Quite the contrast on the Jan. 3 op-ed page. E.J. Dionne Jr. [“Not so bad a bargain”] said we need to move the discussion “away from a green-eyeshade debate over budgets and foster a larger conversation over what it will take to restore broadly shared economic growth.” But how can we ever expect to have broad economic growth with such a titanic deficit? Where is the plan for controlling our deficits, rather than just wishing to solve all of society’s ills?

On the other side of the page, George F. Will [“America’s decadent democracy”] rightly indicated that deficits are perfectly acceptable so long as they are funding infrastructure or wars as investments for future generations; deficits are a bad idea when they are only footing the bill of today’s expenses.

This is a financial equation we are trying to solve, not a social experiment. We most definitely need the green eyeshades.

David Sullivan, Sterling

From what I read in The Post, a significant majority of thoughtful economists from both the left and the right agree that we cannot solve our deficit problem without increasing revenue. Most Americans who are paying attention believe that the deficit is one of our major problems, if not the most important one.

I also read over and over again that our president’s leadership is lacking on this and other issues — most recently in David Ignatius’s Jan. 3 op-ed column, “An MIA president.”

So I ask, just what is it that Post pundits think President Obama should have done about the Republicans’ pledge never to increase taxes? Wasn’t the passage of the fiscal cliff legislation, particularly the income tax increase for households making more than $450,000 a year, a significant step in the right direction?

Waller Hyde Wilson, Front Royal, Va.

The writer is the treasurer of the Warren County Democratic Committee.