Here are today's major opinion and editorial columns.
A RATIONAL BUDGET FOR THE PENTAGON NEW YORK TIMES EDITORIAL For too long America’s military spending decisions have been insulated from serious scrutiny or discipline. The result is that more than 50 cents of every dollar of discretionary federal spending now goes to the Pentagon. There is no way to bring the deficit under control without making substantial and rational cuts in that budget.
A DIRE DEBT WARNING BY RUTH MARCUSWASHINGTON POST The higher cost of servicing the debt and the accompanying collapse of tax revenue would make it that much harder to escape this decidedly unvirtuous circle...It tends to take a looming crisis for politicians to take unpleasant — and politically risky — steps. The challenge of dealing with the debt is that no one knows whether there will be enough time between the moment politicians are ready to act and the point at which the situation unravels.
WHAT'S WORSE THAN AN OIL SPILL? BY MARK BITTMANNEW YORK TIMES Scary as it has been, the fishing fix seems at least imaginable, if we create more marine sanctuaries, crack down on overfishing and continue to pressure retailers to employ sustainable seafood policies. ... [O]cean acidification looms, and for this there is only one solution: reducing carbon emissions. You do that by using less fossil fuel, by conservation or substitution or both. On this front, the U.S. is behind the curve, and we stand to lose a lot more than coral.
GOOD ADVICE FROM S&PNEW YORK TIMES EDITORIALAnything the credit rating agencies say has to be taken with a block of salt. In the run-up to the financial crisis, they were enablers of excess, happily slapping AAA ratings on the toxic assets of their Wall Street customers. The same happened with Enron and other debacles...So it was encouraging to see markets recover quickly from the news on Monday that Standard & Poor’s had lowered its outlook on the United States rating from stable to negative. Still, the announcement is worth reflecting on...As credit raters, S.& P. and the other ratings agencies have squandered their credibility. But as a launcher of a shot across the bow in the budget battle, S.& P. did well.
OBAMA NEEDS A BUDGET TO MATCH HIS PROGRESSIVE IDEALS BY KATRINA VANDEN HEUVELWASHINGTON POST This is the kind of budget our president should be proposing. ... One that makes millionaires, billionaires and corporations pay their fair share. One that protects the poor and middle class. But it is the kind of budget that establishment Democrats and media elites are inclined to ignore and dismiss. ... Or we can be a country that believes in — and embraces — shared sacrifice. A country not defined by the greed of the few but by the needs of the many. That’s the only kind of America really worth believing in.
TIME TO UP THE ANTE ON EGYPT BY DAVID IGNATIUSWASHINGTON POST Simply put, there is no greater priority for U.S. counterterrorism policy than helping the Tahrir Square revolutionaries build a strong new country that can lead the rest of the Arab and Islamic world toward a better, saner future. The Egyptians are going to need help, big-time, to repair their damaged economy and their demoralized police. America needs to put its money where its interests are. That’s the unifying link between the Arab Spring and Af-Pak: The promise of the former must lead us to change our spending mix for the latter, and the time is now.
WHERE THE MONEY IS BY HAROLD MEYERSONWASHINGTON POST America is caught in an economic maelstrom. Our largest private- sector employers disinvest domestically, reducing both the size of their workforce and its paychecks. ... First, as private-sector employment continues to decline, the public sector will have to step in to create jobs. Second, we have to tax income and wealth derived from capital investments at a rate not just as high but higher than that we levy on work. There’s no case for rewarding income that comes from selling America short.
OBAMA-RYAN PLAN: A PROGRESS REPORT BY HOLMAN JENKINSWALL STREET JOURNAL I understand something else: the corrupting dynamic between high tax rates and political irresponsibility. What do you think our little Neros in Washington fiddle at while Rome burns? The system gives them every incentive to spend their time chasing special breaks for their big donors rather than doing the thankless work of saving the republic.
TRUMP WINS SUPPORT SPREADING IGNORANCE BY JESSE JACKSONCHICAGO SUN TIMES We now know Donald Trump is happy to peddle a lie about America’s president. We know virtually nothing about his views on America’s course forward. This discrediting code language about the president’s birthplace, religion and qualifications is a debase argument and a disservice to Trump and the country. Voters shouldn’t honor or reward him — or anyone — for that.