12-13-12 Waconia Patriot Letters to the Editor

Writer counters views shared in recent letter

To the editor:

Thank you for the opportunity to respond to one of the always entertaining letters from Joe Pulunc. I love how Joe writes from his own alternative universe and he was in great form in his Dec. 6th letter. My letter will be written from the real world perspective.
Joe correctly points out that as a country we have overspent and have too big of debt. He blames Democrats for this saying they want to spend money and grow Government. Problem is in the real world the biggest contributing issues to our current 16 trillion dollar debt are the Bush tax cuts, the two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Medicare part D prescription drug costs, and the two stimulus bills.
Of these largest contributors to our debt only the second stimulus falls on the President and the Democratic Party. Everything else on this list happened on President Bush’s watch with a Republican majority in Congress for six of those eight years. The so called entitlement programs of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid (these are actually insurance or earned benefit programs) must be considered going forward. But, they have not significantly contributed to the current debt problem.
No one in Congress is talking about attacking your 401(k), IRA or Roth IRA. This is an old alternative universe talking point which has been disproven many times. I don’t need to do it again here.
The idea of the President unilaterally deciding to raise the debt ceiling was an idea first suggested by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. He actually called for a vote on it last week and when Majority Leader Reid agreed to a vote Senator McConnell filibustered his own idea. Furthermore, it should be understood that raising the debt ceiling is NOT deciding to spend more money. It is merely agreeing to pay the debts we have already incurred.
I am glad Joe brought up the ideas of excluding deductions on home mortgages, charitable donations, child credits and the payroll tax. These are Republican suggestions to increase revenue. Democrats want to raise the tax rates on income over $250,000. Neither party wants to expand the alternative minimum tax.
Finally, Joe makes a brilliant observation that the country has had a President that proved economic benefits for all need not be mutually exclusive. That President as we all know was Bill Clinton and the era was the 1990s.
President Obama wants to replicate those successful times.

Bruce Helmer
Chanhassen

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