To the editor:
In his April 15 Saturday Column, Mr. Simons calls the president divisive.
The president proposes a $4 trillion deficit reduction over 12 years, half of it through spending cuts. Tax reforms and tax increases on the wealthy would provide half of the remainder, with interest savings, etc., providing the other half. No details yet, that’s true.
Paul Ryan proposed $5.8 trillion spending cuts, which would drastically slash Medicaid ($771 billion over a decade) and privatize Medicare, which does need fixing, but not his way. Seventy-plus percent of all the spending reductions would end up as tax cuts for the wealthy and for corporations and NOT targeted for deficit reduction.
Dick Cheney claimed that deficits don’t matter. They surely do now! But those who harp on the tired old “class war” argument (as Simons states Obama is doing) still seem to believe that, irrespective of how gargantuan the deficit is, we can simply “grow out of it” without increased revenues. And growth can only be accomplished by slashing the safety net under the poor and the lower middle class and shift more wealth to the very top. What happened to those jobs allegedly created by the Bush tax cuts? Did the economy not thrive after Clinton raised taxes in the mid-1990s?
Would Simons explain which of the two plans are more divisive?