Cutting social programs won't balance the budget

(KAL/Baltimore Sun )
July 31, 2013

Regarding your recent editorial on the economy, the national debt may not have the importance attributed to it ("Economic déjà vu," July 26). It may be just a device used by the GOP to cut social programs.

The Republicans' solution to the debt is tax cuts for the wealthy, which they claim will generate jobs. That hasn't happened. President Obama has proposed revamping U.S. infrastructure as part of a massive jobs program. This hasn't happened either, largely because of Republican opposition.

In addition, building more low-income housing could spur the construction industry. The military, the biggest budget-buster of all, has cut its budget some, and it could cut more without endangering our security.

What would correct low wages and low incomes as well as make work attractive and fair is the Earned Income Tax Credit, also known as the negative income tax. Essentially, if an employer cannot or will not pay a living wage, the Earned Income Tax Credit would take effect providing a supplement to bring the worker's wage up to the living-wage level.

Although this section of the tax code has been praised by both conservatives and liberals it has been largely ignored by political commentators.

In addition, health care for all would make it less catastrophic to be sick in the U.S.

Lee Lears, Annapolis

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