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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

November 4, 2008 at 2:47 PM

Return on the investment

Haven’t seen them for years

I hear politicians pandering to “invest in education,” “invest in health care,” “invest in energy independence” and “invest in green technologies.”

Tell me if I’m wrong but aren’t there two sides to an investment deal? If taxpayers “invest” in these things, what is each party’s contracted performance outcome, our rate of return and the collateral we can seize if the government’s investment fails? If this isn’t what the politicians really mean, then what is the difference between the new “invest” and the old “tax and spend”?

Is our return on investment simply to feel good about ambiguous progress? Maybe it boosts politicians’ self-esteem so high they can’t be bothered with figuring out how policy implementation impacts the little guy.

I have learned one thing this election season. This environmental engineer has had one of those upcoming “green collar” jobs for the past 32 years, and without taxpayer “investment.” I can now look forward to job security with future taxpayer “investments.”

Wait, would the taxpayer’s “investment” be my “welfare” or “subsidy”? In government and politics, is there no line between cynicism and reality? I have to leave problem solving behind and enter the ether.

— Greg Allan, Sammamish

Leaders are not our friends

One of the major worries of my Republican friends is higher taxes, yet they fail to see the monster tax, not called a tax, in the current financial meltdown. This house of cards or Ponzi scheme has cost the nation some $5 or $6 trillion of value in 401(k)s, pensions and other paper investments. Now, that is a huge loss.

To cap it off, the same fools and thieves who brought on this collapse with their “funny money” games have the audacity to ask for and get more than an additional $1 trillion committed, so far, to bail themselves out.

They have been fumbling around with much of that money — not to mention delaying action, which tends to make matters worse.

For years, these “conservatives” have been playing money games, gaining hugely, while contributing next to nothing. They have no product and nearly no service. Meanwhile, hardworking, honest Americans are being stuck with much of the bill and they don’t deserve that.

A lot of innocent Americans will lose their homes once they get caught up in the massive unemployment coming our way — not to mention the many who have already lost due to being duped by predatory lenders.

Yet these disciples of the Friedman school of economics, who say “do not touch the markets, as the markets themselves are the best regulators,” are now crying for help.

Wake up Republicans. Your leaders are not your friends. They have been robbing you.

— Keith Magnuson, Seattle

Comments | More in Economy, Politics, Wall Street bailout


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