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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

January 11, 2009 at 6:02 AM

National politics

“Elect” not necessary

It is clear that President-elect Obama is now, in fact, the president. The current White House occupant has virtually disappeared in the face of the overwhelming economic recession/depression largely created by his own irresponsible deregulation and (aided, of course, by Clinton, Bush I, and Reagan’s previous deregulation policies). The plan appears to have only Obama show his face during the rapidly deteriorating economic crisis, while Bush and Cheney retreat silently and scot-free.

Obama may have to kill a few sacred cows along the way, including the Ponzi-like Social Security and Medicare schemes, which are clearly unsustainable as currently administered. Beyond that, there must be major re-regulation, wherein the regulators must be kept distant from those whom they regulate.

Today’s (and yesterday’s) regulatory environment allowed them to regularly sit down together, become good friends, and funnel regulators into high-paying jobs in the financial fields they once allegedly regulated. This palsy-walsy situation must be ended abruptly, starting with a complete removal of the regulatory agencies’ top echelon. There’s also the need to alter the American mindset now, to give people some hope once again.

Then, of course, there are other major problems awaiting the new president: global warming (which was ignored and, therefore, exacerbated by the Bush administration), Iraq (wholly created by the Bush administration), Israeli/Arab hatreds and wars (probably unsolvable by any mortal), Korea (bungled by Bush), Russia (completely bungled by Bush), environmental degradation (greatly expanded by Bush), and many others.

To Obama, I say: Good luck. You’ll need it, especially after Bush.

— Bruce Barnbaum, Granite Falls

Smart investments

Investing massive amounts of money on renewable-energy development, modernizing the energy grid, transportation infrastructure and education are all great ideas that will not only jump-start the economy by putting people to work, they are smart investments that will pay dividends for years.

Just as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal projects, such as the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Bonneville Power Administration, created real, long-term wealth that we are still enjoying 70 years later, these are the sorts of mega-capital-intensive projects that government can enact best.

However, a repeat of personal- tax-rebate checks is a gross waste of federal resources. It gave us a one month “growth” blip last spring and cost the federal treasury $150 billion. Our grandchildren shouldn’t have to pay for this wasteful bloating of the national debt.

Let’s invest our precious economic resources — not fritter them away.

— Jonathan Ryweck, Port Townsend

Comments | More in Barack Obama administration, Economy, Politics

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