Edwin E. Scully
Proposed cuts are not enough
The proposed cuts from the 2011 federal budget are nothing compared with the size of the government ("$35 billion in cuts pitched; but House GOP eyes more," Thursday). If the Republicans think those amounts are going to satisfy people who voted for them in the last election, they are kidding themselves. I could see a large number of them looking for work in 2012. Republicans and fiscal conservatives better step it up and get control of federal spending or we will not have a country worth saving. That's what they were elected to do and the people won't settle for anything less.
Lack of demand means fewer jobs
"Jobs will follow demand," according to Johanna Schneider of the Business Roundtable ("Obama calls on CEOs to invest in the economy," Tuesday). True, but no one, including President Obama, Wharton mystics, or the general public, is willing to face the question of what is holding back demand.
The maldistribution of income in the United States is the cause of absurdly high poverty rates, bankruptcy, foreclosures, and personal debt. Demand consists of both the desire to spend and the means to do so. Americans are strong on desire but weak on means. If there is insufficient income, there will be insufficient demand. And since "jobs will follow demand," there will be insufficient jobs.
Presley R. Brown
Pricey housing for grad students
The planned Rutgers-Camden housing for graduate students is pricey, to say the least ("Rutgers-Camden to get a 12-story, $55M dorm," Wednesday). The 102 units to accommodate 350 students will cost about $500,000 each. If the housing is truly needed, why is there not a private developer to make the investment at a much lower cost? There also would be ratables for Camden in a market-based approach.
If the only way to make this project go is with public money, that's a clue both as to why it's so expensive and why there's likely no payback.
Years of paying for unwanted items
Some are arguing that it's unconstitutional for the government to require us to purchase something ("Theatrics over, health care on a path to Supreme Court," Sunday). Well, I've been required to purchase nuclear weapons against my will. I've been buying unnecessary wars. I've been paying ridiculous agricultural subsidies and bailing out bankers. All this has been done with my taxes, against my will.
Paying for the country's medical insurance out of taxes would have been the sensible way to proceed, but that proposal, called the single-payer plan, encountered too much opposition from those claiming it was a government takeover of health care. Those same voices now object to placing the insurance requirement in the hands of private enterprise.
Public money for millionaires
Why are developer Eric Blumenfeld and restaurateur Stephen Starr smiling with Mayor Nutter in the photo with the PhillyDeals column (Wednesday)? Because they're on the receiving end of $18 million in public money for a project on North Broad Street. Governments at all levels are having difficulty making ends meet. The last thing we should be doing is providing more welfare for millionaires.
Campaign debts of Brady, Fattah
U.S. Reps. Bob Brady (D., Pa.) and Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.) have yet to repay mayoral campaign debts of more than $1 million from almost four years ago ("Heard in the Hall," Tuesday). In Brady's case, most of the money - $448,000 - is owed to the Philadelphia law firm Cozen O'Connor, which has yet to sue to recover the debt. Once again, it appears that corporate America has figured out another way to do an end run around campaign-finance laws: Lend the money and never ask for it back.