Newspapers need to get serious too

The editorial "Country waits for Congress to get serious" (Feb. 27 Times), identifies a variety of California federal budget programs that will be cut if the Congressionally "manufactured" sequestration legislation passes. One infers our legislators are fools if they let this happen.

Unfortunately, your editorial presents only one side of the argument -- as if there are no consequences to ongoing, significantly out of balance deficits. The 2012 annual federal deficit, if measured by "generally accepted accounting principles," is approximately $6.6 trillion, which is about 43 percent of the U.S.' gross domestic product. The total debt, including Treasury debt and the present value of Social Security, Medicare and other unfunded liabilities, is close to $100 trillion. These astronomical deficit and debt levels are beyond normal comprehension.

At some point, market reaction to continued currency printing goes critical and confidence is lost, frequently originating from an external source that owns a large position of debt. Financial history warns excessive indulgence of the printing press has serious consequences -- namely currency collapse and sometimes worse. So when do we get serious?

Chris Kniel

Orinda

Time to 'sequester' legislators?

Last time I looked, "sequester" is a verb, not a noun as it is popularly used these days. The official definition is to set aside, to separate. Another definition of the word is "to hide, or to isolate oneself."

Could it possibly be that our federal leadership is hiding? Has it become so politically dangerous to deal with our nation's needs in a timely manner that no politician can speak his or her mind? If so, the appropriate use of "sequester" is to set those folks aside at the very next election.

Thomas E. Lindemuth, Sr.

Walnut Creek