Here's how Obama, House GOP can compromise

With President Obama and House Republicans claiming dueling mandates, it is hard to see how the two sides will reach a deal averting the "fiscal cliff" with negotiations constrained to tax rates and spending. Therefore, our leaders need to think outside the box to strike a deal and save the economy.

The GOP wants to stop $55 billion in defense cuts while the Democrats want to stop $55 billion in domestic cuts. But we need to cut spending, so the cuts to both programs should be sliced in half, leading to more manageable $28 billion in reductions. Next, Obama should accept an extension of all Bush-era tax rates, including those for the wealthiest Americans, giving both sides a full year to pass meaningful tax reform.

Getting their way on this issue, the GOP should agree to a framework on immigration reform in which illegals who have been here 10 years or more get full legal resident status and their children can get citizenship in exchange for military service while simultaneously securing the border.

Passing this comprehensive bill gives the GOP a big win on taxes while Obama can claim victory on immigration reform, and there is small down payment on the deficit through realistic spending cuts. This will save the U.S. economy in the process, and give Congress and the president all of 2013 to meaningfully reform entitlements and the tax code.

Scott Ruesterholz


America faces tough challenges to unity

Re: "United States remains, but it's no longer united," From Readers, Nov. 18

David Mugan is strikingly direct, but not exactly wrong in his assessment of the status quo. Almost 50 states have now expressed a desire to secede since Nov. 6, although given the obstacles, they have no realistic chance of succeeding. However, they do provide evidence that Mugan is correct about the "united" part. A serious look at California proves the point.

Unfortunately, Americans are now saddled with absorbing the impact of the past election: an embrace of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the deleterious effect on our domestic energy production; the dramatic perpetuation of the welfare mentality; an "open range" on abortion; and the handling of illegal immigrants, not to mention the increasing threat of Islamist activity that will go effectively unchallenged.

So let's all take a moment to say a prayer for our good ole' USA.

Bill Petruzel


The Washington Examinercrossed a line -- twice

Re: "The Week," Nov. 18

We cannot wait until you begin charging for your paper.Then we will be able to boycott it.

Where we thought you were a breath of fresh air in the smog created by political mud-slinging, this Sunday you crossed a line -- twice.

First, by castigating Mitt Romney for telling the facts (or, at least, opining) that Obama bought the election with unfunded bribes for votes, further impoverishing this country with frivolous entitlements.

Then by lauding Bobby Jindal for his politically-correct and spineless criticism of said truth teller/whistleblower.On facing pages, no less.

You will be in good company with the rest of the failing press unless you return to your objectivity. No business plan will overcome such a lack of integrity.

D.A. Nolan