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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 16, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Tax day tea protests

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Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times

Several thousand rallied on the steps of the state Capitol in Olympia to protest proposals to increase taxes.

Shared sacrifice betters the country

Editor, The Times:

I am appalled by these manufactured tea-party protests [“Tax rallies say: Enough already,” page one, April 16]. That there are Americans who are so self-centered that they have no sense of responsibility to America is repulsive.

We live in a country that asks very little of us in the way of sacrifice. There is no draft for national military service to protect this country. There is no requirement that we offer a certain amount of volunteering to make this country a better place.

All that is asked of our citizens is that we provide a small amount of the money we earn to share the cost of basic necessities that would be exorbitantly expensive for each of us alone.

I cannot afford a private firefighting force, but by paying my taxes, I can share in the cost of a fire department that protects my family and me.

I cannot afford a single private acre of recreational land, but by paying my taxes, I can share in the cost of a national-park system that includes such glories as Mount Rainier, Crater Lake and Yellowstone.

I cannot afford private tutors for my children, but by paying my taxes, I can share in the cost of a public-education system that makes a promise to all, not just a few.

Perhaps these elite tea-bag protesters can afford all these things out of their dividend earnings and their offshore bank accounts. But for us ordinary working Americans, we’ll do things the old-fashioned way — through hard work and shared sacrifice.

— Andrew Hummel-Schluger, Briar

Protesting irresponsible government

At the heart of our American beliefs lies a foundation of independence defined by self-evident truths: that “we the people” are divinely endowed with inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; and that government’s role is to be a servant of “we the people” to secure our God-given rights.

The tax day tea parties, held in protest of the massive stimulus spending, reflect a different reality both for government and “we the people.”

Our independence comes at a price, paid with the lives of courageous Americans. We pay that ongoing price because our independence allows us to be individuals who stand united as one nation, indivisible, for a cause we all believe in: freedom. Yet our freedom and its underlying independence reveals one distinguishing fact: It does not come without responsibility.

Responsibility is what makes America great. Yet responsibility is precisely what is missing. None of us can spend our way, with borrowed money, to prosperity. What happened to responsibility?

I stand in protest of the massive stimulus spending approved without our consent. This course of irresponsible government action will inevitably force increased taxes on future generations, restricting liberty and the pursuit of happiness that makes life worth living.

— Justin Kawabori, Redmond

Taxes are down, dropping

Thanks for your article “Despite ‘tea party’ tempest, tax burden down, dropping” [News, April 16]. It is critical to publicize the facts.

It is ironic and somewhat tragic that well-meaning citizens can be protesting taxes when their taxes are down and dropping. It shows how people who don’t pay close attention can be manipulated like puppets for agendas that benefit others.

If we are to have a country with a future, we need to invest in it as a society. The government needs to invest in our future and we need taxes for that.

The Obama administration is amazing in having managed to initiate so much while reducing our tax burden. That is what we ought to celebrate, not some misguided, stale anti-tax slogan.

— Leonard Goodisman, Bothell

Tsunami of inflation to come

Are you misled, myopic or repeating the drivel of The New York Times? The inflation/devaluation tsunami is coming on the near horizon as a result of out-of-control spending.

The near-term lower federal tax burden for most is nothing but a sham to lull us to sleep before the “big one.” The wave will wash over liberals and conservatives alike. These tea parties were the early warning any thinking American should heed.

Americans, arise! You only have oppressive government (at all levels) to lose.

— Jack Lay, Kingston

Where was outrage for Iraq spending?

This tea-bag party nonsense does nothing more than further discredit the participants by being more of a blatant display of ignorance and hypocrisy than a demonstration for greater fiscal responsibility.

How quickly these people forget their support of dumping trillions of taxpayer dollars into Iraq, none of which has or ever will benefit any of the average taxpayers here in the U.S. Where was your outrage then?

That money could have been spent to build our own country’s infrastructure and prevent this crisis before it happened, but it was squandered on a needless war where the end was never even defined, let alone justified by the means. At least the stimulus is an attempt to help spur our economy back into growth, a potential solution at one of the most pressing problems facing our country, to help all of us get back on our feet someday. When are you going to get it?

You complained over the course of the past eight years when people would not unite behind the president for his war; now you complain because the majority of us are uniting behind the guy who was fairly elected on the platform to fix the mess yours left behind.

— Patrick Maunder, Seattle

Spending money to rebuild the economy

I am sure that Republicans have a right to complain about the stimulus package in rebuilding our economy. For the past eight years, they have turned a surplus into a deficit. It is just like they have trashed a house and now complain we are spending too much money to rebuild it.

Calling for an anti-government-revolution tea party and not paying taxes doesn’t sound patriotic to me.

— David Chan, Seattle

Comments | More in Politics, Taxes

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