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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

December 19, 2008 at 4:00 PM

The Wily ways of Congress

Jail them all

The Ponzi scheme pulled off for 40 years by Bernard Madoff, taking new investors’ money to pay off previous investors, is nothing compared with state-sponsored retirement plans [“AG recuses himself from Madoff fraud probe,” Politics, Dec. 17].

At least in his case those who got stiffed were already wealthy and could afford what they lost. Not so in the case of Social Security. We’re talking about you and me, and we didn’t have a choice in the matter.

If we can put Madoff in jail, why can’t we do the same with Congress?

— Mark Nassutti, Kirkland

They deserve the best

“Earmarks help businesses, not troops” is the kind of investigative reporting that restores my faith in the press [Nation & World, Dec. 7]. Now I have more evidence with which to scream at the top of my lungs for congressional reform.

Although the story cites a veritable litany of facts surrounding this particular round of bribery, it is one of the photos that speaks volumes. With hands over their hearts, senators (including the future Secretary of State Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton) seem to pledge allegiance to the profiteers who throw them a few corporate crumbs, expecting a healthy return on their investment.

So much for the needs of our soldiers when there is profit involved. Sen. Thad Cochran was quoted as saying that without earmarks, “this lifesaving product [the powder] would not get to our troops as expediently as it should.”

Expedient indeed. Just what would happen if we ditched the earmarks? Might the best product (such as the lotion that provides seven times more effective protection) come out on top? Ask your members of Congress about that.

— Leonard Eiger, North Bend

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