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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

January 22, 2009 at 4:00 PM

National budget

Taxpayers are smart, tax breaks are smarter

It’s a huge stretch, but let’s assume I am rich and receive a $50,000 tax cut. What would I do with the money?

Perhaps, I’d add another extra bedroom to my mansion, buy new cars for my granddaughters or upgrade my yacht. If feeling generous, I might contribute to the local food bank or charities helping victims of recent-extreme weather. Otherwise, I’d invest in businesses (stocks, bonds, etc.) or just put the money in the bank and make it available for loans. In other words, I’d stimulate the economy.

The decisions of the not-rich may be of a different magnitude, but surely they’ve become better spenders over the past year or so.

How would the government spend the money if there was no tax cut? Losing it seems to be popular these days. Paying the salaries of the bureaucrats who lost money, rewarding businesses and home buyers for making bad decisions, giving benefits to illegal immigrants, doling it out to the states for projects the states don’t want badly enough to pay for themselves, or beefing up the earmark for the sausage museum in Porkytown, Ill., are all possibilities.

God only knows what else the lobbyists, campaign contributors and unions soak us for. Perhaps, a small fraction might actually do some good.

Those who think government spends money more wisely than most taxpayers are likely the same folks who think taxes on businesses don’t get passed on to consumers.

— Gary McGavran, Bellevue

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