To the editor:
Mr. Riggs, in his Letter to the Editor, "Medicare, Social Security and Our Future" (Dec 1, 2012) trumpeted the dire prophecy of Mr. Cox and Mr. Archer (WSJ), surrounding pension and health care costs, "including Social Security and Medicare." Cox and Archer stated if, " IRS were to tax 100 percent of the adjusted gross incomes of all earners making more than $66,000 year and all of the corporate earnings generated in the year prior to the recession.." that, " the actual debt of the U.S., inclusive of this long-term unfunded liability, is in excess of $86 trillion!"
Mr. Riggs, a voice for the right, restated "the Mitt's" case that the "47 percent who want the government to give them "free stuff," is going to be the "bane" of our economy. Yes, an $86 trillion debt is "scarier" than a Freddie Kruger "slasher" movie.
However, a broader analysis of the components of the fiscal debt is necessary. In your "analysis" you seem to infer that our public "debts" are primarily the result of social programs, like Social Security, Medicare, and pensions for public employees.
Many religions of the world, Christianity included, remind us to correct the "evils" of poverty and injustice. In reality, although they preach action, it has been the U.S. Government that has put its money where its "Preamble (U.S. Constitution)" is!
It has been this secular government that has defined and implemented civil and racial justice, that has build schools for every child, provided an attorney for every defendant, prosecuted clergy for blatant child abuse, and now has the audacity to try to distribute income to senior citizens and health care for everyone, not just the wealthy.
In the discussion of the national debt, it is suspect to exclude the cost of the military (approx. 60 percent of our spending, $2 trillion-plus for two wars), corporate and farm subsidies, tax loopholes, foreign aid, and tax rates of 14 percent for some while others pay more than 20 percent. Corporations (the self defined job creators) express no moral motivation in their community behavior other than profit, often at the expense of their labor force, and preferably more profit than last quarter.
In any analysis of the "national debt," it is tantamount to include all the variables of our complex, fiscal system. National Health Care in the richest country in the world and long term, sustainable pension systems will ultimately strengthen our economy. We must challenge our social thinking that glorifies the greed of the One Percent who controls 40 percent of the national wealth, while so many are buried by the violence of poverty.
In grand irony, I fear your compassionate conservatism will succeed in excluding the "47%" from ever earning, albeit with a helping hand, a place at the financial table of this wealthy nation. If the bleeding-heart liberals fail just think how happy the "foxy friends" will be saying "we told you so"?
F. C. Perry