Voodoo Deficits

Robert Ortner, Author Dow Jones-Irwin $22.95 (192p) ISBN 978-1-55623-280-0
In this chatty, arguable, wide-ranging economic survey, former Reagan Commerce Department undersecretary Ortner scorns ``doomsaying'' critics of the $22 trillion U.S. national debt. ``We owe it to ourselves,'' he claims, referring to Treasury bonds and notes whose interest payments contribute massively to personal and institutional income. Elsewhere, however, he writes that reducing federal programs could ``raise'' billions for the government but does not refer to the employment or taxable purchasing power thus lost to the programs' beneficiaries. The author also analyzes American productivity, labor costs, dollar-value fluctuations, etc. in relation to our ``real'' (inflation-adjusted) annual industrial growth rates and our currently negative foreign-trade balance. Among Ortner's recommendations for the 1990s are a national sales tax, reduced capital gains taxes to encourage productivity-aimed investment and including the U.S.S.R. in our foreign aid program. (July)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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