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September 29, 2013 at 7:56 AM
What is the alternative?
For those who believe that defunding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as “Obamacare”) justifies the shutdown of the federal government and/or America’s default on its financial obligations by not raising the debt ceiling, please do one thing. [“Obamacare foe presses fight,” News, Sept. 25.]
Explain to the rest of us, who believe Obamacare is needed health-care reform, what health-care reform you would propose in its place. In the clamor about the adoption of a new fiscal year’s budget, raising the debt ceiling and defunding Obamacare, I’ve yet to hear what those who oppose Obamacare would replace it with.
Now, if you respond that health-care reform is unneeded in our country, then I would ask you, how do you compare America’s decline in the performance rankings with other developed countries in major health and health-care indicators?
America spends more per capita on the health-care industry than any other developed country, yet our outcomes are second tier. Why is that?
Finally, once you’ve answered these questions, why is the U.S. “defense” industry, and budget line, so sacrosanct in these budget discussions, when the U.S. spends nearly as much as the next 15 countries combined?
Robert Rench, Seattle
July 11, 2013 at 6:00 AM
Congress has failed
News coverage of the spending cuts mandated by the sequester will continue on into 2014, and perhaps longer. [“Bill Clinton: States need to be better budgeters,” seattletimes.com, June 25.]
Each time an article appears about the effects of the sequester, it would be helpful to include a sidebar reminding readers of why this has come to be. Congress failed to act to reduce our nation’s deficit by thoughtfully and carefully cutting expenses and/or increasing tax revenue.
A specially selected group of 12 experienced and accomplished lawmakers, six senators and six representatives comprised equally of both major parties, failed to agree on how to accomplish what most other Americans manage to do on a monthly basis.
This news coverage sometimes takes on the tone of a sad joke: the beatings will continue until morale improves. Are we to understand that the sequester will continue until the economy improves?
With the power of my vote, I helped hire some of those people in Congress. With that same power, I will work to fire them, or replace them.
Jeff Greek, Seattle
July 10, 2013 at 6:30 AM
Furlough is political and pointless
I’m stumped as to why our president, who campaigned on being a champion for the middle class, has decided to furlough middle-class defense workers for one day a week. ["A day without pay ahead for Pentagon workers," seattletimes.com, July 5.]
It’s not due to budget reductions from sequestration. At Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division, Keyport, where I work, people are working overtime right now, and we could hire 50 people tomorrow based on workload. Yet we are still being furloughed. Keyport is funded indirectly, so no money will be saved from these furloughs. The only impacts are delays in deliveries to our troops, and a 20 percent pay cut for middle-class workers.
There are no legitimate business reasons for any of this. The administration is simply abusing defense workers, causing excessive waste, and harming our troops for purely political reasons. When asked why, it can’t even give a coherent response.
I am disgusted.
Gerry Austin, chief steward, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Keyport Professionals, Port Orchard
June 14, 2013 at 7:33 AM
Do your jobs
Our state Legislature is starting a second special legislative session because our lawmakers are gridlocked [“In case budget doesn’t pass, state readies for shutdown,” NWWednesday,” June 12].
For months they could not reach an agreement on a new operating budget. If our government is forced to shut down except for mandated services, it will not only be disgraceful, but Washington state employs 55,000 people who would lose their income. It will be a boulder in a pond.
Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom, D-Medina, said, “We will work diligently over the next couple of days, and however long it takes, to get the job done.” Are they surprised to learn what their jobs are?
Since they didn’t do their jobs and were and are earning overtime, I suggest they give back their $42,106 salaries, the more than $5,000 per diem each legislator receives and all overtime pay. That might be difficult, as they would need to vote for it.
Carrie Stark, Kent
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