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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

February 12, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Stimulus package

A pork-free diet

The president, in his [recent] news conference, said there is no pork in the stimulus package. In the Sunday paper, Seattle Times reporter Andrew Garber lauded our representatives for providing lots of pork to Washington state [“State delegation maneuvers to send billions back home,” Times, Local News, Feb. 8].

Should we agree with him?

We need jobs for the increasing number of unemployed. We have major projects that need to be started and completed. Our schools need help.

But let’s point some fingers back to the good times when work was plentiful. Time and money were wasted on drawing plans and estimates that were never fully achieved. Many of our schools muddled along because voters said, “What was good enough for me is good enough for my kids.”

Our roads and highways became pockmarked because Tim Eyman persuaded too many to cut the cost of car tabs and other taxes. The protracted Boeing strike has resulted in layoffs. These are not the only points of blame.

It’s time to stop looking for how much we can milk from the government and think of what can be done — what each of us can do to help America back on its feet.

— Margaret Hellyer, Issaquah

Thinking outside the balance sheet

All of us must contribute to the health of the U.S. economy in as many ways as we can possibly think of. We should use this newspaper as a sounding board for ideas that would stimulate our economy.

Here’s my idea: U.S. companies with lots of cash on their balance sheets should consider making special dividend payouts (however small) to put money in shareholders’ hands. Paying taxes on these dividends would also put money in the U.S. Treasury.

Our federal government cannot stimulate the economy by itself.

— Karen McDonell, Gig Harbor

A hurry-up lather

President Obama is good at campaigning. He’s like the pilot of a hot-air balloon. Just pull the little rope, promise a little hope, and up, up you go.

The American economy is more complicated, however, more like flying a commercial airliner.

The new president is poised to charge about a trillion dollars on the taxpayer’s credit card. He calls this huge spending plan an “economic-stimulus plan.” Some $300 billion goes to construction projects, which is good because construction projects do tend to stimulate the economy.

But Obama is going to waste about $600 billion of that trillion, on nice, but useless, social programs that do not stimulate anything.

We, the taxpayers, will have to pay this huge debt back; Obama is not going to worry about payback. Not right now, anyway. He is in a hurry-up lather to make something big happen now, even if he is repeating the mistakes of history.

Historically, America cycles through a recession about every seven years. Historically speaking, drunken spending by the federal government only makes recessions worse.

This new president hasn’t learned from American history how to fly our free-market system through a recession.

Hopefully, there may be a nice soft river down there, somewhere.

— Keith Soban, Lynnwood

Comments | More in Economic stimulus bills

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