Considering the recent actions of the struggling U.S. economy and stock market, I’ve begun to wonder why pundits continue to argue about the solutions to the problem.

The U.S. is suffering the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression and our country’s political leadership has shown little ability to fix this problem. They continue to bicker from both sides of the aisle, arguing about the current debt crisis and how to fix it, without making any progress towards a solution.

As a young voter, I was in total support of President Obama in 2008. Since then, I’ve gone back and forth between avid support and downright disappointment with the job he’s done but, frankly, he’s not the problem.

President Obama is the most progressive president this country has seen in generations; consider his attempts to push universal health care in this country and, more recently, his argument for tax increases for the wealthiest individuals and big corporations.

I know this is a hot topic, but if a corporation has the legal rights of an individual in this country, it should have to be responsible for both the pros and cons of being one.

Unfortunately, the recent budget bill does not include any tax hikes for the wealthy or large corporations; and some of the most important programs designed specifically to aid those most affected by this recession narrowly escaped horrifying cuts.

There are a few politicians who already realize how backward things are, such as President Obama, and, on a more local level, Rep. Chellie Pingree, who has kept a strong backbone in this stale pool of politicians.

We all need to step up and convince the rest to do what’s right for the people in this country. Don’t cut important programs, raise revenue!

Andrew Dunn

Portland

The modern Democratic Party is a shrinking amalgamation of special interests.

They are the unions, government employees, race baiters, class warriors, Socialists, Marxists, layabouts, media types, most college professors and other special pleaders.

Nonetheless, I never fail to be amazed by the Democrats’ ability to finesse issues and shape public opinion with the help of their media allies.

In the recent debate over raising the debt ceiling, they successfully planted in the public mind the false impression that we had to raise the debt ceiling to avoid default.

Default could only occur if we failed to pay the interest on the debt, or failed to pay our contractual obligations. There was plenty of revenue to accomplish that. In truth, if we had not raised the debt ceiling, the Executive Branch, after paying the interest on the debt and contractual obligations including Social Security and Medicare, would have been required to curtail discretionary spending on wasteful government programs to the extent required to bring accounts into balance. Governors do this all the time (except in California).

They also planted the impression that raising the debt limit was critical to maintaining our AAA credit rating. That’s almost funny. What counted in maintaining our credit rating was cutting our crazed spending.

Another false impression they pushed was that compromise is always appropriate.

Compromise is never appropriate if it violates great principles. By way of analogy, let’s suppose that you and your spouse earn $1,000 per week and you each prepare your version of a family budget. Your version calls for income of $1,000 and expenses of $1,000. Your spouse proposes a budget that calls for income of $1,000 and expenditures of $2,000.

You object, saying you can’t spend more than you earn. Your spouse offers to compromise with income of $1,000 and expenditures of $1,500.

Should you compromise on this? Of course not. It would be insane — and so is the Democratic Party.

Porter D. Leighton

Falmouth 

The debt-ceiling conversation in Washington has been characterized by some as the result of spending on unsustainable addiction on entitlement benefits.

While it is true that our nation has gone on a spending binge, the debt was not a result of Social Security and Medicare.

Our nation has instead incurred large debts through two wars that have stretched on nearly a decade. Since the government slashed tax rates for the wealthiest Americans, the annual deficit continued to rise at unprecedented levels. One source of revenue the government did have, however, was payroll tax revenue.

This money was borrowed but never returned. In the recent debt-ceiling imbroglio, the champions of spending-cuts forget that they are obligated to return the money that was borrowed from payroll tax revenue.

They want to balance the budget by eliminating these benefits, instead of demanding that the wealthy pay their fair share.

Any reasonable debt-ceiling deal should have included revenue-raising measures. Instead of ending services that people have paid for, we need to levy taxes on the super-rich who have enjoyed enormous benefits and wealth in the past 10 years.

Tax cuts are responsible for our debt, and the wealthiest Americans should take part in the effort to cut our national debt.

David Prentice

Cape Elizabeth  

We have laws that demand truth in advertising. If a company or product vender makes false claims or lies about a product or service, they can face stiff fines and in some cases, depending on the harm these claims or lies inflect, incarceration.

I only wish these laws could apply to politicians and their minions.

The scare tactics used by some politicians against our seniors, military families, and veterans is reprehensible and beyond contempt.

Throughout this whole so-called “debt crisis,” anyone who did even minimal due diligence found we have enough monthly revenue to meet our major obligations to pay for debt service, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, salaries for our troops and payments to our disabled veterans.

The only way we would default is if the administration wanted a default.

This so-called “solution” to our debt problems does little to address these problems. What it does do is increase our debt and restore Obama’s blank check.

And, I predict no progress will be made with the “super” committee and we will face massive cuts to our defense and other vital budgets.

I believe Congress has accomplished very little in solving our financial problems.

What it has done is open the door to more spending that will increase our debt manyfold, leading our country down the road to having a third world economy.

I believe we need a balanced budget amendment, spending caps and very large spending cuts, and we must cut the size of government! I support the tea party movement, and I’m a veteran exercising my First Amendment rights.

This makes me, in the eyes of many in the Obama administration, the next thing to a terrorist. How sad is it that our government officials must stoop to name-calling when their views, tactics and programs are questioned?

Robert W. Brandenstein

Buxton

The current state of the economy is not due to excessive spending on the part of the government or oversized social programs. The problem is that Americans do not have money to spend.

Lower demand results in more layoffs, which in turn contributes to lower demand. People cannot afford to spend money that would stimulate economic growth, and cuts to programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid won’t help.

If these programs are pared down or cut entirely, people will have an even harder time meeting their costs of living, and will have even less money to spend on goods and services.

In order to get ourselves out of the current economic recession, spending must be stimulated and jobs created. Neither of these can happen while people are struggling to keep up with the costs of basic needs.

Instead of cutting vital programs, the government must take in more revenue from sources that can afford it — giant corporations and the super-rich. Shrinking the U.S. budget will only tighten finances for people.

Revenue must grow, and Americans’ spending will grow with it. Rep. Chellie Pingree has stood up against cuts; call to thank her.

Call Rep. Mike Michaud and Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe to tell them what’s important in helping our economy recover.

Maggie Eismeier

Portland 

To my mind, Standard & Poor’s had no choice but to downgrade its rating of U.S. bonds.

The Congress recently exhibited a willingness to play Russian roulette with the U.S. economy, while simultaneously demonstrating its inability to develop more that a short-term patchwork to the country’s increasingly severe debt problem.

The fear that it might happen again is justified and Standard & Poor’s downgrading of U.S. bonds simply reflected what the investing world must now think of U.S. financial reliability.

Harleigh V. S. Tingley

Yarmouth 

With talk of cutting vital programs as a solution to our debts in Washington, there has been quite a buzz around programs such as Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare.

I do agree that we need a solution, but taking programs away that so many families rely on, is not the solution. I want to thank Rep. Chellie Pingree for voting against cuts to social programs as a quick fix for our debt problem.

What we need to do is look at the bigger picture. If we can create a new source of revenue for this country, we can turn this crisis around. Instead of cutting programs, we need to start investing money into renewable energy sources. Maine is a great place to start. With hundreds of miles of coastal shoreline and countless peaks in the western foothills of Maine, we could be the front-runner in renewable energy sources.

Not only would this help the environment, it would also line Mainers’ pockets quite nicely by creating new jobs and a new market.

So please call your senators and representative and urge them to follow Pingree’s lead and not allow nonsense cutting, but instead invest money into new sources of revenue.

Holt McCollister

Portland 

Generalissimo Obama and his cronies have their enemies lists, and you might be on one! Every time you hear them refer to “the rich,” or “those who do not pay their fair share,” “corporate jet owners,” etc., etc., etc., they may be talking about you!

Those divisive Obamanisms are code language for anyone in those social classes who still has income — that’s right, the ones to take “stuff” from the taxpayers.

Currently 50 percent of Americans pay no income tax, and 47 million are on food stamps. Is London coming to America?

Eric V. Warnquist

York

I’m writing regarding the so-called “debt-crisis” currently taking place in Washington that is affecting countries around the world; and more importantly many of our fellow citizens.

Many of the programs facing deep cuts such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefit and help countless Americans.

Yet, for all the talk of spending cuts, little more than lip service has been paid to the notion of raising revenue. This is perplexing, as this debt crisis is not merely a matter of cutting spending, but also a question of raising revenue to fund programs that many Americans value; in many cases, the programs serve as a lifeline for the most vulnerable in our society.

It is worth noting that many large corporations pay little or no tax. Consider the billions in subsidies given to Big Oil each year, or how many companies utilize tax loopholes and shelters to avoid paying taxes. Some would argue that companies should not be penalized for being successful. I would argue that they should not get a pass for it either.

Our national debt is cause for concern, to be sure. It is not a problem that only the poor and middle class should be expected to resolve.

As the saying goes: “Many hands make light work.” It is through this approach of raising revenue that we will solve our “debt crisis.”

Joe Madore

Portland