Here we go again. This time the tea party reactionaries are using the debt ceiling to push their agenda.

These are toxic times when a minority of newly elected Republicans in the House propose draconian measures to cut spending without any accountability of how that will effect the economy or impact the folks who rely on federal programs such as Medicare and Social Security. Just do it and take your chances. Not a good bet to make if you are wrong.

The path of compromise and give and take is something of the past even when Republican presidents took that road in dealing with the debt. Cut spending, yes, but also look for revenues to increase the coffers. You reduce debt by spending less and taking in more. Two-thirds of Americans seem to agree to that approach.

For me, I support President Obama because he is a reasonable, mature, practical leader who thinks big and wants to cobble together pieces of the puzzle that will reduce debt in the long term without serious or irreparable harm to the people of this country. I'll take that leadership over the tunnel vision of the tea party folks any day. Cross your fingers. — Steve Haskell, Ashland

By Aug. 2, Congress most likely will have raised the debt ceiling — this is not a good thing since it will only prolong the agony and allow a bad thing to become worse.

We take in from taxes $2 trillion a year, but spend over $3 trillion. I would suggest the following:

1. Cut the size of the government and spending by one-third.

2. End all foreign aid.

3. Bring our troops home.

4. Make a mandatory, prioritized budget and stick to it.

Unless something severe like this is done right away, our nation will fall. However, our leaders will never do any of the aforementioned and we will fall. This may be part of their agenda so that we will become part of what they call the New World Order or Globalism.

Mr. Obama said he "would fundamentally change our nation" and George Soros said recently in reference to globalism that, "the train has already left the station." So sad America! Lord, have mercy on us. — Gordon DeVos, Medford

The year is 2011. After hundreds of years of war and devastation we are left with a choice. A simple choice: Do we want to continue living on planet Earth, or not?

Cutting down what's left of the old-growth trees is nothing less than suicidal. If that is the choice that some of us are making, then I would like to suggest something to you: At the very least stop having children, because under such circumstances they have no future. — Dan Lehner, Ashland

I appreciate all the articles and charts you've published on the national debt. With the historic decisions in 2001 and 2003 to spend on a war in Iraq while lowering taxes we have put ourselves in an extremely difficult financial position as a nation.

It isn't possible to solve the problem with spending reductions alone. We owe too much in interest on the debts.

Some writers indicate that the entire nation should shoulder the debt problem. The poor can't really afford to spend more. The rich have been able to afford the increases in fuel, to pay for private education and medical expenses. The only logical place to "find" the money is with the upper income members.

Historically when taxes are raised and debt is reduced the economy thrives. I think all of us look forward to a more stable economy, so let's get busy making increased taxes on the wealthy happen. It is only fair. — Michele Martin, Ashland

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