The Republicans are right in that we can't address long-term deficits unless we deal with entitlement costs. That's a no-brainer.

Democrats are right in that we can't close the deficit gap without tax reforms that bring in some additional revenue, preferably from those who can afford it. That's a no-brainer.

But what do we have in Congress now? A bunch of no-brainers. — Bruce Borgerson, Ashland

I was once politically active, working at the grass-roots level to elect conservative candidates in both the 2000 and 2004 elections.

Once a strong promoter of conservative causes, I became disheartened by carefully scripted sound bites crafted to appease lobbyists, Fox News and CNN. I stopped voting and withdrew entirely from politics in 2008. It seemed to me then and continues to do so now that the energy of those we elect is spent posturing for the next election cycle rather than demonstrating the courage to make tough decisions on our behalf. In short, I feel that Americans are no longer represented by those we elect.

Now we stand at the edge of national financial disaster due to their inability to work together and make decisions based on what is best for America. It seems they cannot work with those who don't share their ideology. Special interest groups, big business, the media and splinter political groups from the far left and right do not represent what the majority believes.

End the partisan rancor, posturing and bickering. Put America first. It's what we the people demand. — Kris Woods, Central Point

The Legislature and governor of Oregon are looking at possibly having government workers chip in a percentage (5 percent) or a $50 co-pay for their health care. At this point in time the beginning cost per government employee runs over $1,200. Unions are preparing to go to battle with the government to protect their benefits.

Not included in this debate is the small business and individual health plan holders. I am a small business owner and pay almost $8,400 a year, which only provides a policy for catastrophic coverage with a high deductible and we owe another $3,000 for the "not allowed" medical bills.

So while 50 million Americans go uninsured and small business suffers, the government is focused on the half of the population that has full coverage.

While the powers that be divide the nation with fear tactics to keep the status quo with high cost and dysfunction of health care cost in this nation, governments are going broke providing health benefits to their workers. When the banks were bailed out, it was said they were "too big to fail." That seems to run parallel to insuring government workers. What about the rest of America? — Katie Yasui, Medford

I don't buy the argument that our increasing federal deficit is due only to increased spending, especially when the Republicans, over the years, have been just as reluctant to control spending as the Democrats. Remember Dick Cheney's "Deficits don't matter" comment?

This unwillingness to face reality and practice fiscal responsibility is what has driven many individuals to personal bankruptcy, and our government has gone down the same path. Certainly, spending is a major contributor and needs to be brought under control. But just cutting up the credit card doesn't pay off accumulated debt.

Even if we magically stopped borrowing tomorrow, we still have a $14.3 trillion-plus balance to pay down. Where is that money coming from without some form of revenue enhancement? Economic growth and substantially increased employment? Maybe someday, but if that's plan "A" with no plan "B," it's not good enough. — Stan Loer, Grants Pass

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