Regarding the opinion-page article "Unemployment Benefits Debacle," Nov. 19: The president was right to try to prevent the additional payments from unraveling the budget agreement. Charging the costs over into next year's budget may pressure the big spenders into holding the line a bit.Under the circumstances, the government needed to take steps to tide the unemployed over. But when will Congress learn that we need to reduce the cost of government, live within our means, and bring our deficit and national debt down to zero? Rose Addy, West Palm Beach, Fla. Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.