March 12, 2013 | Vol. 94, No. 59

Spending cuts could avoid entitlement programs

To the Editor:

Over the past several months our Congress has been talking about government spending and deficit reduction. The only thing that appears to be on the table to accomplish this is entitlements that have been contributed to by those eligible to receive them.

What I do not see on the table is corporate welfare and subsidies, like paying farmers to let their land lay fallow, farm subsidies, tax breaks for businesses to hire or relocate, or depletion allowances to gas, oil and coal companies.

Nor do I see foreign aid reform, which appears to be another large welfare program. Individuals contribute to Social Security and Medicare programs through payroll deductions; however, I do not see where corporations contribute to programs for subsidies (unless you consider campaign donations as a contribution in support of these programs).

Subsidized programs only prop up prices protecting those that have. To be a true capitalist economy there should not be any program to prop up or depress prices. (Supply and demand should be the prime price determent.) A prime example is the federal sugar program discussed in the Daily Globe Saturday, Feb. 23 article “Federal sugar program yields sour results.”

Another area where reform could be addressed is housing subsidies, where owners receive full price from some tenants and/or partial price from other tenants, with the remainder coming from government. If not for the subsidies, the property owner would have to lower prices in order to maintain occupancy.

An area of spending that could save billions that should be looked into is our military spending in foreign countries to protect American interests. The only American interest I see in foreign countries are American corporations. I guess it is to protect the cheap labor, their factories and big oil supplies. Why should we spend billions to protect these corporations when these same corporations are doing everything possible to avoid paying taxes that fund our military? For example, GE moved their headquarters overseas to avoid paying $5 billion in tax for a single year. (“Sixty Minutes” discussed this a couple of month ago.)

Another significant area in reform is in Medicare, but that reform should be aimed at the medical community (and by medical community I do not include those folks that care for patients), drug companies and insurance industry.

In conclusion, there are far more areas where spending could be curtailed then just entitlement programs.

Robert Johnson

Ironwood