By putting this country first, leaders could solve debt crisis

Both the Democrats and the Republicans under the tea party influence must reach a deal soon. What would happen if our country defaults on its loans? The cost of everything would skyrocket. Car, house and health insurance would rise.

Home, car and credit card payments would increase. The cost of schooling, clothes, food and utilities would escalate. It would be nearly impossible to get a loan. Many more people would lose their jobs. Services to people would diminish. Hospitals and nursing homes would lay off staff.

The Democrats must look at entitlements and other expenses and make reductions. Social Security deductions should be raised to include more payments from higher wage earners.

The Republicans should look to raise taxes on persons with incomes of $250,000 and higher. What jobs were created by the rich who pay 15 percent income tax, while the rest of us taxpayers pay 35 percent? This is not fair.

The job recovery is not what it should be because the banks are holding large sums of money and will not give enough loans to small businesses to create more jobs.

The corporate tax should be lowered to 20 percent. This would cause corporations to do business here in the United States and to hire our citizens. The tax loopholes should be closed. In the United States, 48 percent do not pay any tax.

If the radicals in both parties would put our country first, we could again be a leader in the world.

Kathleen Warren



Collins seems to pick and choose his spots

I feel like I am missing something. The taxpayers of Erie County just paid $178,000 to replace the playing turf at Ralph Wilson Stadium, which was installed eight years ago. Erie County Executive Chris Collins has stated that we cannot afford to help support our libraries and cultural institutions because we do not have the money.

He feels it is perfectly OK to spend our money to replace turf that he says is in "very, very good condition." He continues to state, "people would say the turf is practically good as new."

Was the turf replaced so the colors on it would coordinate with the new jerseys the Buffalo Bills just introduced?

Again, am I missing something?

Michael Giallombardo



Few understand what Hackemer experienced

I'm wondering if anyone else thinks it's just a tad ironic that there are questions being raised about James T. Hackemer's "judgment" in riding a rollercoaster while nary a syllable is uttered about the "judgment" that got him sent to the Middle East and blown to pieces.

Here's a guy who goes off to a war that was dubious in origin at best and criminal in its deception and duplicity at worst. He and his comrades are ill-prepared, badly equipped, and used up like expended ammo in multiple combat tours. Hackemer came home literally torn apart by this invasion. By some freaky chance he lives through something that even the most grizzled soldier can barely comprehend. By his own account, Hackemer died, clinically, a couple of times. We can only imagine how many times he died figuratively in the private emotional hell of reliving a horrific event that crippled him and killed his comrades.

As part of a mission foisted on the military by the most dubious cast of characters in the history of U.S. foreign policy, he was sent to war in equipment that couldn't protect him. He and his fellow soldiers were forced to scrounge junkyards to adequately protect themselves. Those fortunate enough to escape physical harm have come back to suffer through protracted delays at the hands of a VA woefully ill-prepared to deal with their emotional and financial needs. In response, divorce and suicide among veterans are soaring.

Yet we are questioning the "judgment" of this guy who wanted to have a little fun on a roller coaster. What a joke. God bless Jim Hackemer for trying to salvage a bit of normalcy from a life shattered by an unnecessary war.

Steve Banko



Aldi, Broadway Market could be well-matched

I have shopped at the Broadway Market since 1979. I have shopped at Aldi since it moved to Buffalo. They are completely different and complementary stores.

Aldi has inexpensive staples, paper products, milk, and canned goods. The Broadway Market offers a great selection of fresh produce, a choice of butcher shops, and wonderful bakery selections. As with every neighborhood, development must be planned and well-thought-out.

I did not hear angels sing, as one community leader did, but with so few looking to develop Broadway/Fillmore, this could well be a match made in heaven.

Dan Genco



Nonprofit should run Empire State Games

The July 9 My View piece about the loss of the Empire State Games was excellent. This was something to look forward to every year and generated tax revenue for the state and local government as well as business revenue.

However, since the games usually happened upstate, the downstate politicians just didn't care anymore. The proposed tax on soda and junk food could have helped finance this, as could a 10-cent surcharge on all entertainment event tickets in the state and more taxes on tobacco and alcohol products. But the industries lobbied against the "obesity tax."

This also makes no sense as other things should be cut from the state budget to balance it, but just aren't, and could save a lot more money. This includes freebies for those serving in prisons who commit crimes mainly so they can receive them, those not working so they can receive welfare freebies, including being able to use the cash feature on their EBT cards to buy soda, junk food, tobacco products, and video games, all of which should be taxed instead. As well, as noted in a recent letter to the editor, state elected officials get too many perks and pay, as do the bureaucrats, and the numbers of both also need to be reduced.

There are countless other things that should be cut from the budget but aren't, and other beneficial things that are cut. Albany just doesn't get it and it all depends on which interest group spends or lobbies the most.

ESG should also be run by a state nonprofit corporation to rely little on state money, as Pennsylvania does with their Keystone State Games, which, by the way, will happen the same week that ESG was to run.

Kevin Yost