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Republicans would be crazy to give Mr. Obama a blank check on the debt ceiling

Republican PartyBarack ObamaDemocratic PartyU.S. CongressU.S. Senate

The U.S. Senate hasn't passed a budget in four years, during which time our budget deficits have averaged $1.1 trillion a year. The national debt is $16 trillion and rising, and it is now more than 70 percent of GDP. Meanwhile, unfunded mandates for Social Security and Medicare exceed tens of trillions of dollars.

Yet according to The Sun, Republicans are the ones who are being irresponsible by attempting to use the debt ceiling to restore fiscal sanity to the nation's budget chaos ("The GOP's cynical debt limit ploy," Dec. 10).

Forgetting for the moment the questionable constitutionality of abandoning control over the debt limit to President Obama, Congress would have to be crazy to, in effect, give the president a blank check for the next four years.

Conveniently missing from your editorial is any mention of the Simpson-Bowles Commission and its recommendations on how to reduce the deficit — recommendations the president has paid no attention to for the last two years.

We apparently are supposed to ignore that history and assume that Mr. Obama has suddenly morphed into a fiscal conservative. Even assuming either side will ever agree to any of the proposals now on the table, the national debt will still rise significantly between now and the end of the decade.

We will continue to have economic and social problems until the leadership in Washington, including the president and Congressional Democrats, get serious about our spending problems. The people who will ultimately pay for the last several years of reckless spending will be our children and grandchildren.

Robert C. Erlandson, Lutherville

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