Shoddy example of democracy
After watching the debt limit spectacle on C-SPAN, I am ashamed and embarrassed for our country.
It appears this is the new pattern for conducting our business. Instead of having the "world's greatest deliberative body," we witness one side threaten and intimidate the other into bending to its will. We already have special-interests "buying" policy, which is reprehensible in itself; now we have the world witnessing that threatening tactics work. What an example to spread "democracy."
What happened to hearing all sides of a matter, considering all the consequences, and coming to a conclusion based on the best interests of all our citizens and our country?
We've already lost our financial status in the world, and we're sinking fast. How low do we go before we hit bottom, if there is one?
Sue V. Cook, Lutz
Cuts mean more lost jobs
I have been bewildered as to why Republicans would insist on huge spending cuts at a time of high unemployment. Spending cuts will inevitably lead to even greater unemployment. Why would they do that? Then, a thought occurred to me like a thunderbolt. Could it be that the Republicans want to maximize unemployment? What could that possibly accomplish? Well, it would accomplish three things:
1) Those who have jobs, fearing they could lose them, would become even more productive.
2) Unemployed workers looking for jobs would have lower salary expectations.
3) President Barack Obama would get the blame, and his chances for re-election would be diminished.
What a boon for business! The more I think about it, the more convinced I become that this may be a part of the Republican leadership's agenda, though I don't think it's what the average voter had in mind when he or she voted Republican.
Emma Withers, Dade City
Spending acts as a drug
Editorialists and letter writers extol the virtue and necessity of government spending to stimulate and sustain the shaky economy. Has government spending become the implanted pacemaker of the American economy?
Some see government spending working as a magic elixir, bringing and ensuring economic vitality. To me, government spending works more like a dangerous drug. Sure, it gives you a rush at first. But the effect wears off and you need more and more of the drug to get the same result. Meanwhile, the drug weakens and sickens the body. At the same time, the body becomes dependent on the drug to the point it can't function without it.
Government spending creates a false economy dependent on and sustained by government spending. It drains resources out of the self-sustaining, independent economy through the taxes and deficits necessary to fund the false economy of government spending.
The overspending, overtaxing government that started the process will find itself in a downward economic death spiral as it grabs more and more out of the failing real economy to fund its false economy.
Robert Beatty, Tampa
Dems lash out: Tea party acted like terrorists Aug. 2
The tea party has "hijacked" the Republican Party. Right-wing "extremists" control the Republican Party. These are the carefully crafted words chosen by the liberal mudslingers. Now, Vice President Joe Biden is reported likening those opposed to burdening the American people with more debt to "terrorists."
This name-calling was deliberately chosen to associate certain Americans with Islamic "extremists," twin tower "hijackers" and foreign "terrorists."
Dan Holmer, Brandon
Rather than acting like terrorists, as tea party Republicans have been accused of, I think of them more as acting like bullies. Bullies usually get their way by threatening those they perceive as weaker.
They usually continue these behaviors until someone stands up to them. It's time that the rest of our lawmakers, together with our president, stand up to the bullies and let them know their threats won't work anymore. The tea party has gotten where they are because they have been organized and spoken with a unified voice. Those of us who don't agree with their agenda need to do the same before it's too late.
Lois Robertson, Odessa
Vote shows how far she has come | Aug. 3
Moment to cherish
Rarely in our nation's history do we experience a defining moment as we all did when Rep. Gabby Giffords strode into the House of Representatives chamber to cast her vote on the debt ceiling bill.
It was a moment to cherish. This display of courage and dedication was extraordinary in that it sent a message to those who wish us harm for our beliefs: If you knock us down, we will get up to fight again.
Paul Spidell, Hudson
Fight the fraud
Medicare and Medicaid fraud are thought to be at least 10 percent of annual payments; that's $80 billion or more per year.
Requiring that every patient be enrolled in a health maintenance organization may be the only way to save most of this money lost to fraud. That's because bills for unapproved procedures would be immediately rejected.
If we eliminated "only" 70 percent of the fraud, over a decade that would save $560 billion toward keeping the U.S. debt under control.
Rolf H. Parta, Bradenton
Automakers pledge less fuel use, pollution July 30
Breaking the oil addiction
Last week, President Barack Obama started the drive toward historic reductions in oil dependence, global warming pollution and the amount of money we pay at the gas pump. The president's announcement of a new, 54.5-miles-per-gallon standard by 2025 could go a long way toward ensuring America breaks its addiction to oil.
According to the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Natural Resources Defense Council, the new standard has the potential to cut annual gasoline use by 23 billion gallons — the amount of oil America imported from Saudi Arabia and Iraq last year — while reducing annual emissions of global-warming pollution by the equivalent of 72 coal-fired power plants in 2030. The standard could also save Americans $80 billion at the pump annually.
Alejandra Cabrera, Miami