Here are my suggestions on how we should address our budget deficit.
Cut defense spending and require accounting and oversight. The amount the United States allots for defense accounts for almost half that of the entire world. We think of ourselves as a peace loving people, but our priorities betray us. Our spending should reflect our priorities: infrastructure, education, health and address the needs of our veterans who, though lavished with words, are nearly ignored in reality. New technology should not be treated as a distant relative.
Restore our progressive income tax system to what it was in the Eisenhower years, adding back the incremental tax layers on the higher incomes. A balanced income distribution is necessary for a nation's economic health. The earmark of a stable economy is a strong middle class. Though our economy has been growing, the middle class has remained pretty much stationary. When the incomes of the top 1 percent in 2007 mirror those of the year 1928 earning almost a quarter (23 percent) of our gross domestic product, a recession should not surprise us.
Raise the Social Security cap and index it to the current year. If this had been done initially, there would be no current problem.
These three suggestions would go a long way toward both restoring our fiscal health and addressing our mammoth national debt.
Carolyn Doll lives in Columbia.