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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

March 9, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Federal stimulus and tax plans

Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

President Obama meets with Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Rep. Zack Space, D-Ohio, in his office aboard Air Force One on Friday. The president was joined on a trip to Ohio by members of that state’s Congressional delegation.

Liberal idealism destroying capital creation

Editor, The Times:

Froma Harrop, in her March 7 column, “Obama tax proposals are no recipe for revolution” [Times], ends by saying, “The rich can keep their heads — and may they prosper another day.”

The headline and ending reveal two points I wish to make.

First, Harrop lacks sufficient understanding to argue economics, so instead mocks Republicans to cheerlead for The One. She even stoops to the ridiculous canard that allowing Bush-tax cuts to expire is not a tax hike. Oh really?

Second, it’s not the rich Harrop should worry about; it’s the hard-pressed, working-class Democrats she could care about.

Any serious examination of tax-policy consequences will show, here and all over the world, that lower taxes on high earners, capital gains and businesses are the best ways to create jobs and lift living standards for working people.

Obamanomics has already deepened the recession. It will soon lead to rampant inflation, continued high unemployment and low growth, the result of letting liberal idealism destroy capital creation, free markets and the creative energy of the private sector.

This, I believe, is certain. The only question is: When will Americans wake up?

— Robert Wilkes, Bellevue

At the end of the loan line, ready to put money under a mattress

The current situation this nation is experiencing has been the work of 28 years of deregulation by our government.

Banks are looking at the end of the line. They are experiencing the consequences of their own lending practices.

The housing market got so saturated with new homes, the mentality became, “If you build it, they will come.”

I wonder if banks made new lending procedures with the intent of keeping the largest of the building companies in business. In doing so, these large companies wouldn’t default on the multimillion- or multibillion-dollar bank loans. And, the circle continues.

If I apply for a loan with the sole intent to invest in the stock market, am I really making money?

When the market got flooded with this type of investing, it got inflated. Then, in order to lower the interest rate to unbelievable lows, the Department of the Treasury basically discouraged people from making “safe” investments.

I almost feel better taking the money I have out of the bank and putting it under my mattress.

Expecting President Obama to solve this in six weeks is ridiculous! Good luck, Obama!

— Joel Schroder, Seattle

Rich getting richer, not by an invisible hand

I am compelled to respond to Redmond resident Henry Kroeger’s letter to the editor [“The envy of the world: free-enterprise system,” Northwest Voices, March 7].

Kroeger asks: “Do you really want the government to take care of you?” I think he forgets who the government is in a democracy. It is the people. And yes, we, the government, take care of ourselves in the form of Social Security, Medicare, unemployment, etc.

Ever since Franklin D. Roosevelt, we have had government programs in place to help the poor and unfortunate get back on their feet. Roosevelt was a very popular president then and even now.

The fact is, a big majority of people, myself included, voted for Obama because of what policies he would put in place.

Here is something to keep in mind: If we don’t help those who are struggling to keep their houses, if we don’t spend money to stimulate the economy and if we don’t reverse the trend of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, there will be a revolution. You could say goodbye to the United States as we know it.

The fact is the rich have gotten richer precisely because of policies put in place by the government. This isn’t just the “invisible hand of the market” working here.

Study after study has shown that the poorest among us pay the biggest percentage of our income in taxes. I am talking about all taxes: local, state and federal combined.

For some reason, Republicans forget Americans pay more than simply federal income taxes.

— Paul McDevitt, Seattle

Glossing over 40 years of conservative-economic policy

I am responding to the March 7 letter to the editor by Henry Kroeger of Redmond.

In our national debate on economic policy, too much is being glossed over.

Let us consider what conservative economic policy over the past 40 years has given us: tax breaks for shipping jobs overseas, trade treaties creating an uneven playing field for family-wage jobs, deregulation of financial markets, failure to enforce antitrust law, a growing gap between rich and working poor, a disappearing middle class, medical-care costs spiraling out of control, working people becoming homeless, family farms all but gone, consolidation of news organizations into fewer and fewer hands and the importation of dangerous food, toys and other products.

Who has benefited from this other than the ultrarich?

Go ahead, try to explain what this does for families or our country.

Tell it to the engineer who now flips hamburgers just to survive. Tell it to the dad who now works three jobs and, therefore, does not have the time or energy to invest in his family. Tell it to the family that is bankrupt by medical-care costs. Tell it to the senior who must choose between paying for heating or medicine.

— Arnie Knudson, Lynwood

Spending our way out of this stuck state

I have a suggestion to help get us out of recession. During World War I and II, people were asked to do their patriotic duty and buy war bonds. Why not institute a national “Buy Something Day” once a month?

How about for the next two years on, say, the 5th of the month — when people’s paychecks are in and their Social Security is deposited — everyone in the country is asked to buy something they wouldn’t ordinarily buy. Something other than necessities, such as food, gasoline or basic clothing.

If someone was broke or laid off, it could be something as small as a newspaper, magazine or a single flower from a florist. Just something material, preferably made in America. People with more money could perhaps consider buying larger-ticket items they have been putting off purchasing. I’m on disability and have a low income myself, but would be happy to purchase something extra once a month to help the manufacturing and the retail industries.

It’s just a thought — something we could all easily do that might help move things out of this stuck state. That is, if everybody did it!

— Joy Jaber, Hansville

Comments | More in Barack Obama administration, Economic stimulus bills, Federal bailouts


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