With one destructive hurricane behind us, one on the way, and who knows how many more possible, it may be time to consider some way to pay for all the rebuilding necessary. I understand that the administration does not want to raise taxes and that “Operation Offset” is a way that some in Congress are proposing to try to pay for reconstruction. Some of their ideas are to freeze funding for the Peace Corps, the Global AIDS Initiative, and U.N. peacekeeping operations. They would eliminate the EnergyStar program, grants for state and local energy conservation, federal subsidies for Amtrak, funding for new light-rail programs and the hydrogen fuel initiative. Also eliminated are grants for safe and drug-free schools, and teen contraceptive programs. They’d probably also cut funding to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National Endowment for the Arts.

I agree that it is time to take a good hard look at where we are spending our current tax dollars but rather than just take a bludgeon to programs that help people, don’t you think that the American people would agree to a one time surtax to help their fellow citizens? If individuals and corporations paid this one time surtax, we could rebuild people’s lives and businesses without increasing an already bursting federal deficit. I would think that Congress could find out how much tax revenue was expected for this year, get a good estimate of reconstruction costs, and pass a bill for the percentage of surtax needed. 1%, 2%, 4%? Americans have shown that they are incredibly generous and caring. Perhaps it is Congress that is being small-minded.

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