Senator Rob Portman's column ("Take action now to prevent the coming debt crisis," Record-Courier, Oct. 20) once again demonstrates why Low Information Voters elect him and other small government types and live and die by the mantra, "We have a spending problem."
What they fail to clarify is that their problem with spending is on things that they do not like but most Americans do. By perjoratively calling Social Security and Medicare programs "entitlements" and bunching them in with no distinction to the fact that they are paid for by contributions apart from the income tax, Republicans such as our junior senator are able to turn social programs that work quite well into bogeymen.
Forty-seven percent of income tax revenue goes to pay for current and past military expenditures, and more than $1 trillion in tax expenditures subsidize everything from home mortgages to big business. If the good senator really cares about our spending problem, these are the real entitlements and he should do something about them.
There are easy and painless but apparently politically difficult ways to address our debt and deficits, but placing blame on the poor, elderly and sick is apparently easier. Rolling back the Bush era tax cuts, removing the income cap on Social Security, and raising the ridiculously low capital gains tax all would right our ship in a heartbeat.
The problem, of course, is that small government ideology will trump common sense, fair and equitable solutions that might actually allow our government to be successful. The recent congressional stand-off doesn't offer any hope that such common sense will prevail on the right side of the aisle.
Rick Hawksley, Kent