Regarding "Back to budget fight" [News, April 11], the Republicans tested President Barack Obama on the tax cut for the wealthiest Americans, and in the spirit of compromise, Obama gave in and extended the cuts. He hoped that this would set the stage for compromise, but this is not how the GOP operates. Obama opened the door to all their demands, being slowly but surely met at the expense of the American middle class.

Had Obama stuck to his guns, the taxes on the wealthy would now keep the "entitlement programs" in place and safe from being destroyed by further blackmail which has proved to be successful for the GOP. It will continue if Obama does not speak the words we want to hear: Bring it on.

We want the president to stick to what he once said -- that Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are "off the table," and we want to hear it repeated as often as the GOP states that entitlements must be done away with. If you were a working, taxpaying citizen for many years, you are entitled to benefits from your government.

Marilyn Kaplan

North Massapequa
 

The numbers bandied about in our federal budget debate are beyond comprehension to most people. Let's put it in perspective.

Congress has approved a $3.5-trillion budget for 2010. This includes a $1.6-trillion deficit, which amounts to 84 percent overspending. The Republicans were trying to cut $61 billion from the budget. This is a huge sum, but Democrats fought mightily to lower the amount of spending cuts to $38.5 billion.

Let's look at this from the perspective of a household. If your disposable income for this year is $75,000, and you spent the same proportionally as the federal government, you would spend $138,000. Most people realize that this would lead to financial ruination. So, you decide to cut $2,400 from your planned spending.

However, your spouse objects and, after a long argument, you agree to cut out $1,560. This is only $61,440 more than you take in.

Should you be proud of your fiscal restraint? Or should you call a bankruptcy lawyer?

Don Karlsen

Farmingdale
 

Republican and tea party leaders are committing blatant fraud on the American people. If their alleged concern about reducing our budget deficits was even remotely genuine, they could do so with but three easy actions. Repeal the unnecessary tax cuts for the wealthy, stop the shameful federal subsidies of oil companies and close all loopholes that permit American multinational corporations to avoid paying taxes at home.

The Republican and tea party proposals are squarely at the expense of the middle class and on down to the neediest citizens of our country.

Stan Friedland

Syosset
 

A reader asks why federal funds should be sent to Planned Parenthood [Letters, April 10]. First, let's set the record straight.

The Pence amendment prohibits funding for Title X organizations that provide abortions, regardless of whether other federal funds are used by that organization for non-abortion health care services. Over the past 40 years, Title X organizations have provided contraceptive services and related counseling; breast and pelvic examinations; breast and cervical cancer screening; sexually transmitted disease and HIV prevention education, counseling, testing and referral; and pregnancy diagnosis and counseling.

This amendment clearly is an attack on women's health services. Without this funding, not only will abortions increase, but the health and welfare of tens of thousands of women will be jeopardized. Is that not a beneficial and justifiable use of our money?

Carl Borruso

Valley Stream