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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

February 10, 2009 at 4:00 PM

National stimulus package

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

President Obama answers a question during his news conference Monday. The president called on Congress to pass his economic-stimulus plan and vowed to do “whatever it takes” to put America back to work.

Pare away, porkosaurus

Editor, The Times:

It’s really embarrassing to be part of a community where the vast majority of people writing letters to the editor — the blame-it-on-Bush crowd — insist that Congress pass a bill this very minute to put their grandchildren $900 billion in debt.

Heaven forbid that this generation should have to pay for its own excesses. And, never mind it was President Bill Clinton’s politically correct administration that went to ridiculous lengths to increase home-ownership rates, whether buyers could afford them or not.

Then, as reported on “60 Minutes” last October, the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 was signed off by Clinton after no debate in Congress. In other words, both parties dropped the ball.

This bill, while eliminating reasonable regulations, removed derivatives and credit-default swaps from the purview of federal oversight, gave Wall Street immunity from state gambling laws, legalized activity that had been banned for most of the 20th century and led to the self-destruction of Enron, Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, AIG, etc. Then there was the Democrats’ 2004 cover-up of all the crookedness in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that led to their downfall.

It will be a cold day when I count on Congress to truly look out for my insignificant interests, but perhaps a little bipartisan pork-paring on the most expensive bill in history will delay national bankruptcy a month or two.

One thing the porkosaurus giganticus might do is encourage people to spend their dollars now, as they won’t be worth much once the feds turn on the printing press.

— Gary McGavran, Bellevue

The chutzpah to criticize

Republicans need to man up. They created this economic mess and they should help solve it. Refusing to participate in the recovery will be a political disaster, not to mention that it makes them look petty and childish.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is using the term “generational theft” to describe the Obama plan to claw our way out of the hole that McCain and the rest created. How disingenuous.

McCain and the rest of the Republicans used “generational theft” to pay for five years of the Iraq War. There was never any increase in taxes to pay for it in the here and now; the Republicans saddled our children and grandchildren with the trillions of dollars this war cost.

The Republicans spent money like there was no tomorrow for eight years and now have the chutzpah to criticize the Democrats for trying to clean up their mess? After they trashed the fraternity house, they expect someone else to clean it up while they complain about the way it is cleaned?

What arrogance.

Man-up Republicans. You say you are all about fiscal responsibility; here’s where you get to put your money where your mouth is.

— Richard Reuther, Richland

Enough bipartisan cover up

Republican Sen. John McCain is right: This is not bipartisan.

The only way Republicans would accept the stimulus package as bipartisan would be to implement their failed policies.

Their only interest is strategy and capturing media attention, not helping their country. Enough already!

— Joanne Daniels, Seattle

Blowing the U.S. dollar bubble

Stop this insanity. The magnitude of the stimulus package, whether it be $460 billion or $900 billion, needs to consider that the total of all the cash in the United States is about $750 billion.

Put in this context, few sensible citizens would approve of such a reckless spending spree unless there were clear guarantees that we are not simply printing more money. The mortgage bubble and the oil bubble will pale in comparison to the imminent explosion of the U.S. dollar bubble.

— Gerald Yorioka, Mill Creek

Republican record on repeat

It’s bad enough that the stimulus bill contains tax cuts for wealthy corporations and not enough spending for infrastructure repair and job building, but I also won’t receive any tax-cut money because I am self-employed and didn’t make enough money last year.

However, with that said, if we do nothing, based on all economic reports, this country will see a depression like no other. Republicans only have one record to play over and over, but they offer no solution except tax cuts.

Is this really their solution?

And who do they help? Sure, $300, $600 or maybe $1,000 can help a family for one month. Then what?

Help President Obama get this legislation passed for all our sakes before it is too late. And keep the union language in this bill; unions are the backbone of our society and we all must be allowed to join unions if we want to make them strong.

— Karen Hartman, Kirkland

Captain’s honor

Obama is now captain of the Ship of State. If this stimulus scam passes, and it no doubt will, the Ship of State will sink.

One can only hope that if it does, Obama will do the honorable thing and go down with the ship.

— Richard Ays, Oak Harbor

Republicans hoping for ignorance

I’ve been trying to figure out why Republicans are promoting the same economic policies that have produced the disaster we’re in, instead of acting boldly to stop the free fall of the American economy.

Then it occurred to me. Most Republicans wish the same thing Rush Limbaugh does: that President Obama fails. They’re thinking if the American economic system, and our very way of life, go down with him, so be it.

Many economists recommend a larger plan than Obama’s, while Republicans push for a smaller one, just to earn some political points. They are banking, so to speak, on how hard it is for average citizens to understand the economic mess and hoping they respond to terms like “wasteful government spending” and “higher tax cuts.”

If there were ever a time for politicians to put country first, this is it.

— Jan Schwert, Seattle

Barren batting box

In response to Paul Krugman’s column [“Starting into an economic abyss,” Feb. 7], the “dismal economic failure of the past eight years” has been in large part due to the excessive credit and lending practices fueled by Democrats.

It should come as no surprise that they, the Democrats, “have uncredibly, been on the defensive.”

Who will step up to the plate, accept responsibility, hold others accountable, and make the tough decisions needed?

The batting box, unfortunately, is empty.

— Sean Matthews, Kenmore

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