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The Baltimore Sun

Fire incumbents who ignored credit crunch

The editorial "Rescue or rebuke?" (Oct. 3) correctly notes that the $700 billion bailout bill is not an end all to our economic crisis. In fact, the statement, "The collective response in some offices in Washington and on Wall Street was, now what?" only amplifies how loosely all our politicians have played with our money and our trust.

Every one of the politicians in Congress failed us, and now middle-class taxpayers will have to pay the bill.

Yes, there are others to blame for this economic crisis, including people who bought homes they clearly could not afford, mortgage brokers who used deceptive lending practices and Wall Street investment bankers whose practices bordered on criminal.

But most of the blame falls into the laps of our Washington politicians.

If you were an employee charged with the financial oversight of the company you worked for and you failed to protect the company, no doubt you would be fired.

That should be the fate of every Washington incumbent politician running for re-election in Maryland and across the country.

Ron Wirsing, Havre de Grace

Taxpayers pay dearly for our own 'rescue'

Signing a financial rescue bill does nothing to remove the legacy of failure from President Bush's place in history ("Bush signs financial rescue bill," Oct. 4).

He remains accountable for the part his administration has played in holding ordinary American citizens hostage for a long time while the rich got richer and the poor got poorer.

And don't forget that it is we the people who will be paying in spades for our "rescue" for months, years, perhaps generations to come.

Elizabeth Goldsborough, Owings Mills

Use the new powers of Treasury sparingly

We are giving tremendous power to the Bush administration to use taxpayer dollars to shore up financial institutions ("Bush signs financial rescue bill," Oct. 4). President Bush should use this power under the same standard President Bill Clinton established for abortion: Bailouts should be safe, legal and rare.

We are told that the financial bailout legislation is about re-establishing confidence.

If so, public understanding that the U.S. government has the power and the will to act should be sufficient, and the treasury secretary should be able to wield his newfound power like a scalpel, not a sledgehammer.

Mac Nachlas, Baltimore

Addiction to credit created the crisis

I'm addicted to credit, but I'm not alone. My sister, brother, neighbor and just about everyone I know is chronically hooked ("Credit crunch," Oct. 1).

Our government is so in debt that our great-great-great-grandchildren will still be paying the bill when we're dust. But, like a junkie, desperate to avoid the inevitable low, we're going to take a bigger snort in hopes of a "fix."

"We can handle it," say our co-dependent leaders.

"Borrowing another $700 billion will be good, even if all the prior borrowing didn't work out the way we thought it would."

"This time it will be different, you'll see," says the man in denial.

Other users know. Deep down, we all know. You can't fix debt by spending money you don't have.

In the end, someday, each of us must say it: "Hello, my name is ... and I'm a credit addict.

Rob Zeigler, Parkville

No time to waste resources on slots

With a recession ahead, who needs slots? Certainly not one of the wealthiest states in the union.

We should take the slots initiative off the ballot so that our citizens can concentrate on what is most important - electing a president who can get our nation back on track to improve employment, develop a better health care system, rebuild our infrastructure, reduce our dependence on foreign energy, improve our education system, bring our brave servicemen back from Iraq, salvage our IRAs and 401(k)s and now also reduce the monstrous national debt facing all Americans.

We definitely don't need slots to absorb our income and savings frivolously.

Gerald Loren, Annapolis

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