House Speaker John Boehner, of Ohio, speaks to reporters on...

House Speaker John Boehner, of Ohio, speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington after a closed-door strategy session. (Sept. 26, 2013) Credit: AP

House Speaker John Boehner is insisting that President Barack Obama negotiate if he wants to end the shutdown and avert a default ["Vote ruled out," News, Oct. 7]. We have already had these negotiations.

In early 2011, the House leadership cut $40 billion from the budget. In late 2011, the House gave us the Budget Control Act, designed to cut $2 trillion over 10 years. In March 2013, Boehner (R-Ohio) took another $85 billion ax to the budget with the sequester. His comment on the sequester: "I got 98 percent of what I wanted." Then the Democratic Senate passed a budget resolution using the numbers in the draconian Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) budget plan.

We've had three years of budget-slashing. The federal deficit has dropped. The Affordable Care Act is being implemented. It's time to reopen the government and get back to running the country, instead of Boehner spending time threatening to tank the world economy.

Robert Weisser, Baldwin

With the way the executive and legislative branches of government have been "working" over the past decade, it seems as if the government has been partially shut down for a long time. Do you think the president and Congress are not receiving their paychecks?

It also seems ridiculous that we spend time lamenting a health care reform act. It seems Americans would trust politicians rather than physicians to say what is best for health care.

The Founding Fathers would look at each other and say, "What have we done?" Has our present government structure failed us, or is it the people who run it? Compromise has turned into a four-letter word.

There have been many great leaders in our country, but now it seems the job of a leader is to find who is to blame.

Dr. Kevin T. Watkins, Stony Brook


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