Reservations remain on budget

Regarding the editorial ``The Budget Squeaker,'' Aug. 9: Had President Clinton's deficit-reduction plan failed, the defeat would have hurt his presidency far less than its passage is certain to do.

Under the plan, Americans will find more of their inheritances consumed in taxes. Some businesses may be forced into hiring freezes to compensate for the increased burden. Some entrepreneurs who might have paid cash to start their own businesses and buy commercial property will now have to borrow money to do so. Some wealthy Americans who might have paid cash to buy homes will likewise have to take out loans.

Republican opposition to the plan can't be dismissed as mere carping. The truth is, the opposition had some very good, workable, specific ideas for reducing the deficit without tax hikes. Unfortunately, House and Senate leaders never allowed these ideas to be aired on the floor of either chamber.

Unless we reverse this alarming drift, Americans can count on still higher taxes, still bigger government, higher unemployment, and reduced savings by the end of the current presidential term.

There is still time to undo the damage. Jim Hastings, Boston

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