Letters to the Editor - Weekly Issue of November 8, 2010

Readers write in about the US Navy and partisan politics; deficit reduction and entitlements; government and the economy; and the middle class's deferred dreams.

Partisan politics and Navy

Jim Bencivenga's Nov. 1 commentary ("Will US naval power sink?") makes some forceful historical and geopolitical points. But he undermines their credibility by turning them into an implicit appeal for Republican votes.

If we need to reduce the deficit to maintain our naval power, electing Republicans is a non sequitur. Most of the deficit stems from their policies (those they implement, not those they claim to support). That's a bad bet for restoring federal solvency.

We need to base our naval power on something more secure than partisan politics.

Recommended: 5 steps to bipartisan cuts in Medicare – and the deficit

David Weber

Exeter, N.H.

Focus on economy first

When I read "America's Job No. 1: How to create jobs" (Oct. 18), I encountered the same feeling that America is pursuing ideas that may not yield results down the road.

There are multiple issues – from immigration to foreign affairs – that need our attention. Yet until we get our economy moving, all of these other issues appear only marginally relevant.

This is the issue I have with all of the massive government bills being passed. We are changing so many rules so quickly that no one understands the consequences. Hence no economic activity.

Glenn Jackson

Bismarck, N.D.

American dreams deferred

I found your Oct. 18 cover story, "Dreams deferred," gave an incomplete analysis of the floundering American Dream for the middle class.

The disastrous US economic collapse resulted directly from the failure of government to rein in the greed of corporate power. Look at the exportation of jobs from this nation, the ballooning of unsupported mortgage instruments, and the tax policy that transferred billions into the pockets of a very few people.

The press must take a hard look at this reality, too.

Edwin Homeier

Cabery, Ill.

Medicare cuts hurt, not help

While I agree with David Francis (Nov. 1, "Postelection, Congress can't ignore the deficit") that deficit reduction is a necessity, Medicare and Social Security adjustments may actually have a negative result.

Moving the retirement age to 67 assumes that those affected have jobs. But unemployed seniors would end up on other federal or state programs until they reach 67. This adjustment simply becomes a trade in dollars.

The same occurs under Medicare at present. If certain benefits are reduced, patients wind up on Medicaid or in the emergency room instead, with costs larger than the hoped-for savings. The backside of deficit reduction should not put a greater burden on those least able to handle it.

John Harris

Healdsburg, Calif.

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