Surefire Return -- I enjoyed the stories and capsules on Spokane's nonprofit community services (Philanthropy Issue, 8/7/03). These organizations are places we can invest our money, however small the amount, and be sure of getting a huge return in community benefits.
Don't be misled by the appalling waste of your tax dollars; put some money where the return is surefire and tangible: Spokane's nonprofits. That's the glue that keeps us together.
Waste No Time -- I would like to thank The Inlander for an excellent article detailing the history of the Hanford Reservation in Washington state ("To Clean or Not to Clean," 8/07/03).
President Bush and his Department of Energy are currently planning to make Hanford a National Radioactive Waste Dump through a variety of means. The latest misguided proposal will require over 70,000 truckloads of deadly radioactive and chemical waste (each one a potential dirty bomb) to travel the nation's highways, passing through numerous communities on their way to disposal at Hanford. President Bush's plan then calls for the radioactive waste to be simply dumped in unlined trenches at Hanford, threatening the future health of the Columbia River.
This outrageous plan is being opposed through a citizens' initiative to the Washington state legislature with a very simple demand. I-297 requires that the Hanford site, the most toxic real estate in the Western Hemisphere, be cleaned up before any more waste can be dumped.
Cleaning up our mess before we make another not only protects human health and the environment, but also ensures the continuation of well-paying jobs in the cleanup industry at Hanford.
I-297 is drawing together a rarely seen coalition of peace and justice groups, mainstream environmental activists, and faith-based organizations, all determined to reverse the shortsighted actions of the current administration. We ask for help from people across Washington state to gather signatures this year to insure we make the ballot in 2004 and stop nuclear contamination while we still have time. For more information, please visit our Web site: www.protectwashington.org. Or call (509) 747-4820 to receive a petition.
I-297 Eastern Washington Coordinator
Big Spenders Everywhere -- Andy Kelly had a point in his letter, "Big Spenders are Republican"(7/31/03), about the current lot of Republican politicians as big spenders. The current $2.3 trillion federal budget is four times bigger than it was 20 years before. Both the Democrats and Republicans are to blame.
George W. Bush has not slowed spending, and I'm sure you can't tell the Democrats are not still in charge. Add to that a $450 billion deficit for 2003 that you could look at as another tax that we taxpayers will have to pay some day. By the way, the interest on the current $6.5 trillion debt is about the same we are spending on the military budget each year: about 15 percent. Clinton made no reduction on the debt total.
Mr. Kelly gets his history during the 1980s a little skewed by forgetting that every Reagan budget was met with the same refrain from the Democrats that it arrived "dead upon arrival." If anyone should be held responsible for the debt, it should be two guys named Tip O'Neill and Tom Foley, who were the House Speakers of their day. The famous Clinton surpluses were only projections of a surplus if we didn't have an economic turndown in 1999 or a terrorist tragedy in 2001.
The economy did not improve until 1995 when the Republicans took over the House and gave confidence to businesses that the Democrats could now be held in check on spending. The economy started down with the Justice Dept./Clinton attack on Microsoft. Remember that?
Taxpayers who pay into the Social Security System for 45 years should expect to get some of it back. It would not make them Republicans or Democrats, it would make them stupid!
Last, if Mr. Kelly's numbers are to be believed, the top taxpayers get the biggest tax break because they do pay the largest amount of tax. The top 5 percent pay over 50 percent of the progressive federal tax the liberals established in the tax code when they ran the show. I know what to do, let's give an income tax break to people who don't pay income taxes!
Why is there so much hatred aimed at the people who pull all the load, and never any thanks? Why is there so much sympathy for those who can walk on their own but would rather ride in the cart and complain that the others are not pulling fast enough?
Gerald J. Quinn Sr.
Making the Call on Recalls? -- In reading the article "Total Recall" (7/31/03), comparing California's recall election and the strong mayor election in Spokane, what caught my eye was the sentence that Gray Davis was being recalled in his first year in office. While this is technically correct, Gray Davis is in his second term as governor. The way the article was written makes the electorate of California seem rather fickle, wanting to recall a governor with less than one year in office. The California electorate may be fickle, but they have had Gray Davis as governor for almost five years -- and, as a statewide officeholder, a lot longer. Five years is plenty of time for a recall drive to get traction.
It is this type of news writing that makes readers wonder if the journalist is trying to promote a particular point of view or opinion.