Letters, May 20: Holding debt limit hostage

Gun Rights

Recently, I took my grandson to his elementary school fair and stood in a long line so he could play one of the most popular games, laser tag. The kids were assigned to groups, issued weapons resembling assault rifles and pretended to kill each other on the playground. The last kid standing was declared the winner.

In relatively the same period, my school district removed library books and Texas Republicans proposed prosecuting librarians for “obscene books.” And now, our governor has proposed pardoning a man convicted of murdering an armed protester in Austin..

Maybe we should cut Gov. Greg Abbott and Republican legislators some slack: It’s easier to attack librarians than criticize the National Rifle Association.

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But maybe a librarian could help them see the irony of children reenacting mass murder on a playground with a flag at half-staff in front of the school.

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Martha Spinks, Ph.D., Ret.

Who holds responsibility?

“Our aquifer is in trouble,”
Your Turn, Monday:

I would like to know if the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, or TCEQ, could be held responsible for supplying potable water to all residences and businesses affected if the septic system fails and wells in this area are compromised.

TCEQ should be held accountable since it is the agency responsible for the permit going forward. For a long time there existed a moratorium on developments over the Edwards Aquafer recharge zones, evidently this is no longer the case.

Is this development really worth the risk to the aquifer and all who depend on it?

Shane B. Russell

Holding debt limit hostage

“Debt talks far removed,”
Your Turn, May 12:

Current federal spending and budgetary priorities are not the “driving forces” of the debt, or relevant to the debt ceiling. Raising the debt ceiling enables the government to pay debts incurred through the spending and budgetary priorities of previous years, which can’t be changed without the use of a time machine.

The time to negotiate spending and budgetary priorities is when the budget for the coming year is under consideration. Republicans would have more credibility on that issue if they would submit a proposed budget, as the Biden administration has.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and the Republicans, however, don’t have the votes in the Senate to pass their radical proposals. So they use the debt ceiling as a hostage to either get their way by coercion or crash and burn the world’s economy and our own.

Just the way things are done in Washington? No. The debt ceiling was raised, without partisan controversy, three times under the Trump administration, which increased the national debt by almost $8 trillion. Republicans only hold the debt limit hostage under Democratic presidents.

John Maxstadt, Laredo

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