National Debt Debate

Compromise to cut debt

Brit Moller comments on the possible political strategy Republicans may be taking: “desperate times call for desperate measures.” But I still see great opportunities for reasonable compromise. Cutting government spending does not have to hurt our dear social security.

Farm subsidies, for example, are in dire need of reform. In the last 15, years we’ve shelled out $245 billion of our tax dollars for farm subsidization. Unfortunately, 75 percent of that is going to the wealthiest 10 percent of farms (industrialized mega-farms using it to produce corn syrup and hydrogenated oils). Subsidies for our food supply should not be going to companies already posting large profits to make Twinkies cheaper than carrots. We could be closing the debt gap while promoting healthier eating habits for Americans. This is a no-brainer that both Republicans and Democrats should see eye-to-eye on. The Farm Bill is up for reauthorization in 2012. Senator Feinstein and Congresswoman Lee both have significant influence in this realm as members of their respective appropriations committees. As their constituents, we should let them know we value this reform.

— Carl Bage,
Berkeley resident

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Reform farm subsidies to reduce national debt and appease both parties

In Brit Moller’s recent article titled “Republicans may have forfeited debt debate for the presidency,” there are several references to the possibly extreme motives of the GOP in regards to the debt debate.

However, arguing that the two parties have little common ground in the realm of cutting spending fails to recognize the reasonable forms of cuts Republican congressmen have been proposing. An unreported example of this would be the upcoming Farm Bill, proposed by Rep. Flake,  R-Arizona. This bill plans to reform farm subsidies by cutting those given to mass producers of corn and soy.

The Farm Bill holds bipartisan support, and rightly so. Right-leaning folks can rejoice in the fact that $245 billion can be saved over the next 15 years, while liberals will support numerous health benefits by cutting subsidies to unhealthy food products, like corn syrup.

As a young, moderate Republican looking forward, I see this as a shining example of our nation’s ability to compromise. With childhood obesity quadrupling in the past 40 years, both Republicans and Democrats can and should support Representative Flake’s Farm Bill.

— Sean Farris,
Berkeley commuter