I have to take issue with the assertion in today's editorial ("We need an election" Aug. 2) that the battle we saw over the debt ceiling increase on Capitol Hill is an illustration of how dysfunctional Washington is. I happen to think it's the first sign we've seen in a decade that it can function.

No, I'm not thrilled with the outcome, but it's wonderful to finally hear some debate on the issue of our exponential increase in the debt, instead of seeing an insanely expensive and unpopular health care bill passed without our politicians reading the thing because they know they control the presidency and both houses of Congress. It's wonderful to see debate that questions whether we truly need to spend ridiculous amounts of money on defense, instead of both parties giving presidents blank checks to invade countries we should have never invaded in the first place or bombing countries without the approval of the proper bodies of the government.

We need a good fight. I'm not talking about idiotic name calling, Hobbits and terrorists, Marxists and enviro-fascists. No, we need a good fight to determine where we go from here. When the 2012 elections roll around, we'll be $17 trillion in debt. The editorial claims that now is not a good time to stop spending, and I can guarantee you that, if the economy gets rolling, there will be editorials that claim that it isn't a good time to stop spending because of the risk of backsliding into a recession. I believe that the best time to stop spending is when you're spending more than you have.

Others may feel otherwise, and I'm looking forward to the debate. Who knows, maybe someone will be able to convince me that it's best to simply print the $17 trillion and live with the hyper-inflation. Maybe someone will convince me that we can in fact allow our entitlements to keep our yearly budget rising at 8 percent. I doubt it, but it's time to get it all out on the table.

I do agree with one thing, the 2012 election can't get here fast enough. Let's get ready for the debate.

Fred Pasek, Frederick