Making a balanced budget the top priority, as suggested by Chuck Marshall, in his Feb. 26 letter to the Record-Courier, would be a serious mistake.
Focusing on balancing the budget would further shrink the U.S. economy at a time when unemployment is between 9 and 15 percent. Is Mr. Marshall trying to get unemployment above 20 percent? The austerity advocates in Europe already provided clear evidence of the crippling effects on the economy brought about by pursuing austerity during a time of economic downturn. Basic economics tells us that we should be running a deficit when the economy is in the doldrums and unemployment is high. What our economy needs right now is more stimulus, and the priority should be to bring down the unemployment numbers above all else.
In addition, Mr. Marshall's characterization of 98 percent of climate scientists as "nuts" is completely out of line. These scientists are clearly telling us that the warming is real, it is serious and is caused by human activity. As a society we can choose to ignore what the scientists are telling us, or we need to face the reality that we must reduce our CO2 output by dramatically cutting back our use of fossil fuels.
Anyone that calls people nuts when they are warning us of the dangers of facing a major issue is doing a disservice to the country. It makes you reflect on who are the real nuts in the room.
Charles Chlysta III, Shalersville
The solutions to balancing the budget and stop this out of control borrowing and creating debt for our children and grandchildren and great grandchildren is simple but not necessarily painless.
1) reduce the federal spending by 1 penny from EVERY dollar. There is outrageous waste and fraud in federal spending. so removing one penny should be easy. It won't buy votes by giving OPM to those who don't earn it...but who said Congress was elected to buy votes?
2) Open up public lands for oil and gas exploration. Many states could be experiencing the 6 figure paying jobs and zero unemployment (anything less than 5%) that North Dakota and Texas are experiencing by oil and gas on just private lands. Even Walmart trainees are getting $17 per hour. In just a few years the US could be exporting hugh surplus oil and never again have to pay for oil from those who hate the US.