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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

December 6, 2008 at 1:48 PM

Tough economic times

Pool our efforts

While I hear Congress asking industry and banking executives to take salary cuts or return bonuses in return for government help, and President-elect Barack Obama asking taxpayers to accept service cuts or pay higher taxes, I ask myself: What is the government doing except spending money it doesn’t have?

Haven’t our legislators and government executives contributed to the economic mess we are in? It seems to me that the least any of them could do would be to take a salary cut say of 10 percent, abstain from giving themselves raises and limit the salaries of political appointees in these times until the economy gets better.

I’m no economist, but it seems that such a move would free up at least hundreds of millions of dollars for needed expenses as well as send a signal to the rest of the world that this country is not composed entirely of “what’s-in-it-for-me” greedy and power-hungry individuals.

I’m not smart enough to make this happen, but perhaps if all of us write our legislators, contact our newspapers and use the Internet, our government will realize that each of us must sacrifice to get through this recession.

— Tom Hamilton, Shoreline

We’re on a road to nowhere

This story puts a new spin on the economic-meltdown reporting [“Feds retreated from reining in lenders,” Business & Technology, Dec. 2]. At first we were told the regulators were at fault for not doing their job to stop reckless lending practices. Now we learn regulators wanted the Bush administration and Congress to crack down on said lending practices, but failed to do so when they caved under the banking lobby.

This is another example of how broken our government is. Once again, business interest trumps citizen interest or even common sense.

President-elect Barack Obama has put a firewall between his transition team and lobbyists, which is a good start to wrestling control of our government away from corporate interests.

We also need a firewall between lobbyists and lawmakers, and lawmakers should vote on one bill at a time. No more lumping earmarks in with a new budget or bill. If a pork project can’t stand on its own merit, then it deserves to fail.

We can’t afford anymore “bridges to nowhere” or bailouts.

— Cindy Butler, Edmonds

Comments | More in Barack Obama administration, Economy, Politics

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