Congress, not the president, has debt limit authority

Re: "Obama pledges not to give in on debt limit fight," Jan. 15

On Nov. 6, 2012, Barack Obama received a mandate to lead, not a mandate to dictate to the American people and Congress. Leadership involves influencing the action of others toward the accomplishment of a goal, but dictating is telling others what will be done, which is what the president did Monday.

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Contrary to this administration's belief, our democratic form of government does not provide any unilateral, unchecked mandates. The executive branch has the power to enforce laws enacted by Congress, but that power does not extend to Congress itself. It is also kept in check by both the legislative branch and the Supreme Court.

Devoid of presidential leadership, Congress will attempt to arrive at a legislative solution to the debt limit should it so choose, in accordance with the delegation of powers laid out in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution.

Our Founding Fathers did not always agree, but their fear of tyranny was universal, enshrined in the document that guided the growth of this great nation for 225 years. When Obama places his hand upon the Bible and affirms his duty to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States," let us pray that the former document guides his protection of the latter.

-- Andrew Waldeck


Another ploy to fleece the real taxpayers

Re: "Pay-per-mile scheme would boost taxes 250 percent," Washington Secrets, Jan. 15

Paul Bedard discussed the Obama administration's pay-per-mile alternative to the federal gas tax. As with any idea originating in Washington, the question is: Who benefits?

As it stands now, each American pays their fair share at the pump. If you drive more, you pay more, which seems like a logical way to pay for transportation. But this administration doesn't think this is "fair" because there is no way to exclude those in poverty.

The pay-per-mile idea accomplishes a number of things for Obama's socialist agenda:

1. It expands government by creating yet another bloated agency to oversee the collection of milestraveled, not to mention the expansion of the IRS to collect andenforcethe tax;

2. Monitoring adds another "Big Brother" intrusion to control our lives and limit our freedom;

3. It allows an "out" for those the administration favors, more than likely the same 40-plus percent who don't pay any taxes.

Who ends up holding the bag? The real taxpayers who are alreadyproppingup those who don't pay any taxes, or get more back than what they put in.

-- Alan Kilgore


Where are charges for architects of 'Fast & Furious'?

Re: "Manassas woman indicted on illegal arms dealing charges," Jan. 14

I can't see why the ATF's James Newman is wasting time on the small fry when the big fish are right there for the taking. The federal officials responsible for "Fast and Furious" have much in common with Kimberly Dinkins, who is accused of having "indiscriminately put guns on the streets that can be used against our citizens, our children and our community."

If that's the case, Newman's next case should be against the Justice and State departments, which put thousands of assault rifles into the hands of ultra-violent Mexican drug cartels.In addition to a brave U.S. Border Patrol agent, hundreds of innocent Mexicans have already been killed.

That should keep Newman busy and the rest of us a lot safer.

-- Francois Krodel