IBJOpinion

Marcus is naive

March 12, 2011
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IBJ Letters To The Editor

Reading the [Feb. 28] column by Morton Marcus was akin to reading the Sunday morning comics.

Morton argues that increased national debt can be good for an economy if used to finance programs that contribute to economic growth. He further explains that, when we borrow to spend on the elderly it “generates few future benefits.”

I find this amusing, since over half of the federal budget is currently spent on programs that mostly benefit the elderly (i.e., 20 percent Social Security, 23 percent Medicaid/Medicare, 14 percent on safety-net programs) and another 7 percent is used to pay interest on our existing debt.

So, by his own admission, our increased national debt to fund these programs will do little to contribute to future economic growth. Most folks with common sense understand that, if our national debt is not controlled, we will be at a competitive disadvantage to other countries over time.

He ends by saying, “It would help if the anti-debt and anti-tax folks had a better understanding of how the world works.” I would suggest Marcus take a close look at Illinois’ spiraling deficits and recent decision to increase taxes and study the impact it is having on companies and individuals looking to make the Hoosier state their new home because of the higher taxes in Illinois.

Then perhaps he might better understand how the real world works.

____________

Luke Phenicie

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