The discussion surrounding the debt ceiling deal continues to employ the language of crisis though none exists (“Obama and Boehner close in on debt deal,” July 22).

For decades, the debt ceiling has been lifted with little debate when needed. The debt ceiling has no direct connection to tax policy, yet Congress is conflating the two issues to make it appear necessary to steal your pension money and cut Medicare and Medicaid for the poor.

President Obama and Congress are feigning a crisis so they can further reduce taxes for the wealthy while cutting back on necessities for the rest. Obama and the Democrats pretend to oppose the far right so they will appear justified when they sell out the American people.

The Democrats are part of the right wing and part of the theater. Obama gets his campaign money largely from the financial institutions that have already received trillions in previously undisclosed bailout money.

And now they want your pension money. If we can pay the banks trillions, we can surely make sure the American people receive their promised Social Security and health care benefits, estimated to cost perhaps $1 trillion over the next 30 to 40 years. This debate is a charade and must be exposed as such.

Paul Cunningham

South Portland

When will the voters do something about the juveniles who are running this country into debt and making us a laughingstock to the world? Both major parties claim that there are problems with the budget. They are right! There is not enough “income” to equal the “outgo”!

Republicans want to cut program budgets. Democrats want to cut program budgets. The only difference between the parties is the size of the cuts. Republicans do not want any new taxes. The Democrats do not want any new taxes. The voting public does not want any new taxes. Now we have some agreement. Is there any solution to the budget problem?

There sure is! Reinstate the old taxes that were temporarily suspended during Republican administrations. The Democrats certainly aided passage of the temporary suspension! More than once!

The time has come to terminate the suspension. The suspension was going to bring greater prosperity to the country! It did one heckuva job! The economy barreled downhill into a deep recession.

It’s time to reinstate the tax levels to what were in place when President George W. Bush was inaugurated.

All of the Washington, D.C., players are screaming that such an action would be levying “new” taxes. Wrong! A restaurant owner celebrates 50 years in business by using a menu with prices for the day he opened. When the menu with current prices is presented to diners, has the owner “raised” his prices?

An apartment building owner decides to thank his tenants for taking good care of the property, so he tells his tenants that the rent for the month of July will be zero. When the tenants are billed for August, is the landlord “raising” the rent?

Reinstate the taxes! Fix entitlement programs!

Charles S. Copp

Westbrook

I recognize how difficult it is for liberals to deal objectively with these things, but, just for the record, let’s square up a few facts as we juxtapose them with the fire-and-brimstone rhetoric that is being spewed forth by President Obama and his band of mischievous minions.

Topping the “hit parade” is a constant barrage about “rich corporations,” the wealthy, those who fly corporate jets, etc. We all get the picture. This is just the old tried and true Democrat tactic of “tax the rich, give to the poor,” blah blah blah.

Well, for the record, General Electric, headed by Jeffrey Immelt, Obama’s job czar, had a net profit in 2010 of $5.2 billion — on which GE paid ZERO taxes. That’s zero with a nada, zilch, zip.

Now, all you liberals out there in wackyland, GE with it’s news division, NBC and MSNBC, are and continue to be engaged in a “slobbering love affair” with Obama. Interestingly enough, it’s GE that stands to profit beyond anyone’s wildest imagination from the government’s legislation forcing all Americans to buy the new light bulbs that the company designed and manufactures.

Just to add a bit more icing on this political cake, taxpayers are also footing the bill for huge subsidies, in the form of rebates paid after the sale of these light bulbs. Sweet deal for GE, don’t you think?

It’s a government subsidy to help GE profiteers for which we, the American taxpayers, have to foot the bill.

No wonder Chris Mathews gets a tingle up his leg whenever he thinks of Barack Obama. Funny, to me, it feels more like someone trying to pick my pocket.

Dennis Gervais

Portland

Funding bill decimates Endangered Species Act

The House of Representatives is getting ready to vote on an appropriations bill that includes devastating funding cuts and anti-environmental laws that will wreak havoc on our land, water, air and wildlife.

One provision would bar the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from listing new species and protecting critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act. The ESA has saved animals like the bald eagle, Canada lynx and countless others from extinction. This bill strikes at the very heart of responsible wildlife stewardship and puts our wildlife and public lands in serious jeopardy.

The Fish and Wildlife Service has identified over 260 species that need ESA protections, including the New England cottontail right here in Maine.

This bill would prevent the protection of these and all plants and animals in dire need of assistance.

It would also stop the designation of critical habitat, meaning that even listed species may not get the support they need to recover.

If adopted, these provisions would derail the ESA, placing politics and special interests above what is best for wildlife, healthy lands and the millions of people who enjoy them.

Reps. Michael Michaud and Chellie Pingree should vote to strip the extinction provision from the bill, and should not pass the Interior appropriations bill as it now stands.

Tara Thornton

Litchfield

Overthinking the problem yields impractical ideas

Your “Thought for Today” July 19 tried to improve on a cliche: “An optimist will tell you the glass is half-full and the engineer will tell you the glass is twice the size it needs to be.”

So much for intellectuals. A prudent man fills the glass in the first place.

Alex MacGregor

Denmark