I am deeply troubled by the rhetoric about the national, state and local governmental deficits.

There is a lot of sentiment that points to the problem being caused by the rich, whoever they are, and being the responsibility of the rich, whoever they are, to solve.

First, we could take all the income of the rich and it wouldn’t solve the deficit. We would then redefine who is rich, whoever they are, and take more and it still wouldn’t solve the deficit.

Secondly, the responsibility for the deficit rests with all of us, not just the rich or the other person. A bipartisan deficit commission was appointed and came up with a plan. Let’s get to work, and the sooner the better.

We must all give up some of what we feel entitled to and also contribute more. We cannot and are not entitled to just be takers and not expect to make a contribution.

We so often hear people refer to the government as the supplier of our needs. It’s as if the government is some bottomless resource that will fulfill all our wants and desires. What is overlooked is that, in the United States, the government is us.

That means that first and foremost we are individually responsible for our wants and desires. The government is there for the collective good.

Probably a good bit of the problem is that many of us, like me, have lost faith in our government to do the collective good and not just respond to political pressure from any special interest.

Arthur Kelly

Acton

I did not know that Washington, D.C., was located on the banks of “De Nile.”

We have been in a depression for five years now, and there will not be any upward trend till we have a leader in Washington.

But we have been living without a leader since President Ronald Reagan. Another five years of this, and we may never recover.

Todd Poland

Boothbay

How does it help business when Gov. LePage and his merry band of Republicans are determined to slash the buying power of a significant group of people who serve the public by working for the state?

And this is just the leading edge of our governor’s brand of voodoo economics. The worst is yet to come.

David Bartholomew

Falmouth

Cushman Anthony in his June 11 Maine Voices column (“No good answers to conflict over free speech, campaign funding”) decries the influence of big money on our lawmakers.

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., in an interview with Charlie Rose on MPBN, said, “Washington is broken” because of the influence of lobbyist money.

When something is broken, we fix it or throw it away. We can’t afford to throw Washington away.

Congress can pass a law that any legislator who is lobbied cannot receive gifts or favors from the organization the lobbyists represent. Congress may fear it. Main Street would love it. It could help to channel some of the anger and frustration we see.

Could Congress resist? Lawmakers can then eliminate all unnecessary subsidies, hopefully including their own agricultural ones. They can eliminate all loopholes from the tax code and earmarks from bills.

What will happen to the budget deficit? Legislators will now be free to look at laws objectively.

By all means make corrections to Medicare where necessary, but don’t blame seniors for living longer and because of the pharmaceutical industry, healthier.

Mr. Anthony is concerned about the right of free speech. The Supreme Court confirms the use of money to make political statements, but we can make sure the donors’ names will be clearly exposed.

Mr. Anthony urges us to limit the influence of money. Let’s do it.

Ruth Hassett

Gorham

For several months, your newspaper has used biased language when describing changes proposed by the LePage administration for Maine’s welfare system and tax code.

Articles repeatedly refer to those proposals as “reforms,” a word that implies the changes are making the situation better. The first definition of the verb “to reform” in the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary is “to put or change into an improved condition.”

Other definitions refer to the removal of “faults or abuses,” putting an end to “evil,” “introducing a better method or course of action” and “to become changed for the better.”

In my view, these proposals are rolling back protections for the poor while giving unneeded and unaffordable tax breaks to the rich. But regardless of how you view the changes, the newspaper should use neutral language.

Simply replace the word “reform” with “change” in describing legislative action on these measures.

Shoshana Hoose

Portland

Left shuns issues, makes personal attacks for a reason

I find it stunning that a “man of the cloth” would go after the GOP presidential candidates with such acrimonious judgmentalism, but evidently the Rev. Carleton Gunn’s political persuasion overtook any sense of grace and tolerance in his June 13 letter.

It’s a tactic right out of the liberal playbook to destroy a opponent with character assassination.

So tout that Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann made minor errors about U.S. history, and Mitt Romney should not part his hair on the left.

The personal attacks show that panic on the left has begun. Let’s not discuss the issues, let’s attack the candidates, the tea party and anyone else in opposition to the liberal agenda.

Let’s not look at the issues — higher long-term unemployment than the Great Depression; $14 trillion debt; big-government attempts to control us (the federal lawsuits against Arizona for trying to enforce immigration laws); ridiculously reckless spending via a nonstimulating stimulus plan; a health care bill that businesses are already requesting waivers on due to its high cost; a tanking economy; and incompetent government leadership.

Let’s not talk about our dependence on foreign oil and Chinese loans; the war against Libya; the billions we send to countries that hate us; or the fact that evil and terrorism exist but our ability to recognize it on our borders does not.

It actually doesn’t bother me that our leader mispronounces the word “corpsman” or thinks there are 57 states in our country, that he bows to murderous dictators, or even that he insults our allies by sending back a gift from Great Britain.

And though I find it very sad that he supports Palestinian aggression over Israeli rights, what scares me the most is that, in the midst of world chaos and American uncertainty, the best he can do is lean on his golf clubs and say, “The sky is not falling.”

Donna Fenton

Scarborough