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Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 30, 2013 at 11:48 AM

Federal Helium Program remains despite criticism

Program sustains itself

Members of the 2006 Macy's Thanksgiving Parade Inflation Team prepare the Garfield balloon. About 42 percent of the U.S. supply of helium still comes from the U.S. reserve. (Chang W. Lee / The New York Times)

Members of the 2006 Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade Inflation Team prepare the Garfield balloon. About 42 percent of the U.S. supply of helium still comes from the U.S. reserve. (Chang W. Lee / The New York Times)

Congress can’t see the absurdity of trying to close the Federal Helium Program [“Federal Helium Program keeps afloat despite attempts to pop it,” News, April 28]. This is an example of ideology smothering practicality.The program employs a small number of people and the sales of helium cover the cost of the program. The private sector won’t step up production because the government sells the helium at a low cost.

The solution proposed for this “problem?” Shut down the program and let private industry produce helium to be sold at a higher cost to the users. Government costs would not be lowered at all, since the program pays for itself. Users would have to pay more. Only in an America where corporate greed is rampant would this be seen as a solution.

John Russell, Seattle

0 Comments | Topics: balloon, Federal Helium Program, helium

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