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Recent letters blaming Congress for the government shutdown make me wonder if the writers are woefully short on facts or just unwilling to accept the truth.

The president had plenty of time to come up with an acceptable budget. (His initial budget last year was rejected unanimously by both parties in Congress.) In fact, if he'd just followed up on his campaign promises to end gridlock, balance the federal budget in five years, reform welfare and health care and give the middle class a 10 percent tax cut, these inconvenient situations wouldn't be happening.His record of raising taxes and debt ceilings demonstrated to the electorate that he just wasn't serious about his commitments to the future of our country. So in '94, a Congress was voted in on the platform of reining in federal government spending and working to ensure that our children have something to look forward to other than an insurmountable debt and tax load.

And they're doing it. The exact things our president promised us and is now fighting so furiously against. Americans should be overjoyed that in Washington, campaign promises are being kept.

As for the current budget problem, Congress has taken 10 paces to the president's every one toward resolving it. Their increases to Medicare are still so generous that when people are informed of the real amounts (twice the rate of inflation), they feel it's too much.

The president's "budget" leaves Medicare on the verge of imminent bankruptcy, etc., etc. Newt Gingrich and Congress should be supported, not blamed for the shutdowns.

Freedom comes with a price. Our forefathers would be happy to see that their sacrifices for a free country weren't in vain. Happy days.

Jon Miles