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Web letter: Cutting fiscal ‘calories’ while adding more is no fitness plan

A lot of people have trouble with numbers, so let’s look at our debt a different way:

I eat too much. You want me to slim down. Since you pay for my groceries, we need to agree on a plan.

So if I need 2,400 calories per day to maintain a healthy weight, and I eat 3,600 calories a day, that is equivalent to our government taking in 2,400 billion dollars per year and spending 3,600 billion.

If I say I will cope with the overeating by exercising so that I need 2,560 calories per day, but will then eat 3,650 a day, that is equivalent to the government saying it will raise an average of $160 billion more in taxes each year, and spend another $50 billion over and above current spending.

Do you think this is a serious plan? I obviously don’t lose weight, I just gain a little more slowly. I would expect that even Michelle Obama, renowned anti-obesity champion and compassionate human being, would be against me continuing to stuff myself at her expense. I don’t think it would matter to her if I were old and poor; she would likely want me to take better care of my health.

That’s all I am asking the government to do: take better care of its fiscal responsibilities. Slim down its budget and get healthy. I am willing to face cuts, even the deep restriction of the social safety net (I am 61), if it results in actual balancing of the budget.

Obviously I cannot speak for everyone, but I don’t see how continuing the present course benefits most of us who do or eventually may expect to receive benefits. Without some budgetary self-control, we will get little or nothing anyway.

DONNA MASKELL Fort Wayne

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