The Portland Press Herald isn’t now notable for editorial acumen, but your July 12 example, “Despite all the rhetoric, debt limit isn’t the issue” was particularly incoherent.

You claim that the present fiscal crisis can only be solved by the immediate dismantling of social programs — even though, as you admit, the financing of those programs is not an element in that crisis. Not one penny can come from tax increases.

As The Economist noted last week, this position, taken from tea party talking points, is “economically illiterate and disgracefully cynical.” First, it is impossible: Other countries where math is not yet unfashionable have recognized that some degree of tax increases will be necessary to meet realistic deficit-reduction goals.

American individual and corporate tax rates and tax revenues are near historic lows, but American society wasn’t too damaged by, say, the “high-tax” 1990s. Tax rates on the very wealthy need to increase. Your editorial also assumes that American politicians and “bureaucrats” (scarier than “public employees”) are made of poorer stuff than those of other countries, as they always “spend any dollar they get their hands on.”

If they are so venal that they can’t be trusted with any new tax revenue, one might wonder whether they should be in government at all. This is, again, a doctrinaire tea party claim, and two years ago it might have been surprising to read it in The Press Herald.

Finally, you claim to be committed to decreasing government spending — but like the Republicans, you studiously ignore the level of military spending in America today. It’s sad to see this rightward editorial lurch in a paper that used to express some interest in the situation of poor and powerless people, in Maine and in America.