Spirit of compromise carries the day, showing us the way forward
Apparently there is hope, a bright light at the end of what has seemed like an endless tunnel. Enactment of the bipartisan debt ceiling deal provides both a moment to celebrate and a model to emulate. Through hard-fought negotiation, compromise, and common-sense collaboration, moderates of both parties were able to move from paralytic political partisanship to actually accomplishing something for the greater good of the country and the majority of its citizens. These political leaders have shown the extremists at both ends of the political spectrum that their agendas of attempting to have their respective tails wag the dog did not and will not prevail. Perhaps “we, the people” can yet again act as a people and as one nation. One can only hope.
Douglas E. Sherman
Biden’s years of experience served him well in this showdown
In spearheading the contentious negotiations on the debt ceiling bill that led to a bipartisan agreement in the House and Senate, President Biden harnessed skills developed over a decades-long career that have prepared him well for leadership at a time of extreme divisiveness in our politics. In the face of virtually irreconcilable and competing congressional agendas, with far left and far right members fiercely opposed to this legislation, the challenge to rescue the country from the brink of default could not have been more overwhelming.
In a concentrated effort to avert a crisis that would have had inevitable and far-reaching consequences — a virtual certainty if Congress did not extend the nation’s borrowing capacity — Biden has wisely, if reluctantly, presided over an agreement with provisions that most members ultimately accepted but that many in both parties, for very different reasons, adamantly oppose. In the interests of financial stability and the overall good of the country and the rest of the world, Biden has chosen to pursue the only workable path in a fiercely divided government: compromise over confrontation.
South Burlington, Vt.
Safety net hasn’t just been frayed — it’s been torn asunder
Two recent articles — “The need continues” by Diti Kohli (Business, May 31) and “Low-income people fear high-cost change” by Kohli and Katie Johnston (Page A1, June 3) — make the case that the plight of the most impoverished must be urgently addressed.
We know how to improve the situation since we’ve done it before. The accommodations made during the COVID-19 pandemic — including prevention of evictions; an enhanced, fully refundable child tax credit; and greater benefits under the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — decreased the number of those in poverty and the reliance on food pantries and other more temporary solutions. It also lowered child poverty by 46 percent almost immediately, only to be reversed one month after the enhanced CTC was discontinued.
We must acknowledge that our country ranks among the lowest in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development for child poverty. This is an outrage and unacceptable. The recent debt ceiling negotiation has made many needy people more likely to fall through not cracks but holes in our safety net. The deal in Washington has made pawns of the impoverished at the expense of the billionaires. When will our political leadership develop both a backbone and a sense of compassion?
Dr. Leslye Heilig
The writer, a retired pediatrician, is Massachusetts group coleader with Results.org.
Approval of pipeline through Appalachia is blatant corruption
What a corrupt country we live in. The effrontery of members of Congress and the president to blatantly conspire with fossil fuel interests to attach a reckless pipeline approval to a bill to simply pay national debts and avoid crashing the global economy and wrecking the personal security of millions of people. This flouts the expertise we’ve developed over many years of carefully approving such projects while protecting waterways and ecosystems. The Mountain Valley Pipeline favored by Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia would cross more than 400 waterways. One could argue that those who voted “yea” simultaneously honored and broke their oaths of office. They set it up that way, and it’s blatantly unethical. Perhaps President Biden, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, and Manchin thought, “Politics as usual,” but I see outright corruption.
The Supreme Court has handed our democracy to corporations in a series of constitutional contortions, turning money into free speech and corporations into people. The solution is the We the People Amendment, which would correct these fundamental errors.
Breaking news: The wealthy will do just fine, as usual
Yet more news about how the wealthy keep taking outrageous pay raises, and still no elimination of massive tax cuts passed under the Trump administration and other benefits to the wealthy (“Smaller raises for CEOs, but pay still towers over workers,” Business, June 1). Meanwhile, we hear that spending cuts will be required on items such as school funding and food stamps and there will be funding cuts that will make it harder for the IRS to keep an eye on tax fraud by the wealthy. At the same time, dealing with the climate change emergency is thrown to the wind with the advancement of new fossil fuel investment.
A cynic might say that the debt limit crisis is really an excuse by the wealthy to gather up more wealth.