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Letters: Washington needs a compromise

President Barack Obama speaks as Speaker of the

President Barack Obama speaks as Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner looks on as the President meets with congressional leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House. Credit: Getty Images, 2011

It's not going over the "fiscal cliff" that's the problem ["Compromise to avoid 'cliff,'" Editorial, Nov. 30]. We're going to run into the cliff if Congress fails us.

Then all of us, including corporations, are going to have to scrape, claw, and fight our way up the cliff to get anywhere near back to our current standard of living. And, we're going to have to do it while Congress continues to throw piles of debt over the edge, as we struggle to climb.

Without a good solution, we may be reduced to living at the bottom of a U.S. garbage heap.

Dennis Gai, Huntington

Writers Whitney Tilson and Anthony Scaramucci ["Both parties need to face third rails," Opinion, Nov. 29] should be hired by the president and Congress to come up with a definitive national budget plan. They have their fingers on the pulse of just about every issue needed to bring about a bipartisan budget compromise.

In the end, this now-elusive "grand bargain" will be, like all successful negotiations, an agreement that neither side is crazy about, but that both sides can live with.

Paul Jacobs, Huntington

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has talked about closing loopholes to address the fiscal cliff. One of the loopholes that should be closed allows millionaires and billionaires to collect tax-free interest income on municipal notes and bonds.

I believe that if the Republican Party supported closing this loophole, before reducing or eliminating the mortgage-interest deduction, that would go a long way toward removing the impression that the party is a party of the rich.

Jack Coughlin, Deer Park

Editor's note: The writer is a member of the executive committee of the Suffolk County Conservative Party.