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January 10, 2013 at 8:00 AM

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Resolving the federal deficit

Federal spending must be challenged

E.J. Dionne Jr.’s column [“The real deficit argument,” Opinion, Jan. 8] was an excellent example of how even the most absurd positions, if stated reasonably, can be made to sound “reasonable.”

He contends that a debt of 73 percent of GDP is “sustainable,” a meaningless word in this context. What it really means is “survivable.” He then cites the higher debts of other countries as being representative of “international standards” — including Greece’s 163.3 percent debt. Ludicrous.

Historically, our debt has been under 50 percent of GDP except in times of war, and during the Clinton administration when it blipped up to a peak of about 70 percent before dropping back to under 60 percent.

Dionne’s underlying assumption seems to be that any government spending is good, so however much we can get away with is how much we should spend, regardless of what we’re actually getting.

We are way past the time when federal spending needs to be shaken up from top to bottom. Any budget that goes unchallenged will bloat and baseline federal spending has gone unchallenged for far too long. We can get our spending in line with our means without starving the poor, undercutting education, or robbing seniors of health care or their retirement.

-- Mark Ursino, Sammamish

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.....if we clamp down on Uncle Sam's purse strings, where will the billions come from... MORE
As for spending, let's go back to 2006 levels (except for defense, which should be cut... MORE
Bravo Mr. Ursino! Mr. Dionne's miserable column needed a stout rejoinder, and yours... MORE

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