Letters to the Editor

Readers write about credit loans for the higher tax brackets, changes in the National Guard and Reserves, world sports capitals, and the virtue of "flip-flopping."

'Jumbo loans' would rightly help high cost-of-living areas

In response to your Feb. 1 editorial, "A housing rescue too far": Increasing loan limits in high-cost areas does not go too far in my opinion. I understand that folks who live in a $200,000 median home price area consider a $600,000 house "upper middle class." But this is lower middle class in many high-cost areas.

Are we to tell those folks who are already paying a high percentage of their income so that they can be in the jobs they hold locally or so that their kids can remain in their schools that they don't deserve help?

Also, I would argue that expanding loan limits to higher-income areas, given that these loans are held up to Federal Housing Administration-type scrutiny, would enhance the portfolio strength of FHA, Fannie Mae, or Freddie Mac. Folks in those areas are simply less likely to be financially irresponsible.

The group defined as "struggling Americans" has broadened to include many in the middle class: A working couple in a high-cost area living in a $600,000 home is "working poor." Problem is, it's all relative.

Justin McCarthy
Carlsbad, Calif.

Need for reform in Reserves, Guard

In response to the Feb. 1 article, "Modernize US Reserve and Guard, panel says": I was a full-time employee of the Air National Guard, and my total military time was 33 a half years. I want you to know that the Air National Guard has been fighting wars and putting out fires all over the world.

Ever since Desert Storm, it has been nonstop for our Air Force, Air Guard, and Air Reserves. And all of this comes from one-seventh of the Air Force's budget. The words "doing more with less" should be part of every Air National Guard billboard.

And the Air Force is still wanting to cut their people and aircraft. So the bottom line is, I am just stating how so few people have been used so much.

CMS Donald L. O'Neill (ret.)
Pittsburgh, Pa.

Regarding the Feb. 1 article on National Guard reforms: If, as Marine Gen. Arnold Punaro (ret.) says, "We don't have the capacity remaining to deal with these homeland defense threats in an adequate way," then why are National Guard troops being deployed to hostile, foreign areas? They can handle Baghdad, but not New Orleans?

Why are such troops called "Reserves" if they are the first in the line of fire while career military troops are sitting, bored to death, on bases in Europe and the Pacific? Why is a force known as the "National Guard" being deployed internationally?

That's not what these men and women signed up for. Reserves were meant to be the last called into combat, and the Guard was meant as a state militia in the original version of homeland security.

Brian Howell
Skyland, N.C.

Sports central – Boston or London?

Regarding the Feb. 1 article, "It came from Boston!" that claims that Boston is "the world's best professional sports town": A few cities outside the US would challenge that claim. London has five professional soccer clubs (including Arsenal and Chelsea) that compete in the Premier League, the world's most prestigious soccer league. The British capital is home to world-class rugby and cricket teams. The tennis championships at Wimbledon take place in a London suburb that's just a short train ride from the city. London's successful bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympics is a tribute to its status as a vibrant and dynamic city for sports fans.

Alistair Budd
London

Fans of 'flip-flopping' respond

In response to Eileen Cook's Feb. Opinion piece "Virtue lies in flip-flopping": Ms. Cook's article is right on target, despite the fact that her target is moving. I agree wholeheartedly that who I want for a political representative is someone who can change as we learn how to improve our collective lives.

Lynn Austin
Campell, Calif.

Regarding Eileen Cook's recent Opinion piece on the virtue of "flip-flopping" when change is for the better: I enjoyed the piece, however, Ms. Cook should not be too happy that the medical profession once "flipped" on the use of leeches, because it has recently "flopped" back: the Food and Drug Administration approves their use for maintaining circulation in reattached extremeties.

Tracy Hall, Jr.
Provo Canyon, Utah

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Any letter accepted may appear in print or on our website, www.csmonitor.com. Mail letters to Readers Write and Opinion pieces to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115. E-mail letters to Letters and Opinion pieces to OpEd.

'Jumbo loans' would rightly help high cost-of-living areas

In response to your Feb. 1 editorial, "A housing rescue too far": Increasing loan limits in high-cost areas does not go too far in my opinion. I understand that folks who live in a $200,000 median home price area consider a $600,000 house "upper middle class." But this is lower middle class in many high-cost areas.

Are we to tell those folks who are already paying a high percentage of their income so that they can be in the jobs they hold locally or so that their kids can remain in their schools that they don't deserve help?

Also, I would argue that expanding loan limits to higher-income areas, given that these loans are held up to Federal Housing Administration-type scrutiny, would enhance the portfolio strength of FHA, Fannie Mae, or Freddie Mac. Folks in those areas are simply less likely to be financially irresponsible.

The group defined as "struggling Americans" has broadened to include many in the middle class: A working couple in a high-cost area living in a $600,000 home is "working poor." Problem is, it's all relative.

Justin McCarthy
Carlsbad, Calif.

Need for reform in Reserves, Guard

In response to the Feb. 1 article, "Modernize US Reserve and Guard, panel says": I was a full-time employee of the Air National Guard, and my total military time was 33 a half years. I want you to know that the Air National Guard has been fighting wars and putting out fires all over the world.

Ever since Desert Storm, it has been nonstop for our Air Force, Air Guard, and Air Reserves. And all of this comes from one-seventh of the Air Force's budget. The words "doing more with less" should be part of every Air National Guard billboard.

And the Air Force is still wanting to cut their people and aircraft. So the bottom line is, I am just stating how so few people have been used so much.

CMS Donald L. O'Neill (ret.)
Pittsburgh, Pa.

Regarding the Feb. 1 article on National Guard reforms: If, as Marine Gen. Arnold Punaro (ret.) says, "We don't have the capacity remaining to deal with these homeland defense threats in an adequate way," then why are National Guard troops being deployed to hostile, foreign areas? They can handle Baghdad, but not New Orleans?

Why are such troops called "Reserves" if they are the first in the line of fire while career military troops are sitting, bored to death, on bases in Europe and the Pacific? Why is a force known as the "National Guard" being deployed internationally?

That's not what these men and women signed up for. Reserves were meant to be the last called into combat, and the Guard was meant as a state militia in the original version of homeland security.

Brian Howell
Skyland, N.C.

Sports central – Boston or London?

Regarding the Feb. 1 article, "It came from Boston!" that claims that Boston is "the world's best professional sports town": A few cities outside the US would challenge that claim. London has five professional soccer clubs (including Arsenal and Chelsea) that compete in the Premier League, the world's most prestigious soccer league. The British capital is home to world-class rugby and cricket teams. The tennis championships at Wimbledon take place in a London suburb that's just a short train ride from the city. London's successful bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympics is a tribute to its status as a vibrant and dynamic city for sports fans.

Alistair Budd
London

Fans of 'flip-flopping' respond

In response to Eileen Cook's Feb. Opinion piece "Virtue lies in flip-flopping": Ms. Cook's article is right on target, despite the fact that her target is moving. I agree wholeheartedly that who I want for a political representative is someone who can change as we learn how to improve our collective lives.

Lynn Austin
Campell, Calif.

Regarding Eileen Cook's recent Opinion piece on the virtue of "flip-flopping" when change is for the better: I enjoyed the piece, however, Ms. Cook should not be too happy that the medical profession once "flipped" on the use of leeches, because it has recently "flopped" back: the Food and Drug Administration approves their use for maintaining circulation in reattached extremeties.

Tracy Hall, Jr.
Provo Canyon, Utah

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Any letter accepted may appear in print or on our website, www.csmonitor.com. Mail letters to Readers Write and Opinion pieces to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115. E-mail letters to Letters and Opinion pieces to OpEd.

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