Letters from our Readers: Country’s problems are hardly Democrats’ fault

Let me get this straight. The Republican-controlled Congress had 12 years and President George W. Bush had eight years to deregulate our financial institutions; lead us into two wars of incredible human and economic cost, and adopt tax policies that primarily benefited the wealthiest among us. They built up a huge federal debt that left our economy, schools and infrastructure in a shambles with banks failing, homeowner foreclosures at an all-time high, and small and large businesses failing or on the brink of bankruptcy with the related rise in unemployment well under way.

And now it appears people are upset because President Barack Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress haven’t solved all these problems in 10 months. Give me a break.

I am less worried about the debt we’re going to leave our children and grandchildren than I am worried about leaving all these problems unresolved for them. Our country recovered from a much deeper national debt relative to GNP following World War II. Where would America and the world be if we hadn’t faced that crisis?

Marilynn Gordon, Vancouver, Wash.

Silencing critics

Robert Johnson, former economist at the Senate Banking Committee and the Senate Budget Committee, was abruptly silenced by Rep. Melissa Bean when he tried to give expert testimony warning of another possible financial meltdown. His full testimony is still missing from the committee’s Web site.

Johnson was extremely critical of current financial reforms, which he described as “cosmetic or designed by the industry and quite ineffective.” He expressed frustration that Wall Street continues its reckless trading and takes great comfort in Washington, D.C.’s message “that the big five banks are too big to fail.”

Increasingly visible anger from “Main Street” was demonstrated at the recent Bankers Association meeting in Chicago. Lawmakers would be wise to listen.

Jagjit Singh, Los Altos

McCain would free hikers

Why do I get the idea that if John McCain had won the election those three hikers would have long since been home by now?

Anthony Brancato, San Francisco

GOP health plan is solid

The Republicans must promote their own positive, common-sense Patients’ Choice Act of 2009. It includes reforms that lower health care costs and expand access without raising taxes or cutting Medicare for seniors.

The GOP plan would permit purchase of health insurance across state lines and allow individuals, small businesses and trade associations to pool funds to acquire insurance at lower prices, as labor unions do. It also would permit states to create innovative reforms, including assigned risk pools for pre-existing conditions, and reduce excessive and costly medical malpractice lawsuits

Mike DeNunzio, San Francisco

Health bill may be doomed

I was surprised that so many Democrats — 39 — voted against the health care reform bill in the House. Without Democratic unity, the bill seems doomed in the Senate. Right now the bill is surrounded by negativity rather than positive vibes, which is not a good sign.

Kenneth L. Zimmerman, Huntington Beach

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