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September 16, 2011 at 3:00 PM

Advice for the deficit-reduction panel: discretionary spending

Posted by Letters editor

Keep the money home

I am surprised how little discussion there is of making cuts to foreign aid, foreign military engagement and subsidies to farmers and domestic industry (e.g., oil companies).

We do have a serious deficit problem. Let’s keep our money home. While we do need a worldwide military presence, I question the need to fight wars on foreign soil.

— Steve Morrow, Bothell

No program should be spared

Reduce deficit by a balanced mix of increased taxes and spending cuts.

All programs should face cuts. It is hard to believe there is a program that does not have any inefficiencies. Change the mentality to focus on results and look for continuous improvement in obtaining them.

— Fred Pasquale, Sumner

Cut space program

Ask, “Is it a need or is it a want?”

Cut the space program. We can go to the moon later. We need food and shelter now. People are losing their homes. One in six Americans is living in poverty.

Cut foreign aid. We need to help ourselves right now. It is possible that the aid never reaches the people who need it most anyway. Charity begins at home.

Stop paving over our farmlands and buying food from foreign countries. We need to have a self-supporting country. Farms also provide jobs.

Tax the wealthy. There is no reason for some to have billions of dollars while others go hungry.

Bring industry back to the U.S.A. Put a tariff on goods that are sent out of the country to be processed and then brought back into the country to be sold.

Cut military spending. Bring our soldiers home and pay them to guard our country’s borders.

Give grants equally to the American students as well as to the foreign students. Our government is giving our country away.

— Mary Miller, Shoreline

Reconsider trade policies

Given our high rate of unemployment and an underclass of unskilled labor, when most of the consumer products in our marketplace are now imports, it seems logical to question the wisdom of our free-trade policies.

Should we now consider imposing trade barriers and bring those overseas jobs back home so that, with dignity and pride, our willing workers can once again proudly stamp and label our clothing, shoes, electronics, etc., “Made in America”?

Otherwise, I fear this is goodbye to the American middle class.

— Douglas W. Johnson, Issaquah

Hit the reset button

We are currently “importing” people into our country and exporting jobs. This is a recipe for a prolonged recession. We need to hit the trade reset button and renounce all treaties that compromise our economic sovereignty. Economic sustainability depends upon our having trade reciprocity with other nations.

Enact a “open door” tariff on all countries (except OPEC) whose exports to our country exceed by 10 percent our imports to them. The tariff would be assessed on all items that retail over $25 and would start at 20 percent and increase to 40 percent in a few years. This tariff would encourage a jobs repatriation back to the USA.

“Free trade” works well if everyone is playing by the rules. With an “open door” tariff, our government officials won’t have to go to China and beg them to appreciate their currency (and be denied).

The revenue from the tariff would go toward creating jobs programs for those unemployed who work in the kind of jobs shipped overseas. In time, the new jobs created would provide increased payroll tax revenue which help ease the deficit. Budget-deficit reductions are necessary but more painful to enact. A rising tide lifts all boats.

— Norman Cornutt, Seattle

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Running through much of the comments on all the elements of this editorial series is the notion that taxes should increase, and that all,...  Posted on September 17, 2011 at 7:12 PM by BobCommentator. Jump to comment

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