Should Obama Get Line-Item Veto Power?

Readers share their thoughts.

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Ryan Alexander of Taxpayers for Common Sense argued it would cut wasteful spending; Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute said it gives the president too much power. Your feedback:

The power of budgets must be kept in the Congress, and it is up to the electorate to vote in people who can produce a balanced budget.


Give the president the line-item veto. It will force some discipline on an otherwise undisciplined Congress. If a bill has the votes, it can override the veto. Enough of the pork, the influence of the lobbyists, and the theft of our vote and our part in the process. And if we don’t like what the president vetoes, we can vote him out as well.


When a bill is submitted to the president, it should only be for what it is intended. There should be no attachments. This would prevent a special-interest politician from inserting his or her own pork-barrel item into the bill. Sign or veto on the bill’s merits only, nothing else.

ROLAND PICARD Pinetop, Ariz.

Instead of a line-item veto, which I feel gives the president too much power, I’d prefer to see bills containing one subject only, thus eliminating unrelated amendments.

RON SHARPLESS Punta Gorda, Fla.

I think that the ideal (which I assume will never happen) would be to amend the Constitution to require that every provision of every bill be individually signed by the president, or it will be automatically vetoed, with three quarters of each house of Congress required for an override. Failing that, put as many obstacles in the way of taxing and spending as possible.Provide that in any fiscal year in which a budget deficit exists, no elected official—and no former elected official—shall receive any pay or allowance or any service fromprovided by employees of the United States. This includes air conditioning in quarters or offices, food, transportation, security, medical care, or the use of government buildings without paying a minimum rent of $1,000 per day.


Obama is incompetent. He would use a line-item veto to increase the size of government and the cost of government.

KEN LAMB Hartford, Wis.

Curb wasteful spending. How about if Obama just quits spending and

expanding government? Almost all of his spending is either wasteful or political paybacks. I thought he promised to end earmarks anyway. Oh, yeah, that was along with all his other broken promises. RANDY MORGAN Iron River, Wis.

The Constitution (remember that tired, old document?) grants sole authority to Congress for spending. No line-item veto for any president, much less this one. Our spending has gone crazy, which begs for us to replace Congress this November, both the House and the Senate. How about limiting the size of bills so “pork” doesn’t have any room? If you can’t say it in 1,000 pages, it doesn’t need to be done.

CHRIS PETTY Marietta, Ga.

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