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Readers comment: The government shutdown

Protesters gather at Congressman Louis Barletta’s office on West Broad Street in Hazleton, Pa., on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013.   They were protesting the government shutdown, proposed cuts in Social Security and Medicare and the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.  (AP Photo/Hazleton Standard-Speaker,. Ellen F. O'Connell)

Protesters gather at Congressman Louis Barletta’s office on West Broad Street in Hazleton, Pa., on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013. They were protesting the government shutdown, proposed cuts in Social Security and Medicare and the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. (AP Photo/Hazleton Standard-Speaker,. Ellen F. O'Connell) Purchase photo reprints »

EDITOR’S NOTE: Gazette readers comment on the partial government shutdown and recent political maneuvers in Washington, D.C.

Time to close down

special interests club

To the editor:

Enough. The sequester is an embarrassment for both political parties.

To begin with, Congress has not passed a budget for four years. The consequence should be a cut in pay for not doing their job. Perhaps, if a budget was done as required, they would be more prudent in their lavish spending.

Secondly, good or bad, the way Obamacare was passed was a sham and an embarrassment. Our representatives and senators were elected to represent the best interests of the people. Certainly, that was not the case.

Then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the vote would be taken and the content would be learned later. Does that sound like a wise practice? Would any prudent person commit to something that they could not articulate to their constituents?

Are we really being represented in Washington or has Washington become a social club of special interests?

Nancy Flavin

Easthampton

Has a party become
enemy combatant?

To the editor:

As the rhetoric on the “other side of the aisle” gets crazier and more removed from reality (i.e., that default on the national debt will be no big deal, and may even be a good thing), it occurs to me that perhaps President Obama has an overlooked option.

Never before in our history has a minority party used the threat of financial Armageddon to exert political leverage that it was unable to achieve by “normal” political means, such as winning elections.

This threat of intentional, severe damage to our country, while we still have combat troops in Afghanistan, should qualify those making the threats as enemy combatants or domestic terrorists — and as such, subject to arrest and prosecution.

Richard Norris

Florence

Proud Massachusetts led

on health care for all

To the editor:

What amazes me is that so many people want to deny poor people health care. I do not quote from Jesus very often, but I do happen to know this thing he said: “Heal the sick.”

We have had affordable health care insurance in Massachusetts for several years. What the heck is the rest of the country whining about? We are doing just fine with it.

I have, at least, three friends who have benefited from it. One was afraid to go to the doctor for 20 years until the great state of Massachusetts provided him with Commonwealth Care health insurance, which cost him a monthly fee that was commensurate with his yearly earnings — an amazingly small amount of money. He was homeless at one point, having to sleep in the utility room of a factory whose floor he would sweep at night. We helped him obtain health care and I am proud I am from Massachusetts. People who are ranting against affordable health insurance are selfish babies.

Health insurance companies are close to off-track betting parlors. They have actuaries instead of slot machines. They have no interest in not making money and will not care about a person with a pre-existing condition. They have shown their colors over and over again.

Years ago, I heard that fearful insurance company executives would carry GPS devices in their briefcases because they were afraid of extortion and kidnapping.

They should’ve carried around an extra organ which secretes an enzyme that stimulates empathy.

Roger Salloom

Northampton

Skip the euphemisms,

call it a political coup

To the editor:

Given the duration of the government shutdown and threat of economic default and possible collapse, if this were happening elsewhere, it would be referred to as a political coup. A handful of extremists has grabbed the reins of power in an attempt to depose the government and replace it with another fashioned after their own narrow agenda.

Their actions make the United States look like a banana republic and will engender the same sort of economic instability common in third world countries. Look how the mighty have fallen.

Genevieve Fraser

Orange

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