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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

February 3, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Nation’s budget deficit

A wagon on the edge of a cliff

When we vote for our elected officials, many of us vote bipartisan — we vote for the person best suited for the job. We vote for the person we feel will best represent to the government our needs, ideals and interests.

The majority of the country has now elected a Democratic president. Many crossed party lines because they felt the Democratic candidate would best represent what they needed from their country.

Our country is in crisis. It is a station wagon loaded with families hanging over the edge of a cliff. This is not a partisan problem.

We need a team of leaders to join forces and navigate this wagon back to safety. We, in the wagon, don’t care who saves us; we desperately need help and we need it now.

When I see that every single Republican in Congress voted against the stimulus package that the President has blessed, I see a game going on. It is hard to imagine that every single Republican lawmaker truly felt this package was so bad that they could not vote for it.

Are their loyalties really to the people who elected them and whom they serve? Or, are they to the Republican Party?

Are our Republican lawmakers going to spend the next four years plotting for a Republican victory, or are they going to serve the people who need them now?

I encourage you all to write to your Republican leaders and insist that they put down their partisan swords and, instead, roll up their sleeves and work on the task at hand.

Ask them to join the governmental team that will pull our families back to solid ground. Ask them now.

— Lynne Robinson, Bellevue

Calls for saving, not just spending

As the economy worsens, individuals see the wisdom of curtailing spending to the essentials and boosting payments to existing credit card debt and then to savings.

At the same time, our federal government continues to ratchet up spending trillions to “jump-start the economy.” These trillions, however, are creating more debt for individuals in our collective society. How can we, as taxpayers, logically justify both courses?

We should be in support of activities that lead to long-term solutions for our economy. The most obvious of these is to create climates where personal savings are rewarded. If we, as Americans, built up substantial savings, we would be able to responsibly purchase products to drive the economy. We would be able to do so largely without the availability of credit, which has become so scarce.

If we had these savings, we would be able to withstand problems, such as a temporary job loss, without defaulting our mortgage.

To the extent that the money the feds are doling out is addressing national infrastructure, these activities are acceptable. But more importantly, lets not spend any money that does not directly lead to jobs or which does not encourage personal savings.

— Mark Hamp, Lynnwood

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