There's good reason

•ot to trust Hillary

Regarding Kathleen Parker's Jan. 4 column, "She's faking? Hillary critics hit new low":

So Parker is outraged that Hillary Clinton's critics believe she was faking a concussion in order to avoid testifying before Congress? This is the same Hillary Clinton who vehemently denied that her husband was ever involved in a sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky, and that actually it was all a fabrication of a "vast right-wing conspiracy."

I don't recall Hillary ever apologizing for that false accusation. Nor do I recall Parker ever writing anything about Hillary reaching a "new low" in blaming others for her husband's transgressions. And when Bill Maher called Sarah Palin one of the most despicable words anyone could call a woman, or when David Letterman made sexual jokes about Palin's teenage daughter, I don't recall Parker ever writing about a new low from the pundits on the left. The new low isn't what Hillary's critics say about her; it's the disgusting selective outrage that writers now exhibit when something doesn't fit their political agenda.

STEVE LANE

Mays Landing

Obama can raise

debt ceiling himself

President Barack Obama must not go wobbly. He must keep his implicit promise to raise America's debt ceiling, with or without congressional approval.

He can use the 14th Amendment to support the necessity of acting alone, if necessary, to avoid the potentially horrific consequences of not paying our bills. The amendment says, "The validity of the public debt … shall not be questioned."

Let those in Congress willing to use the debt ceiling as an implement of extortion dare attempt to impeach our president. Let them attempt to fast-track any unilateral action he may take to our Supreme Court. Let them blast Obama in the media. That is their prerogative.

Not raising the debt ceiling, or even the threat of such an irresponsible, perhaps treasonous act, will diminish our capacity to remain a world leader. It will destabilize financial markets. It will damage our economy. Our president has a constitutional obligation to avoid such an occurrence by all means necessary.

Congress, entrusted with managing our nation's fiscal matters responsibly, has absolutely no authority to wreak havoc on our nation for the sake of right-wing extremist elements within its ranks. If the speaker of the House and other Republican leaders do not put the kibosh on these wing nuts, they will lose the respect of most Americans and quicken the self-destruction of their political party.

LAWRENCE UNIGLICHT

Galloway Township

Keep pressure on

for assault-gun ban

The letters defending the Second Amendment and opposing more gun restrictions are tragically amazing. How can anyone argue citizens need assault rifles?

And arming teachers and others in public life against the "bad guys" so we can see who is "quicker on the draw," as it was in the Wild West? That's total nonsense.

Could there be any greater sadness and suffering than what was caused by the recent mass murder of young children and their educators in Connecticut? We have had too many gun rampages. Where will the next one occur if there is no change in the current abusive gun culture?

Too many folks grieve, complain, are outraged, and then tend to let it go. It is our duty to keep the pressure on and demand that our federal government ban assault weapons. Write a letter, send an email, make a phone call or attend a vigil. We must not forget. The grieving parents and families who lost their loved ones cannot and will not forget.

BETTY CANDERAN

Cape May Court House

Entitlements create

society of lords and serfs

I have to laugh. Some people actually believe they will be feeding off the wealth of millionaires and billionaires. But all they're getting is a consolidated middle class.

The poor no longer exist. They have been elevated to the middle class by our generous system of safety nets. And what we are now beginning to see is the nonworking middle class feeding off the incomes of the working middle class, consuming their opportunity for wealth accumulation to fund the entitlements upon which the nonworkers have so easily become dependent.

Millionaires and billionaires aren't involved in this feeding frenzy. Sure, their tax structure has changed somewhat, but they will get along without the income the middle now class needs to survive. But wealth accumulation for people in this consolidated middle class will become almost impossible, and a two-tier system of lords and serfs will soon develop. And the void between these two new classes will widen over time as the serfs become equally impoverished supporting their diminishing entitlements.

KEN ELLIS

Ocean City

Federal government

owes Sandy aid to N.J.

The "redistribution of wealth" means taking from the residents of states who produce much and giving it to those who produce less. After the recent storm that damaged our state, as well as New York and Connecticut, it might be high time that a portion of those federal dollars be sent right back to the states that have been devastated. We should expect our "fair share" of federally collected tax dollars to be returned to us for rebuilding the wreckage from Hurricane Sandy.

New Jersey, while a small state by size and population, is disproportionally large as one of the most dynamic producers of wealth in the country. We, the people of New Jersey, sure do our share of providing real cash for Washington to redistribute. Washington takes about 25 percent of all the wealth created by the people of this state. In 2005, the most recent year analyzed by the Tax Foundation, the federal government gave New Jersey 61 cents for every dollar it sent to Washington - the smallest return of any state.

We have a legitimate claim to aid for storm damages. The facts are blazingly obvious. The people of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut are core financiers of the federal government, and logic says a portion of that largess needs to come back to the tri-state area for rebuilding in order to keep Washington in the revenue it has historically enjoyed to redistribute.

Our governor, far from being the chief executive of a state in search of a patronizing handout, is on solid ground in his requests for what amounts to a small percentage of what we have given Washington over the years. We have financed redistribution for other states. Now it is time to redistribute some of our own taxed income back home.

RUSSELL CREECH

Vineland