Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for April 21

Think twice about cuts to higher education

Some budget cuts are unavoidable in the midst of this economic crisis. Let’s hope college administrators are very, very careful about cutting faculty and faculty recruitment. Our institutions of higher learning are the geese which lay the golden eggs in our diverse, high-tech economy.

Think of it this way: If the University of Washington and Washington State University cut basketball and football coaching staffs, stopped recruiting and significantly reduced the number of athletic scholarships for two years or more, how long would it take for the programs to recover and become competitive again?

I’m really not talking about sports programs. Apply this thinking to academic staff and research programs upon which the reputations of both universities and other public colleges and universities in Washington state depend.

If we cut too deeply, can we afford the long term consequences?

Alan M. Corwin

Lacey

We are responsible for this economic mess

President Chicken Little said, “The sky is falling so pass my $800 billion economic stimulus bill.”

Congress listened and obeyed.

Then in March, President Chicken Little said, “The sky is falling so pass my $3.5 trillion deficit-filled budget.” Congress listened and obeyed.

Expect President Chicken Little to once again say, “The sky is falling so pass another economic stimulus bill.” Expect Congress to listen and obey.

This after the unemployment rate approaches 10 percent (true rate over 14 percent), more bank failures and more economic decline.

President Chicken Little (who voted for the October $750 billion economic stimulus bill without reading or understanding it), and other Bush whackers blame the previous administration for most of this year’s deficit. Yet Congress had a Democratic majority then, as it does today.

Pouring trillions of borrowed and printed dollars into saving an economy going bust to continue our high living is fiscal irresponsibility at its worst.

Politicians say they must save financial institutions that are too big to let fail. Is the Federal Reserve too big to fail? Nope. Is the U.S. Treasury too big to fail? Nope. Will our nation recover enough to maintain its major economic leadership in the world? Questionable.

Will voters stop electing incompetent politicians who make promises they cannot keep? Nope. Will future generations be able to support Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and a $11 trillion deficit? Nope. Who is responsible for this?

We are.

Bill Pilkey

Lacey

Other governments seem to recognize a good thing

The April 8 wire service story “Tanker competition this summer” nicely summarized the ongoing Washington, D.C., fiasco that has needlessly put at risk an absolute cornerstone of America’s military mobility.

Not just “entering old age,” the Boeing 707-based KC-135 tankers first entered service in 1957.

Boeing’s lease-to-own proposal came from Congress, not the Pentagon. It was widely criticized as being too expensive. Given 10 years of inflation, I wonder how much a “better” deal will cost now.

Meanwhile: While the oldest Stratotankers are retired, many of those remaining now fly under load restrictions due to basic structural weakening, making each mission less effective. Bigger, more reliable KC-767s could have been flying those missions by now.

Waiting for years for a decision, Boeing has kept the 767 line barely (and expensively), open at Everett by producing a few tankers for our allies. Unlike our government those countries seem to recognize a good thing when they see it.

A foreign competitor has now exploited our delay by partnering with companies in the South for final assembly of an Airbus-based tanker. This has created regional opposition in Congress to a Boeing deal and also sets up potential conflict with the very European countries we are trying to influence on other important matters.

The Bush administration, having botched yet another vital defense policy issue, has departed, leaving President Obama’s team to deal with the mess.

Mark Foutch

Olympia

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