The Herald of Everett, Washington
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Published: Friday, February 22, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
State budget

Demos' DNA has spendthrift gene

Regarding the article, "Roads plan hikes gas tax": Washington state received $8.4 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in grants, contracts and loans. The intent of the act was to "create and/or save jobs" targeting infrastructure. Since that language had "save" in it, Washington state doled it out to the counties based on the greater need of those counties. The counties used that money to fill gaps as they saw fit.
The map listed on shows how much each county received. Sixty-three percent went to local government and private enterprises while only 8 percent went to transportation. A cursory check shows approximately 60 percent of the money is not yet spent. When I look at funding by state agency program, I notice that a vast majority of the money is being targeted to social programs and, in desperate times, unnecessary programs. Why do we feel we need to spend as if we've got money to spare? I'm sure everyone who benefits from any of the programs will differ, but they can't just spend and spend and spend. Oh, wait a minute; they can, as long as they continue to raise taxes. And they are at the city, county and state levels even with surplus recovery money. Now an increase to the gas tax to pay for roads and bridges (infrastructure). This liberal-run state will never adjust to reality; they will continue to tax and spend and it doesn't matter if we are in good times or bad times. That's just how they are wired. They do it because they can.
Howard M. Burpee
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Herald Editorial Board

Jon Bauer, Opinion Editor:

Carol MacPherson, Editorial Writer:

Neal Pattison, Executive Editor:

Josh O'Connor, Publisher:

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Feel strongly about something? Share it with the community by writing a letter to the editor. Send letters by e-mail to, by fax to 425-339-3458 or mail to The Herald - Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We'll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 250 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it. If your letter is published, please wait 30 days before submitting another. Have a question about letters? Contact Carol MacPherson at or 425-339-3472.

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