Letters: Congress, raise the debt limit now

These Washington politicians have yet to take any action to raise the federal government’s debt limit as the March 16 deadline approaches. This date is all-important because the leadership in both parties must present any deal to their respective rank and file in both houses of Congress. 

There is no guarantee such a package would pass both houses. Once that ominous date passes, budget experts say, the government could default by August. Major federal, including entitlement, programs would be subjected to sudden shocks that would have a devastating impact on this nation’s economy and international bond markets. 

Those who say let the federal government fall into default don’t have a clue of the negative implications such a measure would have on the economy . 

The time, therefore, is at hand for Congress to do what is necessary, proper and expedient to ensure the continuation of this nation’s viable credit rating in both domestic and global markets. 

In that context, I say to you, Washington politicians, stand up, get a backbone and do now what is required by increasing debt ceiling thereby preventing the federal government from falling over the precipice into the dark abyss of fiscal insolvency. 

Terre Haute, Ind.



CBO findings bad news for GOP

From Denny Freidenrich

Turns out the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) doesn’t agree much with the current GOP healthcare proposal. 

Under that plan, the CBO estimates, 24 million Americans could lose their health insurance by 2026. That’s such a big number, many moderate Republicans in the House and Senate are beginning to rethink their support.

Funny, this is exactly what former Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerSudan sanctions spur intense lobbying OPINION | GOP's 7-year ObamaCare blood oath ends in failure A simple fix to encourage bipartisanship in the House MORE (R-Ohio) predicted would happen two weeks ago. President Trump promised during the campaign that everyone would have coverage.

This may be the GOP’s undoing.

Laguna Beach, Calif.




Don't shortchange foreign aid

From Nathaniel Fowler 

During his recent address to Congress, President Trump called for drastic cuts from an easy target, the U.S. foreign aid budget. Consistent with his “America first” ideology, this proposal is apparently based on the notion that foreign aid is, at best, a charitable contribution, a taxpayer-funded donation to the international equivalent of the Salvation Army.

Can you blame him? Shouldn’t we spend money on Americans first? This argument is, however, dangerously shortsighted. Foreign aid is in the best interest of our nation; it is a global investment portfolio designed to promote interests of everyone in our country.

While it is difficult for many, including the president, to see past the short-term costs of foreign aid to its long-term benefits, history provides ample proof of the payoffs. 

Aid programs combat terrorism by stabilizing volatile regions, development projects bring prosperity to the impoverished and create U.S. export markets, and today many of our top diplomatic and trading partners are graduates of past aid programs. 

Make no mistake; foreign aid is an American investment that shouldn’t be cut because it benefits all Americans by improving the world.

Marblehead, Mass.