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Nation must live within means

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Some inconvenient truths about our federal budget woes: David Brooks, New York Times columnist, wrote “there aren’t enough rich people to generate the tens of trillions of dollars required to pay for Medicare, let alone the other social programs.” Robert Samuelson, in a Newsweek article, claimed “there is no way to close the deficits without big cuts in government programs or stupendous tax increases.” And Alan Simpson, co-chair of the Bowles-Simpson Commission, put it bluntly: “The debt ceiling bill doesn’t get into Medicare, which is on auto-pilot, and is just gonna eat through the whole budget.” If we, in this country, can’t learn to live within our means, if we keep spending money we don’t have, if we keep depending on other countries to pay our bills, the world bond market will react. It will demand higher interest rates to buy our debt. This compounds the problem. A guest economist on CNN stated that a 1 percent rise in interest rates adds $150 billion of debt in one year. The only solution I see to the fiscal mess we’re in, is serious entitlement reform – taking on the 800 pound gorilla – and, structural tax reform. If you disagree, what would you suggest? Bill Harder Sr., Auburn