This is in response to "What are GOP ideas to cut spending?" [Letters, Jan. 10]. While I can agree the unfunded wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and Medicare Part D, were Republican big-government policies, we still did have record federal tax and Social Security revenue in fiscal 2007, at the end of President George W. Bush's term.
With regard to Social Security and Medicare, at least Republicans are proposing alternatives to programs that are demographic time bombs. If there is blowback to vouchers to purchase Medicare on an exchange, as is proposed, then the payroll tax will need to increase, as will co-pays and deductibles for Medicare recipients. The over-65 demographic is among the wealthiest in this country. So raising the co-pay from $20 to $25 or $30, and increasing the deductible, may go a long way toward extending Medicare solvency, without being an undue burden on current recipients.
With Medicaid, block grants may be the best way to control growth in that program. Let the localities decide how to spend the money allotted to them.
With Social Security, raising the limit on income subject to the Social Security tax may also help increase solvency. Slowly raising the eligibility age will also be needed.
Bottom line: Running trillion-dollar deficits in perpetuity, no matter whose fault it is, will surely lead to ruin. I want better for myself, and our posterity.
Thomas Haas, Massapequa