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A recent campaign letter from Congressman Rob Wittman requested I sign and return an enclosed petition to stop the automatic spending reductions and tax increases scheduled for January 2013 (known as "sequestration").
Stopping sequestration is extremely important. But the emphasis in the letter and petition is on avoiding any reductions in defense spending or tax increases. This portends a dangerously rigid and uncompromising attitude in the congressman's approach to fiscal policy.
It is impractical and hypocritical to say you want to come to an agreement on solutions to the country's deficit and debt problems while excluding consideration of the largest non-mandatory spending category and of any increase in tax revenues.
Given the dire circumstances, it is imperative that legislators meet and work with a common goal uppermost in mind. Success will depend on mutually acceptable proposals that represent pragmatic resolutions of taxing and spending decisions.
Examples of this balanced approach are the bipartisan Simpson/Bowles Fiscal Commission and the Domenici/Rivlin Debt Reduction Task Force of the Bipartisan Policy Center.
Neither of these group efforts was mentioned by the congressman, implying he does not agree with them. But how else can we solve the problem? If he and others with a similar attitude persist in an uncompromising approach, they will be setting us up for failure.
Normally, a congressman will anticipate and cater to the special interests of his constituents. But there may be times when what is best for the country overrides local interests. Building a large military and cutting taxes won't make America strong if, by doing so, we bankrupt the government.
James B. McMath