Now that we have temporarily averted falling off the "fiscal cliff," we still hear congressional leaders like Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) rant about how we can't raise the debt ceiling ["A 'fiscal cliff' intermission," Editorial, Jan. 3]. Yet, they fail to understand that when extraordinary events like superstorm Sandy occur, massive spending is necessary to make affected private citizens and businesses whole again, and if the needed revenues aren't there, borrowing must occur.

It wasn't so long ago that people in this same party talked us into starting a war for which there were no funds available. Back then, Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz assured us that, following a quick war that would end in our soldiers being greeted as liberators by Iraqis in the streets with flowers, we would be able to pay the entire cost of the war and any necessary occupation with revenues from Iraqi oil.

Leonard Cohen, Wantagh

I awoke Jan. 1 to hear that the Senate reached a deal to "avert" the fiscal cliff. Then the House followed suit, and President Barack Obama rejoiced -- $16.4 trillion in debt, increasing by $1 trillion every year. Trillions being printed so we can pay our bills. A looming second downgrade of our credit rating. Still our "leaders" refuse to deal with the overspending.

We hear about needing more time to work out the cuts. These people are not so stupid they don't know the overspending must stop, so why won't they act? Because they fear they might lose the next election!

Should you put at risk staying in power for life by doing something that may be painful? Apparently, except for Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and the tea party representatives, the answer is no.

The solution, therefore, is to remove that fear of losing by removing re-election. I don't mean voting against them; I mean term limits. However, don't expect members of Congress to vote themselves out voluntarily. We need tea party-type people to descend on Washington and act like Wall Street Occupiers.

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Jerry Bland, Middle Island

The Boehner betrayal ["Mr. Speaker, have you no shame?" News column, Jan. 3]. I'd also call it the Boehner hypocrisy.

For the last month or so, Boehner has been fighting to stop tax hikes on the wealthiest Americans, calling it a transfer of wealth. Yet Boehner represents one of the "tin-cup" states, Ohio, that has its hand out for federal money like a vagrant shaking a tin cup at passersby.

Boehner and his cronies have no problem with transferring wealth from states like New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to their own, as well as states like Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. Seventeen states give more than they receive. One state, Rhode Island, gets back almost exactly what it pays, and the rest take, take, take.

So, Boehner has imperiously raised his middle finger to the good people of the tristate area who consistently give more to this great nation than they receive.

Why? Only he knows. Perhaps it's because the tristate area voted in the majority for President Barack Obama. Perhaps it's because he lost his tax fight and wants to stick it to the few blue states that he can. Perhaps he just wants to keep our money for his tin-cup state supporters.

Thomas Sobczak Jr., Westbury