For many years our politicians have been irresponsible with our tax monies. Today, our politicians all say they are acting in our best interests when they spend our money.

Their record, however, tells a different story. Both Democrats and Republicans are putting forth spending plans far above the amounts the government is collecting.

Even if they adopt the most drastic cuts to spending any of them is proposing — they will be spending trillions above the government’s income. Year-after-year spending above our income is irresponsible.

The politicians say any budget cutting is difficult and complicated. Is this true? Let’s consider the expenditure of the U.S. Ambassadors Fund. This government agency spent $8.1 billion last year. All of this money was spent on projects in other countries.

We rebuilt and refurbished churches and mosques in other countries with much of this money. It’s interesting to me that in these difficult times our politicians see fit to spend tax money in other countries rebuilding mosques and churches.

Would our politicians spend public money refurbishing my church or your church? Our politicians look in the camera and tell us they are examining every way to reduce our debt and spending — but any of us can find example after example of waste and misuse of our monies.

President Harry Truman said, “My choice early in life was to be a piano player in a whorehouse or a politician. And to tell the truth, there is hardly any difference.”

I think the record is clear. Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins and Reps. Chellie Pingree and Michael Michaud have been in Washington for many years voting to spend, spend, spend. By all measures their votes have led to our great national debt. Please join me in voting them all out of office.

James Waterhouse

Poor Rep. Michele Bachmann, up there fighting for our rights to not expand the federal debt limit.

“When managing your family budget, you don’t spend money you don’t have,” she has wisely stated. And yet it’s so difficult for her to not look like a hypocrite considering the fact her family’s business has over $1 million in loans, some of which were backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. And those loans involved the very programs she has called for dismantling.

Of course, no problem there, as she already has her loans, but it does leave her looking a bit foolish. And let’s not forget fighting for the tax breaks for the wealthy. Good for her, and all the other millionaire congressmen and senators. Someone has to look out for their interests.

But it’s a tough challenge for her to convince voters to cut rich politicians’ taxes and to keep them with their excellent government subsidized health insurance while denying average Americans their own, but I’m sure she’s up to it. You go, girl.

Peyton Higgison

What are leaders? Leaders lead by example, so the true leader of any class of people would take a cut in pay if that is what they ask of others.

A true leader would pay his or her insurance as they would ask of others. A true leader would live by the foundation of the Constitution and not exempt themselves from the laws they make for the people. A good leader would realize that we have to live by principles and not politics, and that these principles are no better for one than they are for the whole of society.

A pure leader would know in his heart when he or she is wrong. These are facts of life and none of these do I see in any of our members of Congress. Neither do I see any of these in our president.

Leaders know when charity should be given to the people of their country, not given to another country.

Gary Stetson

Please do not call our congressmen our “leaders” — they are our representatives.

They are elected to represent what we the people want. Not what the lobbyists or their political party want.

We are lost as a country if that is what they are representing.

Margaret Delano

The continuing saga in Washington, D.C., over our national debt ceiling is riddled with pure baloney. We do have a crisis, but it is not about defaulting on our debts, or being able to meet our obligations.

That crisis is inevitable. Raising the debt ceiling only delays the mess. How hard is it to understand that if we take in $2.4 trillion in revenue, but we spend $4 trillion, we are going broke?

We have a bunch in Washington who claim that cutting $400 billion a year is draconian, but that only takes care of one-third of the problem. The time is now to address this mess. Whole Cabinet departments need to be eliminated.

How much energy has the Department of Energy produced? How much better is our education system since the Department of Education was started? Is our airport security any better since the TSA was instituted?

We spend a fortune on nanny state programs that really aren’t the government’s business.

Raising the debt ceiling heads off the crisis that our politicians face, namely their re-election. Sooner or later the size of government at all levels must be reduced.

Government employment does not generate wealth. Private sector employment does. The fewer the number of people employed by government, and the higher the number of people employed in private business, the sooner this country will return to the prosperity we have known for 235 years.

To quote Ronald Reagan, “If not us, who? If not now, when?”

Paul E. Anderson

Washington talks a lot about the notion that tax breaks for the rich drive our economy.

Are we trickled on? No, I don’t think so.

Oh, there’s trickle down, all right. Funny thing, though. It never seems to trickle beyond the out-stretched hands of the Congress, which desperately needs it to finance those shamefully expensive campaigns.

That’s when we get it, in the form of a ceaseless downpour of mindless claptrap and phoney promises that completely obscure the state of the Union.

Don Ogier

I want to know why our senators are not here in Maine telling us what will happen if the U.S. government defaults. Our media could tell us how the state of Maine would be impacted.

Here’s what I know now about default: The Federal Trade Commission closes. The Federal Reserve stays open. Environmental Protection lays off 90 percent of its employees. The National Weather Service keeps only essential staff. The Department of Agriculture closes except for poultry and slaughterhouse inspections — but not plants and pesticide control.

The Department of Education shuts down. The wars go on, but many staff, maybe even soldiers, get IOU’s. Federal prisons stay open. Homeland Security is cut 20 percent. The Department of the Interior (Fish and Wildlife, parks and national monuments including the Statue of Liberty) closes. Goodbye, Acadia.

The value of the dollar drops, interest rates on mortgages, student loans, small business assistance and manufacturing assistance rise. Grants for green energy dry up, oil prices increase, climate change accelerates.

China owns most of our government bonds and insists on being paid. As I see it, the 230 million chronically ill, disabled, elderly and children are going to be covering for the American top 1 percent entitlement tax loopholes (that’s what entitlement means), paying off the Chinese with what little assets we have. Can this be right?

Alice James
South Portland 

Where is the outrage? I am very surprised that Americans have not organized themselves and made their way to Washington to make it clear to the Senate and House that we’re embarrassed that they have been bickering like schoolchildren over our financial futures.

Over my lifetime, there have been groups arriving in Washington to march to the Capitol to let Congress know that they felt strongly about something that affected their lives.

They came for gay rights, the right to life, the million-man march, to protest our wars, and a multitude of other things. But it seems that Americans are being apathetic about raising the debt ceiling. Their inaction will in some way affect all of us.

We will have reduced benefits for Social Security and Medicare; we will see interest rates rise and home prices go down even further. I am just an average tax-paying American who is very concerned that our elected officials cannot resolve an issue which will ruin both the U.S. and world economies if our creditworthiness is compromised through their inaction.

I wonder about the ideas that have been considered. Increasing the taxes of the 1.5 percent of all U.S. households making more than $250,000 should not be a deal breaker. Taking benefits away from those who plan on receiving them is inappropriate.

Ideas that control future costs should be given more consideration: changing the retirement age, or discontinuing the early retirement benefit. You would have people deferring their retirements until full retirement age while continuing to work and pay into Social Security.

I respectfully ask our elected officials to keep in mind that we voted them into office to stand up on important issues and truly represent us. Try co-operation and tolerance with each other and see how it can solve problems for the good of all Americans.

Jane Metzler

The Washington Post displayed some effort near the end of more than two dozen paragraphs in a recent story on the “cut, cap and balance” House budget plan to discuss this quote: “On Friday morning, the Senate defeated, in a party-line vote, a plan trumpeted by House and Senate conservatives that would have placed strict limits on federal spending and linked a debt-limit increase to a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget.”

The vote to table (not consider) the GOP plan was approved by a 51-46 vote. The “yes” votes were all Democrats, the “no” votes were all Republicans. Three senators, two Democrats and one Republican, did not vote.

If the president wanted to solve this issue, Obama could have back-scratched or arm-twisted three Democrats, that is all, to vote against tabling the measure; thus moving it on to resolution and his signature.

That did not happen. He wants a deal, but it has to be his way or no way. He probably, with the help of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, made all Democrats follow the party over the cliff.

The Post said that talks broke down over a House-Senate bill that contained provisions both sides said they wanted, even though, the writers pointed out, “The package held the promise of stabilizing the debt.”

So much for Obama’s leadership.

Robert Klowas

For some unexplained reason our politicians in Washington cannot get it through their heads that what we need to do is get our jobs back into this country.

At the moment what is happening I call the “domino effect.” Industry and businesses leave the country, leading to loss of jobs, so people can’t pay taxes or mortgages, so they lose their homes and file for bankruptcy, leaving more people on welfare while states and towns cut social services.

Therefore you have less income for all levels of government.

If this continues the whole country will end up bankrupt. Years back, when the feds started free trade agreements you didn’t need to be a rocket scientist to see what was going to happen.

When they ask the working men and women of this country to compete with slave labor of the foreign countries with no benefits, this country cannot survive.

Evidently our illustrious politicians have their heads buried so far in the sand that they just don’t get it (or they don’t want to). The only types of jobs that these agreements create are social service jobs that are low-paying with no benefits.

We need to get our manufacturing jobs back into this country with decent pay and benefits. Until this happens things are just going to get worse and worse and worse.

If it does get worse, you better learn how to speak Chinese.

Richard Chapman