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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

February 2, 2009 at 4:00 PM

National stimulus package

Check it twice, don’t act fast

There was an article in The Times telling of five tunnels on a hiking and cycling trail closing for lack of repair funds [“5 biking, hiking tunnels closed on Snoqualmie Pass,” page one, Jan. 31]. The article said they were hoping for funds from the stimulus package. Is this not greedy? Is this “stimulus”?

Similarly, an article about the state Legislature recently expressed the same idea: The stimulus package will bail us out of every desired program’s budget shortfall.

Isn’t this greed, too, just like the CEOs’?

I don’t want my grandchildren paying for today’s greed.

Equally as important, liberals are using the short-term crisis as a means of getting more government control of the economy. This is called “socialism.” Socialism has never shown itself to equal free-enterprise capitalism in creating jobs and improving the standard of living.

I am old enough to remember the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and other New Deal programs. They helped a few individuals, but never brought us out of the Depression. It took WWII to do that.

We are told we must act quickly to pass this bill. However, this is merely a transparent effort to keep us from looking closely at each part of the bill to see which items will provide stimulus and which are liberal programs.

My grandchildren will be saddled with a huge debt on top of living in a socialist state. I want neither for them. I want them to have the same opportunities that I have had.

— Henry Kroeger, Redmond

No place for political “wish lists”

Perhaps Dwight D. Eisenhower was correct when he said, “There are a number of things wrong with Washington. One of them is that everyone is too far from home.”

According to the Jan. 28 article in The Wall Street Journal, “A 40 year wish list,” the $825 billion stimulus bill proposed by Congress has only $90 billion designated “for something that can plausibly be considered a growth stimulus.” If I understand the math correctly, that comes to about 10.9 percent of the tax money going to actual “stimulus.”

The article continues saying “billions will go to federal programs that the Office of Management and Budget or the Government Accountability Office have already criticized as ‘ineffective’ or unable to pass basic financial audits.” Why would we want that?

How can Congress expect banks, Wall Street, or any other entity to be “transparent” if they are unwilling to be so themselves? Are they going to ignore American citizens who detest the fact that previous tax money was spent without sufficient accountability?

Should Congress pass this additional stimulus bill, let it be a clean bill — one free from any other attachments — with their “wish lists” compiled in some other politically strategized bill.

This would make the decisions of Congress more transparent to American citizens and provide constituents a more transparent record for future elections.

— Michael Nord, Bremerton

Tax on Internet sales: possible plan B

I find it interesting that, with all the bad economic news, two Northwest-based businesses are doing well. Both Amazon and Nike reported 9 percent growth in the last quarter.

Could it be that Internet sales, the reason noted for the strong profits of both companies, are the way out of this mess? If our government were to tax those sales, it would provide a huge source of revenue for its recovery program.

— Alan Moen, Entiat

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