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March 24, 2012 at 4:00 PM

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Differences between Democrat and GOP budgets are small

Both parties cutting crucial programs

The message of Andrew Garber’s March 17 article [“Dems, GOP budgets less than 1% apart,” NWSaturday] is no cause for celebration.

Both parties are cutting crucial survival programs — Disability Lifeline, Temporary Aid to Needy Families, Working Connections Childcare and the Housing and Essential Needs Program. Such cuts to desperately needed programs are unconscionable at any level. And yet, the state’s massive corporations and millionaires/billionaires have once again skated through a legislative session without a serious attempt ever being made to put their riches to work for the public.

The governor’s latest proposed sleight of hand with city and county sales tax is no better a solution to the revenue crisis than the Republicans’ wish to undermine state pensions and the Democrats’ shenanigans with school funding. The only solution — sensible, real and needed — is to take the state’s tax burden off the poor where it now lies, to close loopholes that benefit business and tax the wealth of the state’s wealthiest corporations and individuals.

— Helen Gilbert, Seattle

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