Deficit RuinationEditor: On reading Joseph E. Mueller's...


November 16, 1991

Deficit Ruination

Editor: On reading Joseph E. Mueller's Nov. 2 letter, I was disheartened to learn that there are still some people who believe that it is better to borrow and spend than to tax and spend.

After 10 years of Ronald Reagan and George Bush's financial follies, appropriately labeled "voodoo economics" by our current witch doctor, where do we find ourselves? We are hamstrung by a national debt of almost $4 trillion, more than half of our gross national product. Never, until the arrival of Mr. Reagan at the White House, had our indebtedness reached the $1 trillion mark. Interest on this debt is the largest single item in our budget, about $300 billion a year, more than one-fourth of our total spending, approximately the same amount that went to the defense buildup during the Reagan years. Goodbye, peace dividend.

In every nine- or ten-year period, we taxpayers pay in interest the full amount of whatever the debt was at the beginning of the period. But we still owe the full amount of the principal. The media, including The Sun, do little to educate the public about the ruinous road we are traveling. Their indignation focuses instead on the Congress. I make no defense of the selfishness and lack of vision of that body, but its sins receive disproportionate attention. The per-capita cost of its most frequently mentioned transgression, the furtive pay raise, was slightly less than nine cents, while the per-capita cost of paying one year's interest on the national debt is about $1,200.

It should be obvious to every thinking person that deficit spending must end and that, to end it, taxes must rise. We had a balanced budget in 1969, in the middle of the Vietnam war. We can do it now if we rid ourselves of a self-deluding government and replace it with patriotic and courageous realists.

William Bader.


Bush Can Lose


Editor: George Bush can be beaten in 1992.

One only has to read the newspapers daily to see this. Look at the huge losses of big business, the increasing bankruptcies among small businesses, the alarming number of bank failures, the stagnant retail sales, the growing unemployment among the middle class and the continued decline in industrial jobs. The appalling economic conditions in this country now are affecting a significant portion of our citizenry. Bush says the recession is over, but no one believes it. (Shades of Herbert Hoover -- "Prosperity is just around the corner.")

All that is needed is a Democratic candidate with a loud, clear and forceful voice who has the will to aggressively attack the economic failures of almost 12 years of Republican rule and the callousness of the Bush administration.

Alfred S. Sharlip.

Columbia. Editor: On Dec. 7, many Americans will pause and remember the 50th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

It is right that we do this. Pearl Harbor is a symbol both of treachery and military unpreparedness in unprecedented scale. We, as a nation, owe our very lies to the fact that, as a result of that grave lapse in our vigilance, throughout the now-ended Cold War, we never were quite so lax again.

As we remember both the Pearl Harbor attack and those still among us who won World War II in places whose names, like the names of the warriors themselves, are unknown to a generation spoiled by wealth and peace, let us also remember something else.

It is permissible to recall the treachery of the Japanese, the Bataan death march, the rape of Nanking, the machine-gunning of downed fliers and sunken ship survivors, the fanaticism and mania of their truly crazed Kamikaze and ''fight to the last man'' attacks. They were brutal in war, and only brutal force in return enabled us to win. That is worth remembering, particularly when latter day apologists try to sell the likes that we were more brutal to the Japanese, than to the Germans.

It is not permissible to turn anger toward the Japanese either the Japan of the World War II era, or the modern, non-negotiating era of industrial self-interest and greed, into anger toward Americans of Oriental descent. Let us not lose sight of the fact that Asian-Americans are Americans first, that we made that awful mistake once, in 1942, and that such hate has no place in our country today. To do that is not only racist and unfair; it despoils the very meaning of the Pearl Harbor remembrance.

The men who gave their lives in battle at Midway, Savo Island, Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, Iwo Jima, Leyte Gulf and many, many more, deserve a better, more enlightened legacy, and so does our country today. Let's all remember Pearl Harbor. Let's also remember that we rose like a Phoenix from its ashes to preserve liberty for all Americans. That is exactly what Asian-Americans are, a part of us.

`Douglas B. Hermann. Baltimore.

Avast, Mr. Owens!

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