Despite Huntington Beach's fall into financial oblivion, despite ludicrous employee packages agreed to by our City Council, despite the fact that nearly half of the 28 speakers at the council meeting Aug. 1 protested and pleaded with the council to let current contracts expire and renegotiate new contracts, four of our "let Rome burn, it's business as usual" council members voted to renew our public employee contracts ("Council extends police contract," Aug. 4).

As cities continue to fall into bankruptcy, cease paying their pensioners and leave their cities in financial ruins, political incompetents continue sacking the treasury. No problem for the HB City Council, however. As city services decline ever more and the voracious monster of wage and pension obligations balloons, the council will work overtime to find various and sundry ways of extorting more funds from its citizens. Shameless!

Shirley Orlando

Huntington Beach

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Blame at Obama misdirected

It is true partisan nonsense when Tara Setmayer, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher's communications director, defends the Republicans' position and says overspending by the Obama administration had resulted in most of the current financial woes ("Protestors demonstrate outside Rohrabacher's office," July 28).

Are you kidding me? Two wars not paid for under George W. Bush, a Medicare Part D where the government wasn't allowed to negotiate prices with the drug companies, a huge tax cut that after 10 years has produced no jobs, and they have the nerve to say Obama spends too much money.

Rohrabacher and his party voted seven times — that's right, seven times — to raise the debt limit under Bush and did not once call for any cuts. Congress raised the debt limit 18 times under President Reagan without any call for cuts. This is about politics and power. Republicans think they can make Obama a one-term president by putting the country in default.

This debt crisis is a made-up crisis. America has always paid its debts, and raising the debt ceiling just pays for what previous Congresses have voted to spend. Shame on the Republicans for putting the full faith and credit of the United States of America on the line for petty partisan gamesmanship.

Lance Pinkham

Huntington Beach