Letter to the Editor

U.S. deficits endanger state, federal programs

Thursday, May 1, 2003

To the editor:

Two and a half years ago, the national debate was on how to spend the national surplus. Now, with record deficits, the debate is centered on which programs should be sacrificed in order to fund the next round of tax cuts to benefit the billionaires of America who can then invest their savings in offshore tax shelters.

An abbreviated list of endangered programs underfunded through tax cuts includes Homeland Security, Centers for Disease Control (the organization protecting us from SARS and biological terrorism), veterans' benefits, Medicaid, Social Security and education. All 50 states are in budget crisis due, in part, to cuts in funding from the federal government.

Meanwhile, an additional $75 billion was appropriated for the Iraqi war, the Pentagon's budget has risen to astronomical levels and only corporations with direct ties to the administration have been allowed to compete for lucrative contracts for rebuilding Iraq. Dwight Eisenhower's warnings about the military-industrial complex have come true.

The wealthiest country in the world is being bankrupted by irresponsible cronyism. Trickle-down economics was and is, as the first President George Bush called it, "voodoo economics."

PAUL ZMOLEK

Cape Girardeau