December 15, 2013 at 7:15 AM
It has shunned the jobless and protected corporations
So, let’s give Congress a pass because we avoided budget gridlock and another debacle over the debt ceiling? And, as you infer, the consequences at the polls would be avoided [“A federal budget deal, and no drama,” Opinion, Dec. 12].
We have sunk to new lows. I hope and trust the American people will figure out why this is happening, who is responsible and vote them out of office. Spoiler alert: that would be the radical element of the Republican (or tea) Party.
They have taken food from the needy, cost us billions, ignored immigrants, shunned the jobless and those just trying to survive. All while protecting the corporations, the military-industrial complex and the wealthy at the expense of education and training, infrastructure and the other investments needed to rebuild a civil society and reverse our current historic inequality.
November 21, 2013 at 7:35 AM
Congress needs to end this financial crisis
The Times is rightly concerned about “scant review” by the Postal Regulatory Commission [“Deliver scrutiny of the UPS-Amazon deal,” Opinion, Nov. 16].
The PRC seems reluctant to turn down any move by postal management to make deep-discount deals with big mailers, or to curb proposed reductions in service that would slow the mail and harm local newspapers and others who rely on timely mail delivery.
October 13, 2013 at 7:31 AM
Term limits should be enacted for members of congress
While the Republicans and Democrats argue, we’re all losing. Valuable services are being denied and now we’re facing default.
Government is too big. What is the alternative? We can’t completely close shop and start over. The answer is to fire the employees. If the people working for me fail to do what I ask of them, do I quit and let them continue? No, I look for new employees.
In this case, we need to get rid of every current person now sitting in Washington, D.C. Term limits must be enacted, or someday we’ll be right back here again.
Steve Drake, Seattle
September 9, 2013 at 6:53 AM
Support local businesses
Americans are more frustrated than ever with inaction in Congress during these uncertain economic times.
But I’d like to give credit to Rep. Adam Smith and thank him for supporting the bipartisan Marketplace Fairness Act that is being discussed in Congress. This overdue legislation is aimed at protecting local jobs and restoring rights back to states like ours.
The congressman recently visited the Best Buy store I manage in Tukwila. We have more than 100 local employees, and I believe Smith is a strong supporter of local jobs.
Because of an out-of-date tax loophole, many online retailers based outside of Washington are given an unfair competitive advantage by the government over companies including Best Buy and Amazon, by not having to collect state sales taxes.
We don’t want any special breaks from the government, just a fair shake. The Marketplace Fairness Act closes that loophole and ensures that every business plays by the same rules.
I appreciate the congressman’s support of hundreds of local businesses and their employees who just want a shot at competing in a truly free market.
Bodhi Hagar, general manager of Best Buy store, Tukwila
September 5, 2013 at 6:59 PM
Obama is embarrassing us
President Obama went to a synagogue in Sweden, and said that his plans to retaliate against the Syrian government are motivated by the example of Raoul Wallenberg, who issued passports to thousands of Hungarian Jews, saving them from the Nazis in 1944. [“Obama, in Sweden, likens U.S. quest to Wallenberg’s,” News, Sept. 5.]
Obama forgot to mention how many innocent people Wallenberg killed, trying to teach their government a lesson. (Answer: none.)
I wish Obama would just stay at home and stop embarrassing us all.
Kris DeWeese, Port Townsend
Support the president
President Roosevelt kept the U.S. out of World War II for more than two years, reflecting powerful anti-interventionist sentiments held by American citizens.
Had Pearl Harbor not occurred, one can only speculate on what the consequences might have been. Nazi or Soviet hegemony over Western Europe and Britain? Japanese hegemony over Southeast Asia and Australia?
Sometimes popular opinion has it wrong. War crimes must not be ignored by the international community and the leader of that community is the United States.
A low-risk, offensive operation by the United States, calculated to disrupt and discourage obvious war crimes by the Syrian regime, seems a more than reasonable use of our military resources. It would demonstrate that our country still stands as a beacon of decency and human rights in an uncertain world.
I support the president.
Jim White, Lake Forest Park
March 25, 2013 at 4:37 PM
Hyperinflation to follow
After four years, the U.S. Senate has finally passed a budget [“Senate passes first budget in four years,” News, March 24]. The Senate budget proposes a $3.7 trillion budget for 2014 and a $566 annual budget deficit for the next 10 years, adding $5.2 trillion to your national debt.
Adding the forecast deficit to our current $16 trillion debt, the U.S. will be facing a $21 billion debt in 10 years. The federal government is already borrowing more than 40 cents of every dollar it spends. The Senate budget substantially increases our national debt.
The Senate budget makes no provision for repaying U.S. debt. If the Federal Reserve keeps printing money to buy Treasury debt, since the bond market will refuse to buy it at some point, can hyperinflation be far behind?
–Walter A. Appel, Lynwood
March 22, 2013 at 4:04 PM
Sen. Harry Reid’s response inappropriate
Have we become so calloused that when tragic events occur, nothing seems to faze us?
Where is the outrage over the insensitive, outlandish remarks by Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid?
Speaking on the Senate floor, Reid had the gall to link the deaths of seven United States Marines [“U.S. bans mortar rounds after blast,” News, March 20] to the sequester. The senator’s remarks are unconscionable and I believe he owes the American people in general an apology, and certainly the U.S. Marine Corps in particular.
His politicizing such a horrendous occasion is thoroughly disgusting and is beneath the dignity of a Senate leader. It will be interesting to see just how his office will “spin” his latest gaff.
–Boyce Clark, Edmonds
March 10, 2013 at 6:30 AM
Deficit should be dealt with on micro level
I am no fan of the sequester: Some of the programs cut by it are vital programs that should never have been touched [“Nobody budged,” page one, March 2].
But seeking a grand bargain is a recipe for a long, drawn-out battle, and will probably entail numerous capitulations to special interests. Instead, Congress should pass small bills to fix each program hurt by the sequester individually. And those who oppose such legislation should be held accountable for it on a program-by-program basis.
Preferably, these bills will be fully funded, so they don’t add to the deficit, but that is another story. Maybe tackling things in this manner will allow programs like Social Security, which do not contribute to the deficit, to be kept off the table.
–Benjamin Schreiber, Kirkland
March 6, 2013 at 5:00 PM
Outrage is present
I am responding to one sentence in Lance Dickie’s March 1 column, “Our fiscal Doomsday Machine” [Opinion]: “Outrage at the contagion of tax avoidance in this country would be welcome.”
Well, I am outraged. I am outraged that tax policies, and tax avoidance (and evasion) by corporations and the wealthiest 1 percent continue to rob America of the capacity to tackle our fiscal problems and fund the nation most of us want, the one most of us voted for when we re-elected Barack Obama.
I am outraged at a far-right Republican minority that gleefully refuses to raise the revenues that would fund Obama’s efforts to put people back to work and improve our aging infrastructure, even though that’s what the majority of us expected to happen. I am outraged that what enables them to do so is not the strength of their ideas, but longstanding machinations (gerrymandering, filibustering) that are nowhere to be found in our Constitution. I am outraged that people blame the president and both parties equally, when it’s obvious the problem is with the Republicans and those who vote for them.
We had a choice and we made it. Did you ever think that the losing party would get its way every time by stamping its feet and refusing to play? Well, I didn’t. And for that, I am outraged.
–Penny L. Miller, Issaquah
February 28, 2013 at 4:00 PM
Government spending not acknowledged
Sen. Patty Murray’s op-ed “Avoiding sequestration requires balance, cooperation, certainty” [Opinion, Feb. 27] lays out a purportedly fair plan while blaming the opposition in advance it if fails. What Murray fails to acknowledge is how badly government spending is out of control.
If Murray’s plan to raise revenue by new taxes on the wealthy and oil companies was used to pay down the debt while at the same time cutting spending, it would be an admirable plan. However, the vast array of new spending laid out by the president in his recent State of the Union address is indicative of the out-of-control government and will certainly consume any new revenue.
Murray claims that a strong middle class is essential to prosperity. If the current government spending continues, it is inevitable that the middle class will pay a very large burden sooner or later, and the debt is still growing.
–David Cutler, Medina
Low-income, elderly and disabled will see consequences
I couldn’t agree more with Sen. Patty Murray.
If Congress and the president don’t reach a deal to avoid sequestration, thousands of Washington seniors now living independently will be in real trouble. Across-the-board spending cuts will slash the budget for Project-Based Section 8 housing, which provides affordable apartments for low-income elderly and the disabled.
Bellwether Housing is an independent nonprofit. We own and operate more than 1,800 apartments. Particularly vulnerable to the upcoming March 1 sequester are approximately 400 Section 8-supported Bellwether apartments that serve seniors, people with disabilities and formerly homeless families. The residents pay 30 percent of their income for rent. The Section 8 contracts provided by the federal government are critical to our mission to serve our tenants with safe, affordable, high-quality housing.
If Uncle Sam breaks his word by not paying those rents, the owners won’t be able to pay their mortgages and eventually may be forced into default. Seniors most likely will have to go to Medicaid-funded nursing homes, an option that will cost taxpayers roughly $50,000 a year compared with about $8,000 a year for Section 8.
Across-the-board cutting is penny-wise and pound-foolish.
–Sarah Rick Lewontin, executive director, Bellwether Housing, Bellevue
Murray plays blame game
Talk about irony. Sen. Patty Murray’s blame-it-all-on-Republicans lament over the deadlock in Congress, featured on The Times Feb. 27 Opinion page, tells of Washington constituents’ anger and disgust expressed on her recent in-state tour.
Right on, Sen. Murray, and your holier-than-thou sniffling perfectly exemplified the main cause.
–Don Gulliford, Mercer Island
Budget cuts are not the solution
I was surprised that your excellent columnist, Danny Westneat, bought into the spurious arguments of Rand Paul and his ilk about the across-the-board cuts that probably will occur this week because of the law passed in 2011 [“Time to sequester the hype,” NWWednesday, Feb. 27].
Some facts are that this is the only administration in recession in many years that actually has cut government jobs. In the Reagan administration, more people were hired. The budget deficit has actually shrunk in the last three years. Yet the Party of No keeps saying we have a spending problem.
The administration has already proposed cuts of over $1 trillion in 10 years, yet more is demanded. These cuts come on top of previous reductions and are truly the wrong way to go, placing crucial and necessary programs at risk of reduction or elimination.
Does anyone really believe we have a handle on early childhood education and that more doesn’t need to be done? Do we really have enough food and meat inspectors? Are the long-term unemployed really in a safety-net situation or are they told to just get a job? Is our crumbling infrastructure slated for long-term rehabilitation and replacement?
When do we say “enough already” and show these small-minded haters the door and govern this country from a position of hope and expanded horizons, not small-minded, poorly informed, parochial nitwits. We can do big things.
–Jack McClurg, Marysville
Spending increase should be cut
I was struck by the honesty and accuracy of Danny Westneat’s column, “Time To Sequester The Hype,” and Sen. Patty Murray’s fundamentally untrue op-ed “Avoiding sequestration requires balance, cooperation, certainty” in Wednesday’s Seattle Times.
The Democrats already got their “balanced approach” tax increase in December, with no corresponding reductions in government spending. Now it is the time to cut the government’s yearly 4-percent increase in growth in spending by 1 percent.
Too bad Westneat is not our representative in the Senate. He would bring some honesty and sanity to the management of government.
–Jim Arthur, Tukwila
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