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Give and Take on the Deficit

The Opinion page article "Sacrifice: the Key to Deficit Reduction," July 29, is right on target. If real spending (after inflation) were held constant, and real growth were reasonable, the deficit soon would be eliminated. The reason is that if the economy grows, tax receipts grow. Unfortunately, real expenses have not been held constant and so the deficit has grown.

The Republicans maintain, and there is considerable evidence for their position, that increasing income-tax rates slows down the economy and decreasing them quickens it. With constant tax rates, tax receipts will increase or decrease roughly in proportion to the economy. The obvious solution to the deficit problem is to slow or stop the growth of expenditures, and perhaps even reduce tax rates.

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Neither of these things is included in the deficit-reduction bill, and the deficit will not be eliminated by it, or even reduced in absolute terms. Richard M. Sills, Niskayuna, N.Y. The past is an eloquent reminder

The article "Activists Battle for Civil War Sites," July 27, underscores the uphill struggle of groups of historians to preserve what we must never lose.

Our nation is still suffering from the effects of a disastrous war fought on our own territory.

The memory of this war must always be somewhere to remind us of the consequences of failure to respect, communicate, and compromise with our fellow man. H. G. Rutledge Jr., Davis, Calif.

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