Tea party Republicans often say the country should be run the same way people run their families or businesses. But does that mean that one person in a family makes all the decisions while other members' suggestions are dismissed out of hand?

Does it mean that when a family owes more than it takes in, it just stops paying certain bills?

When a worker looses a job, the company no longer has any responsibility for that person, and the former employee has no obligation to continue supporting the company.

But if a Social Security or Medicare recipient is threatened with a loss of benefits, he or she must still pay taxes to the government that broke its promise. And unlike a laid-off employee, that person is still a citizen of the United States.

Is this any way to run our country?

Alma T., Baltimore