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November 21, 2013 at 7:35 AM
Congress needs to end this financial crisis
The Times is rightly concerned about “scant review” by the Postal Regulatory Commission [“Deliver scrutiny of the UPS-Amazon deal,” Opinion, Nov. 16].
The PRC seems reluctant to turn down any move by postal management to make deep-discount deals with big mailers, or to curb proposed reductions in service that would slow the mail and harm local newspapers and others who rely on timely mail delivery.
October 14, 2013 at 7:05 AM
Who has the courage to step up?
There is a way to resolve the current impasse in Congress. One member of Congress needs to have the courage to introduce a bill that would cut off congressional paychecks until an agreement is reached, which pulls our country away from the latest financial abyss. [“What the fight over the federal debt limit is all about,” page one, Oct. 9].
As members of Congress appear to have no problem denying paychecks to many federal employees and others dependent on their actions, there should be no reason that they would regard this as unfair.
As they approach their own personal financial abyss, surely they will be motivated to do their jobs and protect their employers — the taxpayers — from their incompetence and bickering. We would be interested to see not only who has the courage to propose such a measure, but who has the courage to vote against it.
Aurora King-Hedinger, Shoreline
October 13, 2013 at 7:31 AM
Term limits should be enacted for members of congress
While the Republicans and Democrats argue, we’re all losing. Valuable services are being denied and now we’re facing default.
Government is too big. What is the alternative? We can’t completely close shop and start over. The answer is to fire the employees. If the people working for me fail to do what I ask of them, do I quit and let them continue? No, I look for new employees.
In this case, we need to get rid of every current person now sitting in Washington, D.C. Term limits must be enacted, or someday we’ll be right back here again.
Steve Drake, Seattle
October 7, 2013 at 11:31 AM
Congress should take the hit
Members of Congress who have caused the partial shutdown of the government should take the hit too. I would like to see their pay withheld until they agree on a budget. [“Obama, GOP meet; no one budges,” page one, Oct. 3].
Of course this would be symbolic, as many of them are wealthy, but still it should be done. Less symbolic would be the furloughing of their employees-all of them. Also, I would stop funding for their “pork barrel” projects. This would cause them some real pain, which they deserve, as they are causing pain to so many people.
Ted Coskey, Seattle
September 26, 2013 at 7:03 AM
Reverse the decision
Please urge U.S. senators and representatives to reverse the House vote to reduce SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) by $4 billion which will affect more than 47 million Americans. [“House conservatives vote to cut $4B in food stamps,” News, Sept. 20.]
Pacific Northwest residents include many who have connections with out-of-state officeholders. Please also ask them to make sure our poor do not suffer any more than they already do.
Malnutrition can diminish the children’s brains for life. Those of us who have experienced hunger and dehydration know those conditions leave a person with a worn out, warped feeling — too overwhelming to perform well at work.
Anyone who has gotten food from a food bank knows that, too regularly, the fruits and meats aren’t as fresh as merchandise on store shelves.
We can lift up our brothers and sisters.
John Freeburg, Bremerton
September 25, 2013 at 6:32 AM
When voters elect a candidate to the House of Representatives or the Senate, they expect that individual to have the judgment to contribute to the betterment of the United States of America.
Why, then, are some congressmen putting forth measures which will harm our country by pushing government into shutting down? In my opinion, the misguided plan to shut down the government is by definition, treasonous.
We, the people, can little afford creating another obstacle that would increase unemployment, set in motion another credit-rating downgrade or degrade our way of life in other ways.
I am weary of political bickering by our least productive Congress ever. Charge and prosecute these loafers with treason, for they are betraying the trust we gave when we elected them.
Kenneth Hahn, Seattle
September 24, 2013 at 6:27 AM
A modest proposal
If the House and Senate fail, yet again, to do their job, and the federal government shuts down Oct. 1, I have a proposal. [“Leaders bicker, shutdown looms,” page one, Sept. 21.]
As of Oct. 1, every member of the House and Senate, and all of their staff, should cease receiving all pay, health benefits and pension credits.
Let’s see if they can take it as well as they can dish it out.
Brad Goodwin, Seattle
September 18, 2013 at 6:54 AM
Congress should protect people, not corporations
The House of Representatives is likely to vote this week to cut food assistance by $40 billion over 10 years, a cut that could threaten an adequate food supply for as many as six million Americans. [“House bill would cut $4B a year from food stamps,” seattletimes.com, Sept. 16.]
While the annual $4 billion cut would impact a diverse range of people (including veterans), it would disproportionately hurt children, who make up almost half of food stamps recipients.
Congress needs to re-evaluate its priorities. These politicians are OK with taking food away from children, while at the same time continuing to protect tax loopholes that allow corporations like Apple, General Electric and Verizon to avoid paying their fair share in federal taxes.
It’s outrageous that Congress would play political games with people who are struggling to put food on the table. Our elected officials need to stand up and protect their constituents, families and communities; not just corporations.
Bonnie Daut, Kent
September 14, 2013 at 7:57 AM
Carbon tax is a good solution
Boy, do we need some congressional attention to climate change. [“Special report: Sea Change,” seattletimes.com, Sept. 13.]
The House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce is actually holding a hearing on Sept. 18.
However, the title is, “The Obama Administration’s Climate Change Policies and Activities.” Since many House members have been critical of President Obama’s intention to use the Environmental Protection Agency to bypass a neglectful Congress, it looks like this hearing could turn into another negative exercise, instead of a serious look at the critical, urgent matter of responding to carbon dioxide emissions increases.
What if, instead of attacking the president’s plan, the hearing focused on the science and on solutions that might provide an alternative to regulations?
I’m guessing many of the conservatives and former presidential advisers who favor a carbon tax are itching to be invited. A carbon tax that gives revenue back to the taxpayer is a truly conservative, market-based approach.
Distributing the carbon-tax revenue back to the public would give consumers the additional income to deal with the price increases that would result from companies paying this tax. Making the carbon tax revenue-neutral aligns with the Republican principle of keeping the federal government from growing larger.
Let’s not just sit back and see what happens at the hearing. Let’s urge our representatives to broaden the agenda of their climate-change hearing to focus on science and solutions.
Mary Davies, Seattle
August 30, 2013 at 11:29 AM
Working to protect patients
I share Dr. Singh’s concern about the upcoming Medicare payment reductions to dialysis facilities. [“Northwest Voices: Funding for dialysis treatments,” Opinion, seattletimes.com, Aug. 26.]
The policy was included as part of the January “fiscal cliff” package after Congress learned that the use of dialysis drugs had fallen sharply in the past five years. Medicare was instructed to reduce payments to dialysis facilities to prevent overpayment for drugs. This reduction was designed to cut the fat, but cuts shouldn’t hinder quality care. The nation’s 400,000 dialysis patients and their families depend on it.
I want to assure my constituents that I am very engaged in this issue. As the ranking Democrat on the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, the co-chair of the Congressional Kidney Caucus and a physician, I have more than one dog in this fight. I have written to the Medicare agency both before and after it published the proposed rule, expressing my concerns about what this reduction could do to impede access to care, especially in inner-city and rural areas.
I believe that my colleagues in Congress, as well as the Medicare agency, want the dialysis program to continue to be a quality program. As the agency goes about finalizing the new payment rates, I will continue to work with the administrator, as well as with the patients and other stakeholders, to ensure continued access to a high-quality program.
Congressman Jim McDermott (WA-07), Washington, D.C.
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