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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

February 4, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Economic-recovery plan

Lower tax rates means more jobs

When times are difficult, there’s no need to exaggerate the pain or make suggestions that will cause more problems [“Recovery requires stimulated senators,” editorial, Feb. 2].

Your exaggeration was to say “gross domestic product shrank 3.8 percent in the fourth quarter of last year.” That figure is annualized, so it’s closer to 1 percent.

Your solution to have the government spend money is also debatable. Maybe it feels good to have somebody do something, but government spending must be paid in higher taxes, borrowing rates or inflation. These costs are more diffuse than publicized spending, but they are indeed costly.

When you say, “tax cuts alone don’t create jobs,” it is true: Jobs are created when companies offer jobs and people fill them. Period. When corporate and individual tax rates are higher, you get fewer positions and fewer applicants. Conversely, when tax rates are lower, you get more jobs.

Government programs only produce jobs by taking away from somewhere else — somewhere that produces jobs.

The economy is still larger than it was a year ago, then the largest in history. The economy will pull back as we become more careful with our spending like in prior recessions. Then it will overtake itself again.

Help our president succeed by letting our people do their thing.

— Brian Watkins, Bellevue

Invest or save, don’t spend

Any stimulus should use our children’s money on sound investments only. If we don’t have enough good investments that are ready to start right away, then we shouldn’t spend the money.

We need to be willing to cope with the mess our generation has created. It would be a tragedy to use the money for tax cuts to enable people to buy flat-screen TVs from foreign companies, just so a U.S. retailer can get a 5 percent cut.

— Scott Flagg, Kirkland

Comments | More in Economy, Federal bailouts

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