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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

March 3, 2009 at 4:55 PM

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s speech

Tax cuts carried in cash, not debt

The Associated Press

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal defends the speech he made in response to President Obama’s address during a news conference Monday.

Editor, The Times:

Froma Harrop, in her “.’One size fits all’ solutions don’t fit the changing times” [Feb. 28] column, says Gov. Bobby Jindal shows a “stunning disconnect with reality” when he speaks in favor of small government.

Harrop is the one disconnected. According to her, government must grow in times of war or a collapsing economy.

But, if the government has, as we conservatives encourage, kept the military strong in times of peace, when war comes the size of the armed forces may be increased, not “the government.” We don’t need any new departments or commissions if we have remained properly prepared.

In a collapsing economy, history shows more “government” is not the answer; Franklin D. Roosevelt’s spending programs during the Great Depression helped a few, but unemployment in 1938 was as high as in 1932. It took preparation for war to bring us out of the Depression.

Ronald Reagan inherited an economy with higher inflation and unemployment than today. He drastically cut taxes and increased revenues. Spending increased as we built up our power in order to win the Cold War.

Harrop repeats the gross misrepresentation of the Bush administration. Former President Bush’s tax cuts increased revenues, as cuts always do. The Republicans, until they lost majority status in 2006, did overspend. Many of us conservatives felt our representatives were trying to “out-democrat the Democrats” and felt betrayed.

Bush did not bring about the economic difficulties we face. It started 30 or more years ago when liberals said more people with low incomes should be able to buy homes. This simple idea grew like cancer, and eventually you could buy a home without even proving you had a job.

Having campaigned on no earmarks and in his recent speech telling us he would bring us back to fiscal responsibility again, President Obama turned around and laid a “stimulus” package on us that was more pork than stimulus. It included every favorite liberal program ever dreamed of and some new ones to boot.

To make matters worse, it was said to be too important to debate or offer alternatives. So much for democracy under Obama!

Now Congress is passing a supplemental budget that has thousands of earmarks (including many from Republicans) and even more new spending. It will more than double the deficit left by the maligned Bush administration.

Our children and grandchildren will never have the standard of living we have enjoyed; they will be burdened to death with a great debt.

— Henry Kroeger, Redmond

Judging part in relation to the whole

On March 1, The Times published a letter from Tim Lederle of Bellevue praising Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal for ” refusing to accept any Obama stimulus money” [“Baring backbone,” Northwest Voices].

This statement is not entirely accurate. Jindal is turning down $100 million from the federal government for extended unemployment benefits. Since the amount of stimulus money going to Louisiana is $4 billion, the amount Jindal is turning down is only 2.5 percent of the total.

Jindal is only turning down the money the unemployed in his state desperately need because he sees strings attached to the money that would involve raising taxes on Louisiana businesses after $100 million has been spent.

Judging the merits of his decision would depend on if you were asking a businessman or someone without a job in that state.

— Marshall Dunlap, Kent

Comments | More in Barack Obama administration, Republicans

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