I am truly disappointed to see our elected officials in Washington behaving the way they are ["Obama calls for debt deal," News, July 26]. It pains me to watch the grandstanding and game-playing exhibited by both Democrats and Republicans, as they try to accomplish their goals. Once again, it's very clear that the real priority of our elected officials is to get re-elected.
As a conservative Republican, I've never been one to favor tax increases, but we need to compromise on all fiscal issues right now to get this deal done. Seniors, veterans, the disabled and others are concerned that their government assistance checks could be delayed, middle-income people are worried that the stock market will be adversely affected, resulting in a further decline in their retirement accounts, yet our elected officials continue to play this game.
Frank J. Stalzer, Huntington
I think most people are tired of this debt-ceiling Kabuki theater. It's hard sympathize with either side when both will put us in greater debt no matter how you slice it. The solution is simple and should have been instituted many years ago: Don't spend more than you take in.
Most disturbing, however, was the litany of lies proffered by President Barack Obama in his speech Monday night. One can only suggest that his jeremiad to get his own way was crafted on fear. Scaring the population, even a small segment, such as the elderly, is not a sign of leadership, but a sign of a very small man.
All parties need to grow up, put their personal differences and egos aside and do what they were elected to do: represent We the People.
John Savin, Massapequa
The Republicans who put us in this mess now refuse to get us out of it. It was they who, having inherited a surplus, turned it into a deficit by reducing taxes while engaging in two wars, one of which was totally unnecessary.
In the thrall of big business, they promote subsidies and tax breaks for inordinately profitable companies. They extol the virtues of globalization, the effect of which has been the outsourcing of middle-class jobs, as well as the retention of profits abroad to avoid paying taxes at home.
Free enterprise, their mantra, is not free. There needs to be a supporting infrastructure provided by government: Security both at home and abroad, roads, bridges, tunnels, central banking, a justice system, and promotion of the general welfare are but parts of governmental responsibility. This can only be achieved by taxes collected from business and the citizenry.
As it stands, they are nothing but automatons to ideology, and a failed one at that. This continued obstinacy regarding raising the debt ceiling required to provide for those national needs -- an appeal to a populist but unrealistic position on taxation -- will reduce our nation to Third World status.
Richard M. Frauenglass, Huntington
While it is difficult to keep a clear head as to what all this swaggering and political grandstanding are supposed to accomplish, one thing emerges with full clarity. House Speaker John Boehner repeatedly goes before the TV cameras expounding the sentiment that we can't tax the very people we expect to invest in the economy and create jobs.
Who is he talking about? The people or the gluttonous superrich?
How about the other statement he is continually using, "job-killing taxes"? For 12 years the tax giveaway program initiated by former President George W. Bush has put trillions of dollars into the pockets of corporations while the outsourcing of jobs overseas has hugely increased. What gives, Mr. Boehner?
The Republicans want to cut entitlements like Social Security and Medicare and keep tax breaks for the superrich, before they will agree to a raise in the debt limit -- a debt they are responsible for.
I'm positive that the members of Congress are not planning any cuts in their own entitlements.
Douglass Robinson, Levittown
Economist John Maynard Keynes would be turning over in his grave with the suggestion that we should have a balanced-budget amendment. Keynes said that in bad times it is required to have deficits. In good times, we should have a surplus and use that overage to reduce or eliminate national debt.
Our major problem is that, in good times, instead of paying off the debt, we cut taxes and increase spending as if the business cycle does not exist and will never turn down again. The only president in modern times to understand this seems to have been Bill Clinton.
To pay down the debt, there should be a tightening of federal expenditures and an increase of taxes on those who can afford it. In addition, corporations that earn profits should be paying taxes.
Those who benefit the most from the system should be willing to support it.
Joseph Marcal, Commack
For Speaker John Boehner to say that President Barack Obama is playing politics by trying to extend the debt ceiling until 2014 is the height of hypocrisy! Maybe, just maybe, Obama is still trying to stabilize our economy and get us back from the brink of a great depression.
The Republicans' goal is to keep the economy weak so that they can use it for political gain in the 2012 elections. They'd rather kill any chance of recovery than agree with anything Obama says, even if it was their idea originally.
We cannot risk our entire economy just to get them elected. We need stability to get America working again. That's really the jobs, jobs, jobs plan.
Joan Fanelli, Hauppauge