It's interesting to see the Democrats and Republicans stealing each other's political ideas this year. While the Republicans are touting "compassionate conservatism" the Democrats are considering a "contract with America" style strategy in committing to pay of fthe national debt by the end of the decade.
The idea being that if America elects Al Gore and a Democratic congress, they will pay off the national debt by 2010.
I personally like this idea and wish the Republican Party would make the same commitment. The children of the baby boomers are going to have a hard time paying for Medicare and Social Security and paying the interest on the debts left over from the 1980s at the same time. The only way these programs are going to be affordable is if we pay off the national debt first.
Paying off the national debt first may be the winning issue for the Democrats because it's an issue that has broad appeal crossing party lines, racial lines and religious lines. Paying off the national debt shows fiscal responsibility and strengthens the economy. Even the most conservative of Republicans would have a hard time resisting the appeal of a debt-free America. I'm afraid that if the Republicans stay with tax cuts for the rich and don't match the Democrats' commitment to pay off the national debt first, that the Democrats will score a big win in this fall's election.
Marc Perkel, Springfield, Mo.