Change the mindset
Were in a financial mess of our own making spending money we dont have and buying things we dont need. Americas trying to run its government without a budget, and as a result were $16.4 trillion in debt and climbing. Even the fiscal cliff wasnt enough to shock us into reality. We raised the debt, but refused to stop the spending. There is a better way.
Americas financial mentality goes something like this: We go to the store, see something we like, say, I really want this new thing, and its the end of the month, and I dont have the money, so Ill just put it on my credit card.
A better financial approach goes something like this: Use it up, wear it out, make do or do without. Live within your means mindset is foreign to the U.S. government and many of its citizens.
We need to practice frugality, simplicity, thrift, self-control and establish rainy-day funds. Going from one financial crisis to another is like a drunk trying to drink himself sober. All of us need to learn: Those who dont understand interest pay it; those who do understand it collect it. Hence, many are poor and few are rich.
MORRIS BASTIAN, Boise
Labrador, tea party wont compromise
Rep. Raul Labrador said, Im willing to compromise concerning the fiscal cliff.
The tea party spent 2011 and 2012 saying that compromise is bad! House Speaker John Boehner couldn't even say the C word in the runup to the sequester blackmail that resulted in the impasse.
Now, after Raul refused to vote for Boehners recent compromise bill he blamed the Democrats for its failure. Raul! Its your own Republican politburo that failed.
He then says the Ds are like bank robbers, yet he is the one who wants to cut Social Security, Medicare and much more to pay for upper 2 percent tax cuts.
Raul said, Obama wants to go over the cliff and is not negotiating in good faith. Youre going to have to prove that knee slapper; I dont have enough words here.
Add to that Mitch McConnells goal to never make Obama look good, and make him a one-term president and you'll know which party is responsible for today's disaster. (Look for the R by their names.)
Heres what we need to remember: The tea partiers are not interested in cutting the debt; they are interested in destroying the federal government and more debt would be the most effective tactic, and they dont care who gets hurt.
CHRIS MORRIS, Caldwell
Simpsons vote is disappointing
I am disappointed with Rep. Mike Simpsons fiscal cliff vote. The GOP needs to stand up to the bullies in the sandbox and extract real spending cuts in order to start setting our fiscal house in order.
ANDREW ASDELL, Boise
Just stop spending
Welcome to 2013. Welcome to the fiscal cliff fix. Welcome to $600 billion-plus in new taxes! Welcome to $300 billion-plus in new spending. The CBO says this legislation will add $4 trillion over 10 years to the deficit. Virtually no spending cuts! Is this a balanced approach? I think not. The talking heads will now banter the question, Who is to blame? Is the Democrat-controlled Senate to blame? Yes! Is the Republican-controlled House to blame? Yes! Is President Obama to blame? Yes! Are the special interests and lobbyists to blame? Yes! Are the labor unions, AARP, and the ACLU to blame? Yes! Are we (you and I) to blame? Yes, if you voted for any of the bozos in Washington.
Now, the first big issue, the blame game, is solved. There is such a lack of leadership in Washington that it is hard to fathom. What will they do next? The debt ceiling? If we, the American people, have a debt ceiling we know how to solve it. Stop spending! The issue is not revenue, it is spending. Let common sense prevail and balance the damn budget without printing more money, you bozos.
WILLIAM LOGSDON SR., Boise
We will make the GOP pay this debt
When G.W. Bush failed to privatize Social Security someone gave him the brilliant idea that after the country was bankrupt was when Republicans could finally end New Deal policies. So he started two wars, a prescription drug program, gifted his so-called base with enormous tax cuts and started mailing checks to everybody. He spent the surplus President Clinton left him and left us a collapsed economy, endless war and an additional $3 trillion in debt.
The fiscal cliff should be referred to or known as Step 2 of the starve the beast plan launched by Republicans a decade ago. Now that theyve blown our money designated for social services protecting us from weapons of mass destruction or its your money campaign strategies, the middle class has to put off retirement and do with less health care because were broke. Dream on, Republicans. We intend on making you pay it back.
LARRY LUGAR, Boise
SEN. MIKE CRAPO
Dont judge Crapo based on his faith
Sen. Mike Crapo was charged with breaking the law by driving dangerously while intoxicated. But letters, and some editorials, take it a step further and try to lay public shame on him for having a drink only because he is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I disagree that Sen. Crapo is a hypocrite just for drinking alcohol. He shouldnt be judged differently as a public official because he chooses to be Mormon. Its irrelevant. He has not failed the public, his constituents, for having a drink, nor has he violated our family values. He should be free to choose, or change, or abandon any religion without losing his office or risking his next election. I am not insulted by his drinking. If he were Catholic he would be no less holy if alcohol touches his lips.
Alcohol is a mixed blessing. Excessive consumption is unhealthy and dangerous but alcohol in moderation is healthy and life-enhancing for many people.
CHUCK CHAPPELL, Boise