$1.5 trillion is for deficit reduction, not just spending. Lankford
obviously prefers groveling on his knees before the tea party loons and
signing demagogic anti-tax pledges, but the inescapable reality is that
tax revenues are 6.2 percent of GDP below what they were in 2000 (the
lowest level since the 1940s), with 47 percent of taxpayers not
contributing one red cent to support our troops in three wars.

U.S. government ran four consecutive years of surpluses from 1998-2001
because responsible adults made decisions, including the Clinton tax
increase of 1993 that every Republican voted against, claiming it would
destroy the economy. In fact, average GDP growth from 1992- 2001 was 3.5
percent versus 1.75 from 2002-2010 (under far lower tax rates).

the government spends far too much on wasteful or downright stupid
projects, typically because dumb politicians want to spread the wealth
back home, but “cutting” $250 billion a year from a $1.5 trillion
deficit will barely offset the higher interest spending from the
remaining debt, and puts a fragile economy at real risk.

country lost an astonishing $17.5 trillion in wealth from 2007- 2009
thanks to Wall Street’s scams, and digging ourselves out of that
bottomless abyss is going to take years and the same massive, sustained
federal stimulus that lifted us from the Depression (World War II) and
the Reagan-era crisis, when spending soared from 20.1 percent of GDP in
1979 to 23.5 in 1983. To put that in perspective, 11 European countries —
including Britain — spend over 50 percent of GDP.

Reagan didn’t beat seniors and the poor to a bloody pulp when federal
spending was nearly identical. According to former Republican Sen. Allen
Simpson, “Reagan raised taxes 11 times in his administration,”
including payroll taxes. Phasing out the Bush tax cuts over 3-5 years
would produce $3.6 trillion and put a real dent in the deficit.

loudly supports the idiotic Ryan Medicare scam that the Congressional
Budget Office says would cost seniors nearly $7,000 a year more for the
same benefits. Was that God or the devil calling you to service, Mr.

—D.W. Tiffee

Tiffee ran as an independent for U.S. Congress in 1994.

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