President Obama is no longer the leader of the Democratic Party, nor a credible fighter for progressive causes ("Obama, GOP reach tax deal," Tuesday). He is willing to cut revenue for Social Security, to offer more debt to the nation to provide tax cuts for the wealthy, and he has no spine. He may be a "nice" community organizer, but for leadership on the national or world stage we could not have a sadder, more inept man in the White House.
Obama abandoned universal health care, and did nothing to reduce the deficit, rebuild infrastructure, or grow the economy. He squandered his two-house, filibuster-proof majority while saving badly run banks from a worthy demise, and bad bankers from losing their bonuses and perks. Now he wants to force our great-great-great-grandchildren into debt so the wealthy won't have to pay taxes.
Obama should resign, allowing President Biden to fight for our causes, and organizations like moveon.org, the Coffee Party, the tea parties, labor unions, retirees, AARP, and others to find a nominee for 2012. Hey, Joe Sestak is available.
Robert P. Siddall
The content of the apparent deal on tax cuts makes it more obvious than ever that neither the GOP nor the Democratic Party deserves our support ("Obama, GOP reach tax deal," Tuesday). After all the talk about the growing deficit, did our leaders work out a deal that may be a step in the right direction? No, they gave concessions on both sides that actually make the situation even worse. I think many of us are hoping for a movement from the center that will replace the political madness in Washington with good governance. Will real leaders step forward?
I was not surprised to read the whining about how President Obama is "being forced into a pact without significant Republican concessions" ("Put politics aside," Sunday). Well, how does it feel? Most moderates were horrified while the nation was "forced" into a health-care plan that no one understood and apparently few read. There were parts that most people wanted, such as coverage of preexisting conditions, but there were also parts that many of us felt needed much more discussion. It was this show of arrogance by Democrats in passing the health-care law that resulted in the midterm election wins.
It isn't often that I agree with the Inquirer Editorial Board, but on the issue of delaying a Delaware River Port Authority bridge toll increase, we're in lockstep ("Wrong route on toll hike," Monday). I authored the resolution to delay the increase because every day, working people tell me they simply can't afford it.
The DRPA has acknowledged that a significant portion of the $54.5 million in unspent economic development dollars could be used to defer a toll increase. There is precedent - in December 2009, the board voted to delay a toll increase for 10 months by reallocating $8 million in economic development money to offset the loss of the anticipated income. Financial advisers warned then - as they have now - that the DRPA risked being downgraded by Wall Street if it failed to institute a toll increase. The sky didn't fall then, and it won't now.
Advisers are also failing to consider that a $5 toll will force many commuters to avoid the DRPA bridges altogether, meaning less revenue. In this terrible economy, we owe it to citizens of Pennsylvania and New Jersey to delay the toll hike.
John J. Dougherty
Delaware River Port Authority
President Obama's deficit-reform commission may have failed to get enough support to trigger an automatic congressional vote on its recommendations, but it has clearly achieved its goal of making budget cuts part of the national conversation ("Deficit panel stirs a conversation on austerity plan," Saturday). The really significant suggestion had to do with cutting military spending, an idea that is quickly gaining traction in both parties. A sustainable economic policy is not possible so long as the military dominates the budget.