comes from deficits. Deficits and debts are closely connected.
Why did Krugman chose to ignore this fact?
David Wood, Redmond
August 17, 2013 at 7:06 AM
Follow the money
The letter from Michelle Munneke claims that sequestration of the federal budget does not solve the problems of our inefficient tax code and entitlement programs that drive the deficit. [“Northwest Voices: Sequestration and the federal debt,” Opinion, Aug. 13.]
Those two “problems” are actually conservative code phrases for their political agenda. Fixing the “inefficient tax code” means that we should give more tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy on the false claim that these breaks will generate new jobs.
Large corporations are actually responsible for destroying American jobs and shipping them to China and India so that corporate chieftains can gain big bonuses from cost-cutting.
The real job creators in this economy are small businesses and entrepreneurs, and business owners have said that they would get more benefit from regulatory relief than from tax cuts.
Another major driver of the deficit is the military-industrial complex that was first identified by general, war-hero and then President Dwight Eisenhower, a Republican. The United States spends more money on the military than the next 10 nations combined.
What do you do with the huge military we have? Generals and admirals want to have a war to fight, it is a career-builder for them. Politicians begin to think that bombing or invading some country is the instant solution to our problems all over the world.
We can solve our deficit problems, but first we have to follow the spending dollars into the black holes where they disappear.
Martin Collins, Lynnwood
August 12, 2013 at 6:36 AM
Both parties are at fault in Congress
In response to Spencer Higley’s letter regarding the federal deficit, in which he says that the reckless spending by our government is due to the Republicans, I’d like to point out that the Democrat-controlled Senate refused to submit a national budget for three years. [“Northwest Voices: Federal deficit shrinking,” Opinion, Aug. 9.]
That includes our president. The Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, probably could not put one together if he had to.
Before making those statements about the Republicans, one should reexamine their own party.
I will agree that the Congress, as a whole, is doing a lousy job dealing with the deficit. Most of them could use a lesson in economics, or they should pay the household bills for a few months. Then they would realize our money, which they spend so freely, doesn’t grow on trees.
Joe Harrison, Maple Valley
March 10, 2013 at 6:30 AM
Deficit should be dealt with on micro level
I am no fan of the sequester: Some of the programs cut by it are vital programs that should never have been touched [“Nobody budged,” page one, March 2].
But seeking a grand bargain is a recipe for a long, drawn-out battle, and will probably entail numerous capitulations to special interests. Instead, Congress should pass small bills to fix each program hurt by the sequester individually. And those who oppose such legislation should be held accountable for it on a program-by-program basis.
Preferably, these bills will be fully funded, so they don’t add to the deficit, but that is another story. Maybe tackling things in this manner will allow programs like Social Security, which do not contribute to the deficit, to be kept off the table.
–Benjamin Schreiber, Kirkland
March 8, 2013 at 4:00 PM
Deficit from war has historical precedence
Debt reduction, the deficit, the fiscal cliff, it’s nothing new [“Obama, lawmakers trying for deficit deal,” News, March 7].
In his speech “War is a Racket,” Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler worried about the deficit spending from war that plagued the country and would have to be paid through “backbreaking taxation for generations and generations.” This is from a speech delivered in 1933.
The issue is the same, only the characters have changed.
–Randy Greger, Bothell
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