Letter to the Editor

This year we talked about writing letters to the editor of newspapers.  I learned that they are shorter than an op-ed which is written by the editor and is one sided while tending to be persuasive. The letter also focuses on rebutting or clarifying whatever the article happened to be about. When writing a letter to the editor, people need to follow the guidelines of publication.

Below is an example from an editorial by the Midland Daily News from my hometown of Midland, MI

Addressing two deficits begins with Congress

Posted: Wednesday, April 28, 2010 1:15 pm | Updated: 1:17 pm, Wed Apr 28, 2010.

The 18-member National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform met Tuesday for the first time and it heard from President Barack Obama, who set up the commission to make recommendations to reduce the federal deficit, perhaps through a politically unpopular mix of entitlement reductions and tax increases.

“There are few issues on which there is more vigorous bipartisan agreement than fiscal responsibility,” Obama said. “But in practice, this responsibility for the future is often overwhelmed by the politics of the moment.”

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We agree, but we don’t understand how this commission can do anything more than the body of our elected representatives — Congress — should be able to do on a regular basis.

Instead, what we see from Congress is a steady parade of promises and programs that are leading us down the path toward fiscal insolvency. What we see are debts racked up by representatives and senators who want to buy another term of office.

It is fiscal insanity, and it is not going to be solved by a commission which has been given explicit instructions not to come forward with answers before the next election cycle. That instruction is an admission of sorts that what the commission will have to recommend if the nation is to deal with the deficit would hurt incumbents seeking re-election this year.

U.S. Rep. Dave Camp, R-Midland, said the committee needs to address two deficits — one fiscal and the other involving the public’s trust in government. He’s right, but doing so needs to begin in Congress and in the Oval Office, not with some obscure commission charged with doing what our elected representatives have no guts to tackle.

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