Bohanon and Curott are concerned about “the burden” of the federal debt [“Solving the national debt crisis: If not now, when? If not us, who?,” Sept. 24]. They are clear that the bond holders of such debt are adequately compensated for deferred consumption. They recognize that future taxpayers put up the funds to repay those bond holders. However, B&C fail to explain the benefits to the nation typically exceed that “burden.” Instead, they pivot to an attack on the distribution of those benefits by Congress. What to B&C may be profligate spending on widely-distributed local projects is more appropriately seen as an exercise in distributing the benefits broadly, if imperfectly, among future taxpayers.
Instead of relying on federal tax revenues to repay the bonds, it would be appropriate, where possible, to impose fees or tolls on the users of the debt-supported projects. This would be a more equitable way of financing physical infrastructure spending. B&C, however, prefer to stir the political pot than to provide economic analysis.
Morton J. Marcus