Cut gradually as the economy recovers

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In the current political climate, it may be too much to hope that politicians would use experience as a guide rather than blind ideology.

Both sides agree the current level of deficit spending is unsustainable. Every independent economist knows that it will take a mix of increased revenues and decreased spending to accomplish this.

However, as in humor, timing is everything. Great Britain, Ireland, Greece and Portugal have shown that large cuts in government spending during a recession makes things worse. We have proven that "trickle-down economics" does not work.

One cuts government spending when the economy is growing -- something the last three Republican presidents failed to do. Ronald Reagan and the two Bushes are responsible for $9 trillion of the $14 trillion debt.

Budget cuts must be phased in as the economy recovers and expands, as President Clinton did. Budget cuts must take into account which programs actually work to accomplish their stated goals.

For example, price supports no longer protect the almost-nonexistent family farmer; they just enrich the large corporate farms. They must also spare those programs that contribute to future growth such as education and scientific research.

Taxes will have to increase on both the upper and middle classes. Just as we expect the better-off members of our churches to bear more of the burden of paying for the programs and salaries, they also must assume more of the tax increases. No one will say that with the new taxes I'll make only 62 percent on my investment rather than 68 percent, so I won't create those new jobs.

If drastic tax cuts and deregulation actually worked, Texas would be leading the nation in economic growth and job creation.

Support politicians on both sides who tell us the truth, or nothing substantive will be done.

Andy Reese

Augusta

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onlysane1left
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onlysane1left 04/26/11 - 08:02 am
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Agreed, Andy and RA! Let's

Agreed, Andy and RA! Let's see what they will have to comeback with from all of these good points.

justthefacts
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justthefacts 04/26/11 - 08:17 am
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$9 trillion by 3 Presidents

$9 trillion by 3 Presidents over 19 yrs vs $5 Trillion by 1 President in 2 yrs. The trend is not looking so good. Hope and Change?

justthefacts
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justthefacts 04/26/11 - 08:20 am
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"Just as we expect the

"Just as we expect the better-off members of our churches to bear more of the burden of paying for the programs and salaries, they also must assume more of the tax increases." Why?

socks99
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socks99 04/26/11 - 02:17 pm
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Reese is right to imagine

Reese is right to imagine that higher taxes will have to be part of the budget reconciliation process. He may be overly-optimistic in believing that either Democrats or Republicans will cut spending, gradually, or otherwise.

Some thought should be given to the stupendous growth in government revenues -- and expenditures -- associated with 'profits' from the housing bubble. That spending seems mostly correlated to the fact that the money was available. In other words, an argument can be made that because that was a 'false prosperity' the associated growth of government was also invalid: That means cuts, in the short-term, ought to be steeper, with fewer cuts in future years.

While it is true that cuts in government spending will retard the economy, no one should forget that deficit spending -- spending money you don't have -- can be even more harmful. Local governments and BOE's who continue high levels of spending might see homeowner's losing their homes to tax sales. While Reese points to European budget cutting efforts -- that have largely stalled -- he conveniently forgets the way interest rates have surged in Greece and other spendthrift countries.

Scratch
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Scratch 04/26/11 - 03:58 pm
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Andy, as much as Mr. Obama

Andy, as much as Mr. Obama has been criticized for skyrocketing spending, the fact is that Congress, not the president, is responsible for federal spending. Certainly presidential policy can influence spending, but the House controls the nation's purse strings and is responsible for federal debt. Your statement that the 3 Republican presidents were responsible for $9T of the $14T debt then, is factually incorrect. In fact, the federal debt in 1994 when Republicans took control of the House after decades of Democrat control was $4.692T. In 2005, the last year of Republican control, the debt was $7,932T, an increase of $3.24T in over 10 years. In the 5 years since, under Democrat control, the debt increased by $6,182T to $13.561T. While I believe the Republicans did not exercise sufficient fiscal constraint when in control, the Democrats bear far more responsibility for our current burdensome debt. I agree with those who state there is a spending problem, not a revenue problem.

robaroo
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robaroo 05/02/11 - 10:09 pm
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Tax increases and spending

Tax increases and spending cuts are unpopular. Do you really expect the Republicans and Democrats to do the right thing?

Previous generations would be furious with peoples' current spending habits. Those who lived through the Depression were dead serious about not spending more than you took in.

I'm afraid it's going to take some kind of crisis for people to come to their senses. Until then, my Grandaddy is going to be "standing on his ear" while we bankrupt the solvent country he left behind.

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