Re "Debt crisis likely to postpone billions in aid" (Page A1, Oct. 14): All the "hardship" imposed by the half-imaginary shutdown (85 percent of the government is still running) only highlights how shockingly dependent on the federal government our whole society has become.
The ultimatum: Give Uncle Sam everything he wants, or get hurt. If this administration doesn't get free rein to spend ad infinitum, everything from national park vacations to military death benefits can be shut off at Washington's pleasure. Even private industry is in chains -- government contracts, fishing permits, loans, licenses, inspections and certifications are all on hold.
Is this soft slavery what we founded the republic for?
-- Martin D. Owens, Sacramento