Jim Lieb (Letters, Nov. 4) doesn’t like my calling the tea party “nihilistic anarchists and ideological zealots,” then admits that their tactics are a problem. But what one does reveals what one is.
Lieb wants to reduce inappropriate spending and opposes inappropriate tax increases. Who doesn’t? What’s at issue is what is appropriate. The tea party was willing to crash the entire world’s economy in order to enforce its particular view.
Lieb wants to lower the national debt. In the midst of a depression, trying to run a government surplus would drive our economy down further. But the debt (as a percentage of GDP) is already falling fast. Investing to grow our economy would reduce it further.
Lieb wants to return government to what was intended by the founding fathers. Were Social Security and Medicare part of their intentions? Or “defense” expenditures totaling nearly two-thirds of the total discretionary budget? If we want to reduce the size of the federal government substantially, we’ll have to cut one or another of those. Everything else is relatively trivial.
— Rick Wicks