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Blame for the Deficit

October 20, 1985

I'm tired of hearing people blame our $200-billion deficit on Congress.

When President Carter left office, the deficit stood at $40 billion. Yet, only two years later, it was almost $200 billion. To put all the blame on Congress and not President Reagan only shows the ignorance of the public.

So as to set the record straight, it was Reagan who gave us this record deficit with his tax-cut programs for the rich coupled with his massive defense spending with borrowed money.

Congress should have stopped this before it got to where it is now. However, when Reagan was first elected, he won by such a large margin that Congress was afraid to veto his spending programs for fear of being accused of attacking a popular President.

Let the citizens beware. Sooner or later the deficit will have to be reduced. The only way will be with a tax increase. The people who will be forced to pay off Reagan's deficit will be the middle class. And anyone who thinks the deficit can be reduced by spending cuts is living in a fantasy world. Reagan has cut every program to the bone in the name of "national defense."

As for the national debt, it took this country 192 years to reach $1 trillion. It took the Reagan Administration only five years to nearly double that figure. The interest payments on the national debt have now hit $130 billion, about 14% of all federal spending. These outlays are about twice what the federal government spends for unemployment insurance payments, food stamps, welfare, student loans, highway construction, veterans pensions and mass transit all combined. Interest payments are growing faster than any kind of federal spending. What this means is that instead of doing things for its citizens, the federal government will have to take money from them to pay for its past borrowing.

Debt builds upon debt. A household in that kind of fix can eventually declare bankruptcy. Countries don't do that. They just print money, which causes runaway inflation.

In a recent speech about a constitutional amendment for a balanced budget, Reagan displayed unmitigated gall by stating a balanced budget would curb the irresponsible spenders in Congress. It was his Administration that put this country in its present fix.

I don't think for one minute that Reagan has any idea of how our economy works. As President and the leader of our country, Reagan is a complete and utter disaster.



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