Letter: Entitlement programs will have to be reduced

Published: Sunday, Aug. 19 2012 10:42 p.m. MDT

With the current national debt and federal deficit situation, entitlement programs that take up most of the budget will have to be reduced. Social Security might only be made available to the poor as the safety net it was originally intended to be. Medicare would also be needs tested. The amount of money in pensions might have to be reduced.

Sen. Jake Garn once told me that the national debt is backed by pensions. So we can't declare eminent domain and cancel the national debt along with the federal deficit.

In taxation, I understand that most of the wealthy are S corporations that employ people. Raising taxes on S corporations would increase unemployment, and probably drive up inflation.

We should actually increase the amount of money for research and development efforts, which creates many private sector jobs and strengthen the economy. Government spending on research and development is part of the solution rather than part of the problem to our economic problems. Garn has stated that we get from $7 to $10 of economic benefits for every dollar spent on NASA, for example. The Space Program is a very small part — less than 1 percent of the federal budget.

With this and the economic benefits involved, it deserves to be a very low priority for government cutbacks.

J. David Baxter

Salt Lake City

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