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Smoke and mirrors

March 27, 2013 |

In this week's Reminder editorial, you expressed concern that budget cuts will hurt the needy. This smoke and mirror Washington budget cut ruse has a name: "baseline budgeting." That means that the budget is projected to grow about 5 percent each year and any so called cuts, will be cuts in growth only. The real budget remains intact. Let's put this mess in perspective. If you remove eight zeros from the real numbers, it corresponds to a real household budget. Total income for this family is $21,700 a year. They spend $38,200 a year. The shortfall of $16,500 is put on a credit card. After years of doing this, they owe $142,710 on the credit card. To solve the problem, they cut out $385 from their yearly spending. Problem solved, Washington style. When this scenario first surfaced not long ago, America was "only" $14 trillion in debt. Today, we are fast approaching $20 trillion in debt. Since 2002, total federal spending has increased almost 89 percent while median household income has dropped about 5 percent. Washington creates the problem by reckless spending, without a balanced budget, and then has the nerve to tell us that the only way out is to increase taxes again? The problem with more taxes is that politicians will spend any increase while continuing to increase the debt. This can not continue indefinitely. Like a house of cards, it will collapse under it's own weight. To use a medical analogy, better to lose a limb now than lose the patient by waiting until it is too late. Don Crossman East Longmeadow

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