Any time a conservative columnist like Ron Smith starts ranting about taxes and big government, the reader should immediately demand that the columnist state in no uncertain terms exactly what government programs should be eliminated and what percentage of the federal budget that program costs ("Ready or not, America, here comes the value-added tax," April 9). That conservative opinion writer should also state the number of jobs that will be lost by elimination of that program.
Social Security, Medicare, veterans programs and the military eat up huge chunks of our federal government. Are you, Mr. Smith, willing to give up your own Social Security benefits to reduce the federal deficit and avoid more taxation? Or do you think we should pull all our troops out of Afghanistan? Iraq? Other world hotspots? Would you like to reduce benefits to paraplegic veterans? What about ending subsidies to big corporations? I'm waiting for the column in which you list all the federal programs that should be cut.