, Newburyport, MA

December 3, 2012

Rudman knew value of balanced budget

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

The recent passing of Sen. Warren Rudman was reported in most American newspapers. For those who are not familiar with the maverick senator, he is most famous for the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings balanced budget bill passed by Congress and signed by then President Ronald Reagan. Its original intent was to balance the federal budget by 1991, Rudman left Congress disappointed that there had been so little interest in reducing deficits, at least, until billionaire presidential candidate Ross Perot made an issue of it in his 1992 campaign.

In the last 12 years, the national debt has increased by over $10 trillion. In the last four, the U.S. government’s bond rating has declined twice — something that has never happened before in our history. Worse, the war in the Middle East has expanded to a dozen countries, with the possibility of Russia and China stepping in to protect their energy interests in the region. Some are now uttering the possibility of “World War III.”

As the baby-boom generation retires, and as medical, energy, educational and food costs continue to rise with each round of “quantitative easing,” we have to look back and wonder if great men like Warren Rudman were right after all — that this country’s economic future is being placed in jeopardy by out-of-control spending — by the very politicians who we keep re-electing, hoping that they’ll keep the federal handouts coming.

Max Abramson