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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 11, 2009 at 9:00 AM

Senators’ budget votes

A slap in the face

We are shocked, amazed and frankly angry that our two senators, Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, voted for a tax cut that will raise the estate-tax exemption to $10 million per couple ($5 million for singles) and lower the top rate of taxation from 45 percent to 35 percent — a tax giveaway for the superrich [“House, Senate budget plans seen as wins for Obama,” seattletimes.com, Politics & Government, April 3].

The country is hurting; 5 million people have lost their jobs; homes are being foreclosed on; banks teeter on the edge of bankruptcy and taxpayer money is being used to stabilize them. The government is necessarily going deep into debt to try to salvage the economy.

Yet our senators, along with 49 others (42 Republican), have voted to forgo 91 billion in tax dollars from the richest of the rich, people who should be paying their share.

We are all being asked to sacrifice for the good of the country.

This tax giveaway to the wealthy is worthy of the previous administration and a slap in the face of the American public, their constituents in Washington state and their president, who is struggling to right the economy. Sens. Murray and Cantwell should be ashamed.

— Rosalie and Laurence Lang, Seattle

Where is the outcry?

I have seen no mention in the paper or the news about Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray’s votes on two amendments to the budget bill, not even in the “How your senator voted” section.

Both of our senators voted against Amendment 811, which would protect us against usury by the credit-card companies. It would cap the interest rates that they can charge us at 15 percent, as opposed to the outrageous 30-percent rates that we now see.

If a company cannot make money charging 15 percent interest, they should not be in business. It would also allow people in debt to have a chance to climb out of the hole that they are in, which sometimes is due to circumstances beyond their control.

Both of our senators voted for Amendment 873, which extends the tax break for billionaires on inheritances (often mislabeled by rich propagandists as the “death tax”).

Why have our senators let down the working folk of this state? Why is there no mention of this anywhere in the news, no outcry?

— Roger Burton, Bothell

Unconscionable votes

I am astounded that both our U.S. senators, Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, have decided to give additional tax breaks to multimillionaires.

What were they thinking when they voted with all the Republicans to increase the amount that will be exempt from estate taxes to $10 million? And to reduce taxes on estates of $10 million (for a couple) from 45 percent to 35 percent? This will cost taxpayers $100 billion over the next 10 years.

Their votes are unconscionable. I am beyond stunned at this shift of the tax burden from multimillionaires onto the rest of us.

— Carole Glickfeld, Seattle

Comments | More in Economy, Taxes

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