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It became apparent long ago that there would have to be serious compromise for a plan to raise the debt ceiling to gain approval. Overall I felt House Speaker John Boehner and President Barack Obama were working hard toward agreement and were realistic about what they could and could not accomplish (given the numbers in the House and Senate) and that they kept political wrangling to a minimum. The same can’t be said for Rep. Michele Bachmann and the tea partyers. Politics was pushed to the forefront and the immediate needs of the country were pushed aside.

While the apparent agreement is not perfect by any stretch, it appears to be the deal that can gain approval, given the current constraints. I can’t speak for other Americans but, for myself, I’m sick of the politics. To those who aspire to a higher office: Do the job you have now, serving the people of the United States. Worry about your next job if you actually get elected to it.

Ted Frank

Kaiserslautern, Germany

Leaders lacking on debt crisis

I agree with the writer of the July 30 letter “Troops used as pawns on Hill.” I have never seen so much juvenile behavior from our political leadership. To those leaders: Stop pointing fingers and projecting blame on one another and work toward an agreement for the benefit of the country instead of perceptual personal interest. I am really disgusted with the self-centered/self-serving actions of our political leadership.

I sit here in Iraq as a military retiree/contractor wondering what my 20 years of service was really for ... and my continuing service, for that matter. It makes it very hard for servicemembers to concentrate on their jobs when they are worrying about what is going to happen to their families and themselves.

I really hope our politicians are proud of themselves for creating this situation and allowing it to get out of control. “We the people” didn’t do this to ourselves, it falls squarely on the shoulders of our leadership and we expect them to act and perform as professionals.

Just ask any Department of Defense or federal employee what would happen to them if they displayed the kind of behavior our politicians have. Look at what has happened to some of our military leadership here: they were “volun-told” to retire.

To our political leaders: Stop whining and complaining about each other and step up to the plate and do your job; the rest of us are — or are at least trying to, with no assistance or example from leadership.

Eric Sheldon

Camp Victory, Iraq

Don’t make GIs worry over pay

In response to “Prospect of pay stoppage weighs heavily on troops in the war zone” (front-page article, July 31): As a member of the armed services, I volunteered to serve. Since joining, I have heard, and learned, many things that are expected of us who represent the United States of America at home and abroad — one of which is financial responsibility. In short, pay your bills and do not live outside your means, or else face the consequences — the most severe of which is being separated from service.

Those who compose the government that creates the policy has shown the world that they themselves refuse to live by their own rules. Twice this year our paychecks have been threatened due to disagreements on spending. Yet we are still required to be at work. However, neither time has the paychecks of Congress been in question.

Additionally, members of Congress have voted to provide themselves with a pay raise several times in recent years — seeking to increase a salary that is already two to four times that of the national income average. My family, and the families of all with whom I serve, are at the mercy of the bickering on Capitol Hill. It is time to stop playing these games with the families of those who give everything to preserve the freedoms that make America great. To those on the Hill: Put your pay on the chopping block. Stop the “Do as I say, not as I do” in regard to financial responsibility. Cease the excessive spending on new programs, interest rates on money borrowed to cover the bills, and stop digging.

To put it another way, if you continue to take our pay you will leave us with the one thing that is still free: our vote.

Russell E. Ligon

USS George H.W. Bush


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