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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

February 9, 2009 at 4:00 PM

National stimulus plan

An insane money pass-off

Let me see if I’ve got this:

The federal government wants to borrow money (mostly from other countries), thereby burdening U.S. citizens with more debt. They then want to and give it to banks, which will then turn around and loan some of the money back to the citizens, so that we can take on even more debt in order to buy things (most of which are made in other countries) that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford.

This is insanity. I fear our country is bankrupt in more ways than one.

— Richard Turner, Seattle

Greedy, but necessary, tax breaks

Friday’s front-page article, “Bipartisanship easier said than done when it comes to stimulus” [Feb. 6], raises again the issues that have been holding us back from economic recovery.

It so common and easy to say what got us into this depression in the first place was greed and selfishness, but there is still a group blocking recovery by demanding tax cuts and tax breaks.

We’ve all studied the economy and know when tax cuts can stimulate economic activity and when they are simply more of the greed that got us here.

“Give me more money. I want to pay less for our society; let others pay more.” That’s what the tax-break proponents are really saying.

The fact is, although it may take courage to say so, we don’t pay enough in taxes. If we’re going to have a first-class society, we are going to have to invest in it. Taxes are going to have to go up and yes, the spin of the greedy aside, we will spend our way out of this depression with government spending in infrastructure, health care, education and society.

— Leonard Goodisman, Bothell

Haughty heap of debt

If Paul Krugman [“Staring into an economy abyss,” syndicated columnist, Feb. 7] is going to discuss the merits of the stimulus package, why doesn’t he do so directly instead of calling people names?

He is reminiscent of former President Bush in his intolerance of other perspectives when he suggests President Obama should simply push aside any dissenters.

Given that one of the main motivations for the stimulus was to rebuild infrastructure and now less than 5 percent of the package is for that purpose, I think it was very healthy to question what the remainder is for before we heap another huge amount of debt on this country.

— Chris Waldorf, Seattle

Spending money to make money

I am an independent and voted for President Obama after I saw how former President Bush and the Republicans destroyed our country. Now Republicans are continuing in this process by criticizing the stimulus plan.

The stimulus plan may not be perfect — it’s true there may be a lot of spending — but the situation now calls for government spending. As the saying goes in business, “One should spend money to make money.”

My observation and analysis of our current economic crisis, in fairness to all involved, is that lobbying should not involve giving monies. Some of our unions are abusing their power and becoming greedy, causing the closure of companies such as the autoworkers union, where a simple assembly worker makes $30 per hour. This is way too much in comparison with many nonunion jobs where workers are making minimum wage or an average of $10 an hour. This is a big disparity that legislators should fix.

Just as Wall Street is greedy and corrupt, much of Main Street, including some politicians and lawyers, is greedy as well. There has to be a cap on lawsuit costs as well. Why do we listen to Republicans who have shown their true colors – incompetence, dishonesty and corruption – in the past eight years.

Again, its all up to us.

— Tom Lasam, Seattle

Squandering capital and confidence

In the current struggle for economic recovery, a determined effort is under way to impose greater government control. The Obama administration and their congressional allies are seizing upon our economic distress as an “opportunity” to replace the will of free people and free markets with the concentrated power of politicians, bureaucrats and their special-interest patrons.

Consider HR 1, the so-called stimulus bill moving rapidly through Congress. Its heavy reliance on the political process to allocate capital is just a continuation of the natural tendency of those with concentrated power to borrow against the country’s future, in order to give unsustainable benefit to favored interests.

This is not investment of capital to enhance future productivity. It is the squandering of capital, resulting in nothing but future debt that will drag down productivity and general welfare.

A healthy recovery in economic activity requires subjective elements such as individual initiative, confidence and trust. It also requires capital accumulation, which occurs only by individual willingness to work hard and defer consumption.

Imposing more political whims on markets can only further stifle such initiative. And government decisions to squander more money we don’t have can only further erode confidence and trust.

— Frank Bown, Seattle

Comments | More in Economic stimulus bills


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