WE HOLD these truths to be self-evident:
* Truth No. 1: Ronald Reagan pledged to lower taxes, and Congress went along. The nation's tax structure lost what little progressivity it once had, and the nation's debt exploded.
Our tax structure must be more progressive. The rich should have to pay more than they do.
* Truth No. 2: Even if tax rates for the rich were 100 percent, the middle class will get hit -- hard. That's where the money is. Without pain for the middle class, the budget-balancing act is phony.
* Truth No. 3: You don't "cut" the Medicare budget by raising the share of costs the elderly pay. All you do is shift the burden from government to people.
* Truth No. 4: Slash all pork-barrel programs. It doesn't matter whether it's a dam or farm subsidies for corpocrats pretending to be farmers. Or defense.
* Truth No. 5: Don't touch welfare programs for the poor until you trim tax subsidies for the rest of us, like homeowner's and property tax deductions and the exclusion of employer-paid health insurance from income taxes.
Like you, we are fed up with excuses from our elected officials in Washington . . about how tough it is to balance budgets.
If they can't get the job done, it's time to start electing people who will. And that's another truth.