To the Editor:
During his State of the Union Address, President Obama mentioned several times the goal of deficit reduction, and the progress that’s been made toward that goal since the Great Recession.
He noted the U.S. economy is now performing well, but he failed to promise his next proposed budget would forecast a surplus for the federal government. During good times we should reduce our national debt so that when bad times return we can prime the economic pump with Federal deficit spending.
Further, we should reduce the national debt beyond that “rainy day” need. His proposed increase in taxes for the wealthy would restore some measure of progressive taxation which was lost during the Bush tax cuts.
In the unlikelihood that Congress will pass such an increase, the increased revenues should be used in part to create a surplus which can reduce the national debt. Except for their need for recession pump priming and vast projects such as World War II, no government should finance its operations by borrowing.
Instead, our legislators and president should have the courage to insist tax revenue be sufficient to pay for expenses, and then some. If Republicans cannot bear to increase taxes, then they should have the courage to seek sufficient cuts in spending to achieve a fiscal surplus.
If we are unwilling today to tax ourselves for government programs, we should not defer to the next generations the need to pay those taxes, plus interest on the incurred debt.