Readers debate whether President Obama’s policies are to blame for the looming sequestration.
The "Our View" editorial ("House Republicans created sequester crisis," Feb. 23) stating that Republicans are to blame for the sequester "crisis," besides being wrong and partisan, misses the point of out-of-control spending and lack of presidential leadership.
Since President Obama took office, the national debt has increased 60 percent, or about $6 trillion. By the time he leaves office, the debt will be more than $20 trillion.
The president and his liberal Democratic allies in Congress have shown zero leadership on budgeting, tax reform, supporting business, entitlement reform, spending reductions and sequester alternatives. (He probably has improved his golf game.)
There have been plenty of tax increases through Obamacare and the recent fiscal cliff deal. Spending is the issue.
While an $85 billion trim from a bloated budget may cause some near-term discomfort, it seems necessary to begin to head off a more serious fiscal crisis for our children and grandchildren.
"House Republicans created sequester crisis"? Apparently you are unaware whose idea it was in the first place.
Jack Lew proposed it. I'm sure you know who he is. He's President Obama's nominee to replace Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, the tax cheat.
And Obama with his "the sky is falling" speech about how first responders and teachers will be let go. Really?
Why is there not one brave soul in your organization who wants to report the real truth? Mr. Obama and his cronies are scam artists. All this fear-mongering, how pathetic! He is the most dishonest president who's ever lived.
The looming sequester begs the question – what got us into this mess in the first place?
President Bush the Second started his administration with a large budget surplus thanks to Bill Clinton's presidency.
As reported in the Nov. 10, 2012, Portland Press Herald ("Obama insists on higher taxes for the wealthy"), the top three reasons for our nation's debt are (1) the Bush-era tax cuts; (2) interest on the debt; and (3) the Afghan and Iraq wars.
The financial industry debacle exacerbated the debt crisis because tax revenues, already lower due to the Bush-era tax cuts, dropped even more when people lost jobs, and consumer spending, investment and the economy overall tanked.
Focusing spending cuts on the poor and the elderly is devious, to say the least. If the left rear tire of your truck goes flat, that is the tire you ought to fix. Otherwise, you will continue to have a "structural" problem. It is time to contact our congressional delegation and recommend that they focus on fixing the real cause of our debt crisis.
Jo Ann Myers
Sequestration: "A governmental term, used to confuse the general citizenry, meaning a reduction of budgeted expenses or a reduction in the rate of increase of budgeted expenses."
Furlough: "A governmental term, used to confuse the general citizenry, meaning a temporary layoff, without pay, of workers who will then be given said pay upon returning to work, when no one is paying attention."
This sequestration is much ado about what should be nothing. $84 billion of cuts out of $3.7 trillion of expenses (scheduled 2013 expenses) is less than 2 percent. $84 billion in Washington, D.C., is a rounding error.
On Jan. 1, 2013, the typical American worker got a 2 percent increase in his or her payroll taxes. Why wasn't that "the end of the world," as they would have you believe that a 2 percent sequestration would be? That's because the American worker is just supposed to "suck it up," but not the federal government!
If the sequestration was truly going to be "Armageddon," why, just 10 days before the March 1 effective date, was the president taking a long weekend to play golf with Tiger Woods, while Congress was on a week's-plus vacation? Crazy!
The revenues (taxes) that the federal government will take in in 2013 will be, by far, the most ever collected. It's expenses that are out of control.
As a financial planner, I am aware that if one is in debt and having cash flow problems, there are two things that he needs to do to address the issue: reduce expenses and increase income. That is the mature approach to such a situation. The immature approach is to do only one of those things.
Given the imminence of our national sequestration, which party is mature and which one is immature? It is time we publicly asked the right question!
William J. Leffler II
'Next wave of immigrants' will hurt our quality of life
Alan Caron's column on Feb. 14 ("State must find way to attract next wave of immigrants") was very disturbing.
His answer for the future of Maine is to import thousands of people. Great idea – we can cut down the trees and build houses, parking lots and shopping centers.
We can extend northern Massachusetts right up the coastline, cut the state in half with a superhighway and bring in tar sands over an aging pipeline.
We can take life “the way it should be" and make it into "your life in New Jersey."
This type of progress will definitely destroy the multibillion-dollar tourist business, but after all, this is the way businesspeople look at Maine.
Why import people to Maine just to be able to sell them more stuff?
Try driving through Wiscasset on a Friday afternoon during the summer months.
I have done it a few times, but the 10- to 15-mile traffic backup is hardly worth the effort.
The United States of America imports a million people a year through legal immigration, plus another million people through illegal immigration, and then another million from natural population increase and from people who have overstayed their work visas.
When I graduated from Portland High School, the world population was 2.5 billion people. Today, it is more than 7 billion.
To arrive at 2.5 billion souls worldwide, the elapsed time was 4 million years. In a microsecond, the world population jumped to 7 billion.
At this rate of world population growth, the state of Maine will be inundated with people before we know what happened.
Enjoy this beautiful state before it is too late, before the businesspeople import the next wave of immigrants.