Back and forth …

In response to the Oct. 9 article “Many in GOP doubt default warnings”: So it seems that, once again, the Republican Party has found its policies to be at odds with the conclusions of experts. Time to check the official playbook: Aha! Just claim that the “so-called experts” are wrong! They’re probably involved in the same conspiracy as the world’s climate scientists.

SCOTT HANSEN, St. Louis Park

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Halloween is just around the corner. President Obama, our frightener-in-chief, is on the job and doing a splendid job of scaring us. In his news conference on Tuesday, Obama said that if we don’t raise the debt ceiling, we will default on our debt. With debt meaning paying interest.

I don’t think so.

The fiscal 2013 debt service for the 12 months ending Sept. 30 will be somewhere around $420 billion. IRS revenues for the calendar 2012 tax year will probably be around $2.3 trillion. Now, I’m not the smartest guy in the room, but it looks like the United States can pay the interest on the debt.

Let’s not continue to frighten everyone, Mr. President. Let’s be truthful.


And forth and back …

The Oct. 9 headline “Obama to GOP: Lift threat; Boehner says no surrender” should have read: “GOP submits multiple funding bills; Obama says I will not negotiate.” The Star Tribune’s bias is so blatant.


• • •

If Russia demanded that the United States return Alaska or it will drop bombs on our major cities, the headline would not read “Putin and Obama unable to reach compromise on Alaska issue.” However, the media, in an obsessive desire to avoid any appearance of bias, characterize the root cause of the government shutdown and debt ceiling crisis as the inability of Obama and House Speaker John Boehner to negotiate a compromise on defunding the Affordable Care Act. This act is not some preliminary bill under discussion; it is law, vetted by every branch of the federal government — legislative, executive, and judicial. If a party disapproves, the Constitution offers a solution: Elect a Congress and president who will pass and sign a bill more to your liking. The correct phrase for attempting to undo the law of the land using the threat of fiscal chaos is “Republican blackmail.”


Real closure would wake us up

The word “shutdown” doesn’t really communicate what is at risk. If the American people had been facing a real shutdown, they would have a better appreciation of what the federal government provides

Let’s close the interstates, unlock the prisons, stop inspecting nuclear power plants, eat uninspected chicken, burn or dump or flush anything we want, close the VA hospitals, stop predicting weather, charge full price for buses and trains, fly without care about other planes, broadcast on any frequency, walk away from the drawbridges and post offices and courthouses and weapons stockpiles, quit paying Social Security and Medicare, pay our own way through college, stop feeding the troops and turn in the keys for the ships and planes and tanks, close the embassies.

Such a shutdown would last only a split-second, because the people would rise up to take back their government. This showdown has been a political strategy to see if the other side gets more blame than my side. This is a crisis of egos, not finance. We deserve better.


What’s the plan?

What’s the plan — what’s the vision for getting our national debt to a manageable level? Continuing to increase the limit under duress doesn’t instill confidence. Grudgingly, I’ll agree that the level should be raised (again) in order to prevent the defaults and potentially crippling impacts on the markets and our economy. However, this time it should be done only in conjunction with a bipartisan commitment (and it needs to be a real commitment) that a long-term debt plan will be created and implemented long before the next debt ceiling deadline crops up.


What next? An aggravation?

“Shutdown spreading pain as it takes hold,” reads the front-page headline about the impact of the federal impasse in Minnesota. The first quote, used to back this up, says: “I feel very, very inconvenienced?” Oh, the pain and indignity of being inconvenienced! You’d think the Star Tribune would find someone with a stronger message. Maybe someone who is annoyed, too. Maybe even perturbed, although that might be too much for Minnesotans.