Sanity, Madness, And The Budget

Your recent comment on fiscal policy, "The GOP's brutal bottom line" (Government, Feb. 6), once again refuses to recognize that the only conceivable, feasible, rational, and politically acceptable road to a balanced budget is paved with deep and immediate cuts in defense and intelligence budgets. The GOP can provide the voters no rationale based on national security concerns for holding defense spending at projected levels, much less a proposal for increase.

Tom Murray

San Jose, Calif.

Your excellent story nicely portrays the kinds of program cuts required to balance the budget per the Contract With America. Thank you for addressing what eludes the politicians: Both the tax cuts and budget balancing are more rhetorical than real. Yet you don't mention the cost of financing the national debt. I'd like to see a similar accounting of what programs and services we'll afford in 2002 without tax cuts and given the current trend in deficit reduction.

Bill Mason

Somerville, N.J.

Your article ends with one House Republican's solution: "I'm going to vote for the amendment. And then I'm going to pray to God that the states don't ratify it." I wish our congressmen would get on with the work they were elected to do: Reduce the deficit, reform welfare, reform health care, and set term limits. We are sick and tired of more of the same rhetoric and dishonesty. Stop talking and start doing the difficult tasks you were elected to do.

Freida Shaw


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