A balanced budget will have to wait

Hate to admit it, but I completely agree with the tea-party folks about the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. It's an absolutely worthless waste of time, taxpayer money, and our attention.

Dana Milbank concedes Republicans on the commission will never agree to any sort of tax increase under any circumstances ("A sober effort to tame debt," Tuesday). Even if Republicans on the commission agree to anything, the rest of their party will never go along.

The first priority of policymakers should be to get Americans back to work. To do that, the government needs to engage in heavy stimulus spending. The budget should, eventually, be in some sort of balance. But there is no urgent need to do that anytime soon.

Richmond L. Gardner



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Secret-agent series was gripping

I really enjoyed your "Shadow War" series by John Shiffman, on an elite Philadelphia squad of U.S. agents' secret mission against Iran.

It's an amazing piece of research written in a spellbinding, gripping fashion. As a patriotic American, I'm frankly stunned by this activity.

I'm glad you're letting us in on the secret. And I'm glad there are those who are trying to stem the tide. I laud them.

One day when our Inquirer wasn't delivered by the time I left for work (very unusual), I actually bought a copy at a newsstand, so I could read Shiffman's installment that day.

Holly McLaughlin


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Theater deserves a better fate

Re: "Court approves sheriff's sale of Prince Theater," Tuesday:

As a supporter of the Prince Music Theater and lifelong musical theater enthusiast, I have been distressed, dismayed, and now disgusted by the demise of this institution.

I am distressed that an institution with the potential to be a vital hub of a vibrant regional theater scene lost its focus almost immediately after opening its doors by mounting the types of shows already well represented by other theaters in town.

I am dismayed by the board of directors' apparent lack of oversight, and its unfathomable decision to let theater president Marjorie Samoff steer the Prince down the path to irrelevance. And now I am disgusted that Samoff, having accomplished this feat, is trying to play the victim.

Everyone associated with events surrounding the Prince over the past decade knows the economy and TD Bank are not the real problems. The problems with the Prince began well before the recession.

If Samoff cares as deeply about the Prince as she publicly professes, she should resign. The board should install professional management with leadership skills and proven results. In leaving, Samoff would finally be deserving of our gratitude.

Sheila Egan


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Christie comments hurt New Jersey

Re: "Christie hinting at ambitions?," Tuesday:

Chris Christie needs to grow up and realize he is the governor for all of New Jersey's residents, not just those who agree with his policies. His reported use of a sarcastic, whining voice while in Iowa to mock both New Jersey students and teachers is childish, counterproductive, and only serves his self-aggrandizement.

"This is the garbage I have to listen to in New Jersey. And you wonder why I'm in Iowa," said Christie.

The governor should realize that when he is out of state, even fueling his personal ambitions, he is an ambassador for the Garden State. Belittling New Jersey and its citizens does nothing to promote tourism or business here.

Steven M. Stern

Mount Laurel

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Deer hunt is the wrong solution

I was disappointed to see that Valley Forge National Historical Park will be going forward with a deer kill in November. This "problem" is human-caused and it will not be solved with bullets.

Taxpayers do not need to have any more of their hard-earned money going to a deer kill that will not work and that is dangerous. The remaining deer will have more food, so the does will produce twins or triplets, and younger does will begin to reproduce earlier.

Geraldine F. Jacobs


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They can't complain about reading

Re: "Amid 'blind stamping,' foreclosures are halted," Wednesday:

I can't believe that Sens. Robert Menendez (D., N.J.) and Al Franken (D., Minn.), along with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), have the nerve to criticize banks for not reading all of the foreclosure papers before serving them.

This is after they passed several bloated 1,000-page bills (TARP, Obamacare, etc.) without ever reading them themselves. If just signing off blindly is OK for Congress, why not the banks?

Jeff Davis


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Postage prices don't reflect distance

Re: "Proposed postal-rate increase is rejected," Friday:

The U.S. Postal Service confounds me. It might be the only business that does not have a rate structure that is determined by the amount of effort required to complete the task.

Send a letter to California: 44 cents. Send one to your neighbor across the street: 44 cents. How can a business operate like that and not incur massive debt?

Anthony Preziosi

West Deptford