Not a job for Romney

The suggestion by Matt Miller that Mitt Romney chair a commission to "analyze" us out of the national health-care challenge is an idea that won't die ("This is a job for Mitt Romney," Monday). First, it was suggested that Romney be appointed to an economic commission, and now this.

On the health-care panel, each commissioner would be given the task of stepping "beyond parochial concerns to address these questions in the context of the broader national interest." As if the elected officials we have now are a bunch of parochial meanies who need to be reminded of their civic duties.

Didn't Romney vow to abolish Obamacare? Under Miller's plan, he would get to tinker it into oblivion - with the president's participation.

James Miles, Collingdale, jxxphilly@gmail.com

Shift to solar, wind power

The article "Obama facing tough choice on oil pipeline" (Sunday), describing the conflicting views in the nation on whether to build a pipeline from Canada to Texas to carry tar sands oil, seems not to have registered the destruction wrought by Hurricane Sandy just weeks ago.

If we carry on burning fossil fuels, such as the tar sands, at ever higher rates, we surely won't have the resources as a country to handle all the damage from the climate-change havoc we would be bringing upon ourselves.

With the recent reports of ice melting in Greenland and the Antarctic at a far more rapid pace than even predicted by climate scientists, we need to rapidly shift to wind and solar power and all of the jobs that developing those industries would entail.

Sue Edwards, Swarthmore

Bringing back manufacturing

I believe that manufacturing is the best hope for a robust American middle class ("Bring back U.S. manufacturing," Sunday), and I equate support for a robust American middle class with patriotism.

While the author makes valid points about what the federal government can do to improve the climate for manufacturers, he left out probably the most obvious and most important factor: the American people. That is, American consumers and those who run American businesses.

First, consumers must be willing to pay extra for a product made domestically; however, they have the right to demand quality greater than that of foreign-produced goods. Second, American businesses - not just manufacturers, but retailers and other sectors as well - must be willing to make a little less profit in order to ensure high quality and develop loyalty.

If our highest priorities are the cheapest product and highest profits, we'll get what we asked for.

John Mahony, Ambler

GOP doesn't get it

The GOP doesn't seem to get it ("No give on tax, spending positions," Monday). President Obama won the election. He doesn't think he has to compromise as much as the GOP does. Speaker John Boehner may think his trump card is the House, but when some of his worried legislators start peeling off because of his refusal to compromise (because of their worry of reelection in suburban areas), he will have a shell of a GOP House. At that point, he will have to compromise a lot. Now, he'll hold off until the last day of 2012, and Obama has nothing to lose by saying, Show me your concrete, mathematical, precise ideas.

Phyllis Berlant Abrams, Plymouth Meeting

Perspective on financial mess

I am not one of the wealthy 2 percent being targeted by President Obama and the Democratic Party for a hefty tax increase in 2013. I am also not one of the people who vilify these folks for having achieved financial success.

That said, let's now put some things in proper perspective. Even if President Obama is given his tax increase on the 2 percent, it will account for less than 10 percent of our current yearly budget deficit; about $85 billion in revenue vs. a $1.2 trillion deficit. It is obvious that the objectives of Obama and the Democrats are to play to their base and consolidate power, not to control our country's runaway spending or balance the budget.

If our country is ever to solve the financial mess, everyone is going to have to contribute. This means a tax increase across the board. Having the 47 percent who contribute nothing in the way of federal income taxes pay their fair share. Making significant reductions in our social welfare spending. Raising the qualification age for both Social Security and Medicare to reflect the realities of our longer life spans. Benefit increases may have to be limited or eliminated.

Finally, all of those who are milking the social welfare system (not the truly needy, whom we have a moral obligation to help) are going to have to take personal responsibility for their own lives and the decisions they make.

Doug Smith, Perkasie

Replacing sand in Shore towns

In the article "A showdown nears on dune rebuilding" (Sunday), you state that Avalon was relatively spared because the Army Corps of Engineers has worked on its protective dunes. In fact, most of Avalon's dunes were already there, and protected by the community. Avalon survived Sandy with comparably small frontal beach (as opposed to bay) flooding because the storm made landfall north of Avalon. The area from Atlantic City to New York sustained the greatest damage because it was north of the storm center and therefore received the strongest onshore winds and storm surge. If Sandy made landfall over the Delaware Bay or the northern Delmarva peninsula, the greatest damage would be in Cape May County.

The Army Corps has been replacing sand for years on the northern end of Avalon. This is designed to build the beach and protect expensive houses there, but it also causes deleterious effects to areas further south: Hereford Inlet is no longer navigable, and the North Wildwood beach is largely unusable because of the buildup of sand repeatedly replenished at taxpayer expense in north Avalon. This raises the question whether it is appropriate to continue this process at great expense and little lasting value for most people.

Arthur Lintgen, Perkasie

Taxpayers' money

I was shocked by the headline on the editorial about the Delaware River Port Authority's use of toll money for nontransportation projects, "Easy to be generous when it's not your money" (Saturday). How can you criticize the DRPA when you consistently support the Obama administration and its spendthrift ways? That's not the government's money. It belongs to the American taxpayers.

We borrow 40 percent of every dollar the federal government spends. It is immoral to leave this massive debt to our children and grandchildren. I would love to see you criticize that, and endorse politicians who would rein in the out-of-control spending in Washington. To continue to support that spending, while criticizing the DRPA for the same behavior, is hypocritical.

Rich Holstein, West Chester