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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

February 25, 2009 at 2:26 PM

National stimulus plan

Falling sky in sight for the unemployed

The Associated Press

People looks for jobs in front of computer screens at the California Employment Development Department in Sunnyvale, Calif., last month.

Editor, The Times:

It is a scary and ominous time. We have been scared by our esteemed and inexperienced commander in chief, hoping the sky isn’t falling. But, the sky is falling, and we all stupidly fell for it.

The Obama administration produced a nearly $1 trillion spending bill, increasing government spending. The bill is so large, they couldn’t have possibly read it — and who cares if it has pork in it. The main thing is that it is going to “save jobs,” as our inexperienced commander in chief said. It is so important and time is of the essence, right?

Well, when it came time for President Obama to sign this most important document to save our country, he found it more important to take the first lady out for Valentine’s Day. Forget that unemployment is up to 6 or 7 percent now and going up fast.

I will just say this: Former President Bush also inherited a recession, and, after 9/11, the market also tanked. But, Bush didn’t pass this kind of government-spending bill; he cut taxes and the market grew and did very well. Unemployment was under 5.5 percent for six years.

— Patrick Ferrell, Renton

The economy and health care: an inextricable link

Thank you to Sens. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., for voting “yes” on the American Recovery Reinvestment Act. This bill includes significant provisions to improve health care for many working and recently-out-of-work families who are being hurt by the current economic situation.

Health care and the economy are inextricably linked, so passing the Recovery Act was definitely a start in the right direction. Their votes, which assure a 65 percent subsidy for eligible unemployed workers to continue to receive health coverage promised in the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) and keep Medicare functioning in Washington through matching federal dollars, are hugely appreciated by the people of this state.

I am also thankful for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) being restored, so we can start to help the 60,000 or so people in Washington who are completely uninsured. Starting with the children is, again, a good first step and one wonders why we have had to wait so long.

Businesses both small and large are suffering from a health-care system that costs too much and delivers too little to owners and employees alike. It is past time that we begin dealing with health care as an overarching public issue.

So thank you, senators, for this very-much-needed beginning. It is mindbogglingly abhorrent that so few of your Republican colleagues were able to put aside cynical, political calculus and vote in favor of meeting a public need for the public good.

Please continue your efforts to stabilize and enhance our economy and keep improving our health-care system.

— Tamara Crane, Woodinville

Gird your loins

President Obama has turned to his own vice president to oversee implementation of the $787 billion economic-stimulus package, part of which will be available this week for state Medicaid programs.

Gird your loins. A man who’s never seen the inside of a private business is about to fix your economic woes.

— John Hession, Redmond

Comments | More in Economic stimulus bills, Federal bailouts

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