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Needed: A fair deal on debt reduction

2:00 PM EST, December 26, 2012

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A drive through Baltimore reveals signs of economic optimism as well as severe poverty. If the economy is to fully recover from the worst recession in decades, Democrats and Republicans must accept that sacrifices are necessary from both sides ("GOP cancels vote on Plan B," Dec. 21).

Unfortunately, the GOP is inexplicably proposing that the poorest and neediest Americans sustain severe cuts to vital services, while the highest income earners are allowed to benefit from continued Bush-era tax cuts.

This position totally contradicts the GOP's steady drumbeat for deficit reduction as an urgent priority.

In order to achieve real deficit reduction, encourage economic growth and maintain a safety net for those who have suffered most from the recession, a balanced approach must be implemented.

A successful plan must include increases in revenue as well as cuts in spending. We will not accept that 58 percent of spending cuts should come from low-income Americans and anti-poverty programs, as House Republicans propose.

The Obama administration has engaged business leaders and successful entrepreneurs to improve access to capital and foster the innovation that will drive the future economy. Under President Barack Obama's compromise proposal to maintain tax cuts for individuals making under $400,000 a year, many small businesses will have additional incentive to invest.

Now it is up to those of us who are members of the business community to stand with the administration and demand that Congress take a balanced approach to the budget.

Alan Maddox, Baltimore

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