U.S. House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio said he is ready to talk with President Obama about raising the debt limit if the President promises spending cuts and deficit reduction ("U.S. hitting debt limit; no solution on horizon," May 16).
Mr. Boehner said: "Everything should be on the table, except raising taxes. Because raising taxes will hurt our economy and hurt our ability to create jobs in our country."
Yes, raising taxes may cost jobs. But cutting government spending costs jobs. And not just government jobs. A dollar received by a health-care provider spends the same whether it comes from a private insurer or Medicare/Medicaid.
There is no way to reduce the deficit that doesn't cost jobs. Mr. Boehner needs to confront this painful reality.
Reducing the deficit entirely through spending cuts will irreparably harm the most vulnerable among us and threaten vital government functions, from education to law enforcement to entitlements.
Spending cuts of the necessary magnitude are impossible. Preserving today's low taxes on high earners -- or cutting them further -- will keep more money in the deep pockets of campaign contributors, but have a much less salutary effect on job creation than maintaining the government programs Mr. Boehner wants to eliminate.
The deficit is a serious problem. The solutions will be painful. We need a rational, balanced, and cautious approach. If we do it too rapidly we'll be thrown back into recession, which will exacerbate the deficit along with innumerable other problems.
It cannot be done without some tax increases, just as it cannot be done without some spending cuts.
Mr. Boehner shouldn't threaten us with catastrophe if the debt ceiling isn't linked to spending cuts and deficit reduction -- and he doesn't get everything his way.
Gary R. Lee
Why not focus on U.S. investors?
I was upset after reading how Gov. John Kasich has opened his arms to foreign businesses ("Gov. Kasich offers aid to Chinese investors," May 4).
Meanwhile, he is hindering development by two American casino developers who have invested millions in Ohio. ("Ohio set for House to vote on budget," May 4).
Governor Kasich went so far as to offer Chinese investors land and tax incentives to develop in Toledo. Yet the same day, he pushed to raise the job-killing commercial activity tax on the two U.S.-based casino companies.
Raising this tax has the potential to jeopardize more than $1 billion in economic investment in Ohio.
I understand why the governor is now pushing for higher taxes on the casinos: The casino advisers he hired are getting paid a percentage of any increase that they shake down from the developers. It is in their interest to squeeze every penny out of the casinos -- even if it means killing jobs along the way.
Ohio lost 400,00 jobs in the past four years. Let's turn that tide, but not by rasing taxes or sending our taxpayer money overseas. Instead, we should work to support the companies that have already put our people to work and continue to create jobs in our region.
Editor's Note: Mr. Schlagheck is executive secretary of the Northwestern Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council.
Bell behaving like his predecessor
Isn't it the responsibility of the city's real estate department to help find buyers for our city's marketable real estate?
Isn't it the responsibility of our various economic development agencies to locate businesses that would be interested in coming to Toledo?
Isn't it up to the Regional Growth Partnership to coordinate regional government cooperation to bring investors into this area?
Aren't federal dollars available to help these groups attract investors and employers here?
Why hasn't the city administration made a list of all the properties that are available for sale and advertised it?
Mayor Bell is micro-managing our real estate and economic development programs. He is starting to remind me of his predecessor, Carty Finkbeiner, who also was an expert on economic development!
Honor Flights are simply wonderful
Regarding the April 13 World War II Honor Flight ("Honor Flights boost numbers of WWII vets on trips to D.C.," May 18): I cannot recall ever being treated so honorably by so many in so short a time.
GM's plans are good news, but …
Your May 11 article "Powertrain workers praised by GM's CEO" about General Motors' plans is good news. The automaker plans to create an eight-speed transmission, invest $204 million in the Toledo plant, and hire 250 workers.
But that news is tempered by an adjacent article about the continued decline of real estate values in this area and across the United States ("Local prices fall at 3 times national rate in 1st quarter").
You can only wonder where the local housing market and economy would be now had General Motors been allowed to fail.
Michael W. O'Donnell
Green agenda boosts gas prices
In July 2008, President George W. Bush lifted the moratorium on drilling for oil ("President eyes boost in oil output," May 15). In about five months, the price of gasoline dropped from more than $4 a gallon to less than $2 a gallon.
In October, 2010, President Obama lifted the oil-drilling moratorium.
Why did the price of gas keep rising? Mr. Obama states that we are producing more oil than we did in 2003.
No kidding? Could that be because Mr. Bush lifted the moratorium on drilling in 2008?
The President, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and environmentalists are pushing their green agenda.
JOHN L. CRONIN
Gun-law reform raises concern
The Ohio House has passed a law allowing the concealed-carry of a firearm into bars, alcohol-serving restaurants, nightclubs, and outdoor arenas ("Ohio House OKs concealed-carry in bars, eateries," May 12).
Are you kidding me?
I have been a gun owner all my life and have nothing against gun ownership, but to be allowed to carry one into a bar raises concerns, to say the least. Remember the Route 66 shootout in Toledo in 2009.
It's not worth trying to argue the hero mentality of concealed-carry vs. the protect myself and family mentality of concealed-carry. But the recent assassination attempt on Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords shows how well concealed-carry laws work.
The article also said private business owners have the right to post a sign declaring their properties off limits to guns.
So, a bar owner can buy a property, buy the liquor permit, remodel, decide on a menu, and establish the venue, such as live music.
And after all that investment, the owner can hang a sign that bans guns -- but can't hang one that allows smoking?
Mensa members quite ordinary
My experience with Mensa members was different than that of the writer of a May 12 Readers' Forum letter ("People with high IQs are different").
When I was involved in Mensa, what I noticed was how ordinary its members were. I also was surprised to meet several friends there who, unknown to me, were members of the high-IQ society.
The letter writer repeats a common stereotype: that most Mensans are book-smart people who don't have a lick of common sense. This and other stereotypes are harmful.
But I was surprised to find out that a number of Mensans were involved in parapsychology, astrology, and other activities that have been debunked by scientific research.