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Weighing in

A weekly look at reader comments and reactions to the news

Readers offered strong reactions to the differing ways state and local leaders want to balance their budgets. Gov. Chris Gregoire is calling for tax increases to help offset the projected revenue shortfall in 2010, while Spokane County commissioners are cutting jobs.

•Gregoire’s call for increasing unspecified taxes came as she unveiled her proposed spending plan.

Lordstorm: I have a novel idea. Maybe those in charge should take a pay cut. We hear about cutting back but I have yet to see their wages go down.

Gramma: Didn’t our ancestors leave England because of the taxes imposed on them? We must cut our spending because of the economy but big government just dips deeper into the pockets of the public instead of cutting costs.

greyhound2: Gee, when it comes to getting $750 billion for the banks, or $250 billion for Afghanistan, that process only takes about a week. When it comes to health care … or education and other programs that actually benefit the American people, those debates go on and on forever. Raising taxes is a knee-jerk response but increasing efficiency through consolidation, cutting unnecessary expenses and waste and putting a lid on public servant salaries never seems to make it to the surface.

•Spokane County commissioners cut 150 positions from the county’s payroll after union employees rejected pay cuts. Because public safety accounts for the single-largest portion of county spending, that’s where most of the job losses are.

Lefty: Thank you unions in the 1920s for stopping child labor etc., etc. But come on, it is 2010!! I am qualified for at least 50 percent of these jobs and I would take the job for half the pay just to get the cheap benefits AND they are going to get a RAISE next year??!!

wolfie251: What the Spokesman and everyone else fails to see is that everyone at the county does essential jobs to keep the public safe and over the past ten years we have taken significant cuts in salary and raised costs in benefits. I wish the Spokesman included how every department took a 7-12 percent budget cut while the commissioners received a 15 percent budget increase. Your elected officials are the ones getting the most benefit from this while the workers are asked to go without.

Screwball: They cut vital services because it will get the ears of the voters up and listening. If they told us they were cutting clerks that have been on the payroll 30 years and are waiting for retirement no one would care, but cops and firemen, jail personnel – that is important to public safety. It is a big con.



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