In reading Margaret Carlson’s Aug. 4 column “Obama, Boehner look smaller after big deal,” I am left wondering if there is an ombudsman at Bloomberg News and, more importantly, why Stars and Stripes’ ombudman lets their shoddy quality control seep into your paper.

Carlson writes, “[President Barack Obama] loves the center the way a kid loves ice cream,” but Republican boogeymen are out to thwart him.

Let me correct Ms. Carlson. The “center” of American politics is a place Obama and his party visit only as tourists during election years. Their reality is one of out-of-control spending of the past five years — dating back to Obama’s time in the Senate, and Nancy Pelosi’s lording over the House of Representatives — a current cycle of 24 months and counting without the legislative branch passing a government budget (unprecedented in American history), and the inevitably ensuing crises such as the current debt-ceiling debacle, a crisis that — contrary to Beltway fantasy — we are still deeply embroiled in. This is “the center” only to the lobbyist culture inside the Beltway, to entrenched incumbent politicians, and to the cheerleaders in the media (like Carlson) who would be unable to pass a basic economics course.

The “center” is a place where the rest of us must balance household and business budgets, where we spend within our means or pay the consequences, and where we curb our spending in the face of economic realities. It is not a place where any member of our current federal government would “love the way a kid loves ice cream.”

The American people are seeing the unfortunate results of the far-left fantasy world being forced into our lives by Washington, while a docile, insulated media cheers from the sidelines. It is a business-killing regulatory minefield full of unsustainable entitlement spending that will visit economic ruin upon our children if it does not do so to our generation first.

Let’s hope the next generation of children doesn’t love ice cream the way Obama loves spending; at this rate, they won’t be able to afford any.

Staff Sgt. Nathan McNulty

Camp Phoenix, Afghanistan

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