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The nation's soaring debt has to be confronted

Re: The world is watching us spend away and The moderate Paul O'Neill was an antique used to decorate Bush's Cabinet, Jan. 15.

After reading last Thursday's columns by William Gross and Matthew Miller, I became even more horrified than I already am at the potential impact of our national debt and soaring deficits. I'm concerned that the average American doesn't realize the potential ruin that awaits our great country if something is not done.

The national debt has topped $7-trillion. To pay that off would mean that every American citizen would owe more than $23,900. It's estimated that since Sept. 30, the debt has soared by more than $2-billion per day. In a globalized world with a globalized economy, this means impending doom unless something is done. The behavior of the foreign investors is far from predictable, and depending on their optimism is beyond irresponsible.

CEO George W. Bush seems to have taken some lessons from his old buddy (and leading campaign donor in the past) Kenneth "Kenny-boy" Lay. We all remember what happened to Enron and its employees. President Bush and his irresponsibility are setting up every American citizen for a fate similar to that of the poor former Enron employees. We cannot allow this to continue. We owe it to ourselves to unseat this guy, or we'll be owing a lot more in the (possibly very near) future.

Matt Tucker, ClearwaterOverextended and heading for a fall

Re: The world is watching us spend away, by William H. Gross, Jan. 15.

No historian am I, but for some time now I have been considering the conditions that contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire and our own Bush-induced plight. Thanks to William H. Gross, some of those thoughts have been put into words, and I hope they will be heeded. The frightening fact that we are overextended and living beyond our fiscal means, seems not to be of concern to our current elected officials. The president's latest audacious plan to build a base station on the moon, and to travel beyond, is unbelievable in light of the financial burden already incurred by him and his war. His ability to push his agendas, without much opposition, demonstrates the power of incumbency, as well as the lack of resistance. We are not, as he seems to believe, invulnerable to collapse. He forgets his obligation to the people, and courts danger by his recklessness.

The following quote from Edward Gibbon's General Observations of the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire, is in my opinion, one to be reckoned with:

"Prosperity ripened the principle of decay, the causes of destruction multiplied with the extent of conquest, and, as soon as time or accident had removed the artificial supports, the stupendous fabric yielded to the pressure of its own weight."

Orfeo Trombetta, SeminoleLoss of jobs is frightening

Re: IBM "offshoring" to save $168-million, Jan. 20.

This article about IBM's moving jobs to China, India and Brazil is frightening.

"Cheap foreign labor" has already resulted in major inroads by foreign manufacturers in our country's textile, electronics as well as our automotive industry. When is the last time you saw "Made in the USA" on a shirt, pair of shoes or an electronic product?

Toyota, Acura, Honda, Hyundai, Mazda, BMW are names of autos as common on our streets as Ford, Chevrolet or Plymouth. Thousands of automotive jobs have been lost to "cheap foreign labor." Production of autos and trucks in U.S. based factories has been reduced and many manufacturing facilities have been closed.

If IBM's practice is followed by other "high tech" companies, the future for coming generations of Americans is indeed be bleak.

For me, I will no longer purchase an IBM product! Buy American, buy Apple!

John Olszewski, New Port RicheyThe message in the mugs

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