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Letter to the Editor: Legislature should have reexamined spending
In the recent Beachcomber editorial, the writer could not fathom why the voters voted to repeal the candy tax. It is this total cluelessness, shared by most of the legislature, that has created this crisis.
Why oppose a modest tax for a worthy cause? A matter of principle! Just as many of us buy American when a foreign-built product is better made or boycott Alaska and Idaho tourism because they shoot wolves or increase their utility bills to pay for green power. As a matter of principle, others vote against all taxes until the legislature has made truly tough choices, especially when they used a loophole to vote for taxes in violation of a previous initiative the electorate had passed.
If all state salaries were frozen in January 2009, we would have money to keep more staff today, especially if the workers were paying for health insurance at the private sector level. If we had never paid for health or education benefits for illegal immigrants, we would have more money today to provide Medicaid benefits to our legal citizens and their children. And if the ferry system had constructed new boats out-of-state, while crewing the boats at the Coast Guard minimum, Vashon and the other ferry-dependent communities would be facing less of a crisis today.
These are tough times. Nothing should be cut from basic services and education until all programs created after 2004 have been eliminated and management/support has been reduced to free funds for employees who directly serve our citizens, whether it is at DSHS, the local schools or the state patrol.
Perhaps if the legislature had made more of these tough choices and the state employees had reduced their salaries and increased their payment of health insurance to at least 26 percent before the election, things would be different.
— Scott Harvey