Letter to the Editor

Debt, deficit demand attention

Americans are rightly concerned about the country's deficit and debt. Massive debt curtails options for the country and for individuals. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has published papers about the preferred ways to regain economic solvency. Spending cuts are more effective than tax increases in deficit reduction and growth promotion. And while tax increases are necessary, the kind of increases matters greatly. The OECD recommends increases in consumption taxes, not income taxes, as less injurious to growth. The British government is following this path.

I hope the National Debt Commission will also. Its recommendations will be presented to Congress after the election for an up-or-down vote. Our deficit and debt problem does not puzzle our representatives and senators. They all know what must be done. The conundrum is a problem even more important to them: how to be re-elected afterward.

I think the American people are ahead of the politicians on this. We know something has to be done and are willing to sacrifice. We will not tolerate any special-interest group using its influence for an exemption from the necessary actions.

STEVE RICKARD, Cape Girardeau