Letter to the Editor: Let’s compromise now, get something done


The president’s budget proposal to appropriate $478 billion for public works (front page story on Monday) is very sensible, and it should have bipartisan support. It’s sad that it has so little chance of being enacted. Upgrading our infrastructure is just one of many practical undertakings that our government could pursue if it wasn’t for ideological and political gridlock.

Public works projects create lots of good construction jobs. And since interest rates are now so low, this is an excellent opportunity to invest in public works that will grow our economy in the years ahead. That will help us to better address the serious national debt problem that’s just over the horizon.

Solutions to some other long term problems, such as global warming, seem intractable because of ideology. That apparently is due to the fact that a significant portion of the Republican base has a hostile attitude toward science.

But isn’t everyone in favor of public works, regardless of ideology? The problem here must be simply political. If Republicans thought the president was adamantly opposed to public works they would probably, with strong public support, force him to go there. Unfortunately Republicans seem determined to prevent the president from achieving anything he proposes regardless of the common good.

However, if ideology is not involved here, then perhaps public works is still negotiable. Other than contrariness, the main disagreement here is about who will pay for it. The president thinks a billionaire should pay a larger share than the average taxpayer, but Republicans object. As a compromise, perhaps the president can offer some concessions. Can the cost of public works be segregated in the budget so that some of that cost can be shifted from the wealthy down to the middle class?
The Republicans, who now control Congress, were sent there by the votes of the 99 percent, so perhaps it’s not unreasonable for that 99 percent to accept a larger share of the cost of these projects that we all support. Let’s compromise now and get something done.

William A. Hall, Front Royal