November 18, 2012

Regarding the Nov. 9 Metro article “McDonnell asks agencies to prepare for ‘fiscal cliff’ ”:

As a small businessman for almost 25 years, I applaud Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) for having the common sense to have state agencies prepare, with 4 percent budget cuts, for the potential economic crisis caused by the combination of the “unprecedented uncertainty presented by the looming federal fiscal cliff” and the rising costs of health care. But the statement in the same article that “the fiscal 2012 surplus will go toward paying bonuses to state workers Dec. 1” defies logic.

Our state government must save this surplus in case the federal government does not achieve a viable, long-term deficit-reduction plan in time to prevent a worsening of our already slow economy. Simultaneously paying out bonuses while planning for budget cuts will damage our commonwealth in the long run and hurt many workers far worse than canceling a bonus would — when they are laid off because of a lack of reserve funds to cover the reduced tax revenue as our economy suffers from poor federal governance.

Michael Rolband, Gainesville

Walter Pincus [Fine Print, Nov. 13] has a great idea: Reducing the nuclear arsenal would certainly “help keep us from going over the fiscal cliff.” However, he should go further: Eliminating the arsenal entirely would also prevent us from going over the cliff of ultimate destruction.

Helen Schietinger, Washington