Balancing the books
Re "Obama sets stage for budget battle," Feb. 15
To say this administration spends money like a drunken sailor is unfair to sailors. The proposed $3.7-trillion budget has a deficit of $1.1 trillion. For the mathematically challenged, nearly 30% of the money the Obama administration proposes to spend is borrowed.
How can the president call that kind of spending a tough choice? Where are those who said that George W. Bush's $400-billion or $500-billion deficits were wrecking the economy?
Why not spend only the money the government takes in, just like the citizens have to do? Take it from a guy who does that now: It's not tough; it's prudent and necessary. If I need extra money and print it, I'll go to jail for counterfeiting, as well I should.
Keep up this type of reckless spending and say hello to our new Third World status.
That was an interesting photo of Obama explaining his proposed budget to Baltimore schoolchildren. I guess he was practicing talking to the House's GOP majority.
Re "California would feel the squeeze," Feb. 15
Obama's budget would do more harm than good for California. The administration proposes cuts to everything from reimbursements for incarcerating illegal immigrants to water treatment projects; this adds more pressure to our fragile economy.
As the funds provided by the federal government decrease, more working-class people will have to do without the programs they once depended on and the cash-strapped state will have to make do with even less.
It makes me wonder how many more cuts California can take; this state has dealt with budget cuts for years, and the same patterns of fiscal mismanagement keep occurring year after year.
Attacking women's rights
Re "House Republicans see timely target in Planned Parenthood," Feb. 11
This article underscores House Republicans' attempts to push an ideological agenda under the guise of saving money. The proposed bills would actually end up costing money, because for every dollar invested in family planning, $3.74 in Medicaid-related expenses is saved, according to the government.
Indiana Republican Rep. Mike Pence's legislation would block funding that provides basic preventive healthcare. Americans elected these leaders to fix the economy and create jobs, but instead they are using this opportunity to push a social agenda.
In these hard economic times, cutting money-saving preventive healthcare programs affects millions of low-income women and their families across the country.
Pence and others in Congress are linking themselves with a discredited activist group, Live Action, to disable Roe vs. Wade without the lengthy process of a court or legislative battle. This is bad public policy.
Planned Parenthood uses no federal funds for abortion-related services. In fact, many Planned Parenthood clinics provide no abortions at all; what they do provide is a broad range of reproductive health services for men and women.
Eliminating the national family planning program would result in millions of women across the country losing access to such basic healthcare as cancer screenings, contraception, HIV testing and counseling, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, and annual exams.
The long-term effects on our healthcare system would be enormous.
Because Planned Parenthood supplies basic healthcare as well as needed family planning services to women, it is an indispensable organization.
I consider the Republican position on defunding it a direct attack on women. Bravo for Democratic support of women's rights!
They play, then we pay
Re "The story behind a congressman's downfall," Feb. 13
The damage done by Washington politicos engaging in improper sexual activities has repercussions beyond the loss of public confidence. The latest Republican scandal concerns the Craigslist toe-tapper Christopher Lee.
New York must now hold a special election to replace the contrite Lee. That cost must be borne by the taxpayers. The government response for future misbehavior by elected officials might be that if a person leaves office for reasons of moral turpitude, he or she should bear at least part of the cost of a special election.
The possibility that an elected official's behavior will no longer get a free pass might be an inducement to grow up.
Your article on the resignation of Lee neglects to mention that the former congressman is a supporter of "don't ask, don't tell" and of preventing federal dollars being used for abortions. He earned an 88% approval rating from the American Conservative Union for his votes.
This is interesting because it points out what is rapidly becoming a truism: The more fervently a legislator advocates meddling in the personal lives of others, the more certain it is you'll soon hear his belt buckle hitting the floor under tawdry circumstances.