- - Thursday, June 26, 2014

One would think that, with a staggering national debt in excess of $17 trillion, and with Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid in danger of not being able to continue providing the high benefit levels we have come to expect of them, President Obama would be making serious proposals to bring the budget into balance and find the means to shore up these three critical programs for future generations. One who reaches this conclusion would be wrong. Our leader seeks a larger, more expensive federal government — the national debt and our inability to repay it notwithstanding.

The federal government currently provides a host of advantages for those with children: a dependent income-tax deduction, the Earned Income Tax Credit, child tax credit, and for those in need, various forms of welfare benefits, including Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (a program whose cost has soared to approximately $80 billion a year) and food through the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. Should the government be rewarding those who act as it wishes them to and should it be further incentivizing having children?

The president also elected to sink the federal government deeper into quicksand when he expanded its role in backing student loans, which now total well in excess of $1 trillion of individual debt. He now seeks to provide easier terms for repayment and to forgive or defer some of the debt under certain circumstances. Who does the reasonable individual think will pay for this largesse, which falls under the category of “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”?

When one group is aided, others are disadvantaged, having to pay for the perk that is offered to those who are chosen. We are on the road to financial ruin. I do not know what we can expect to happen when there is no more “other people’s money” to spend and when we can borrow no more, but it will not be pretty.

Adopting the credo of “Damn the torpedoes; full speed ahead” is likely to bury us.

OREN M. SPIEGLER

Upper Saint Clair, Pa.