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'Economic Witchcraft'

January 19, 1986

Your editorial (Jan. 9), "Economic Witchcraft," left out one key point: President Reagan believed that he could balance the budget, while restoring our defenses and cutting taxes, because he expected that unnecessary federal spending would be cut. Instead, irresponsible spending by Congress has caused the deficit to skyrocket. Despite the 1981 tax cuts, annual revenues have increased by $135 billion but spending has increased by $270 billion.

When the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act was enacted, Congress promised to cut spending by three dollars for every dollar of tax increase, but in fact, for every additional tax dollar, spending went up $1.14. Government never uses new taxes to reduce the deficit; it just finds new ways to spend the money.

You are wrong in saying that to achieve all of the President's goals Congress would have to "disassemble the federal establishment." The Grace Commission has identified hundreds of billions of dollars in waste and inefficiency that could be eliminated without cutting vital services.

To balance the budget, our representatives should implement recommendations of the Grace Commission, give President Reagan the line-item veto, and pass the balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution.

MICHAEL D. ANTONOVICH

Supervisor

Fifth District

Los Angeles

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