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Welfare by any other name

Wednesday’s Spokesman contained articles about the state reducing welfare for families and Columbia River improvements producing benefits for business. Why is one called a benefit and the other called welfare?

Increasing benefits for businesses that do business involving transportation of goods through the Columbia River is considered by many a good use of public funds. It is not called welfare because it will improve the profits of many businesses. Just maybe, it will reduce the costs of certain goods to people in the region.

It would be interesting to see a cost-benefit analysis of these transportation improvements to determine if their benefits exceed their costs. Many believe that providing shelter, food, medical treatment, education, etc. to people who need them is a moral necessity and a benefit. For those who do not, it would be interesting to see a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether the cost of providing these goods and services is offset by the benefits of providing a labor force that is healthy, educated and productive.

Philip Waring

Coeur d’Alene


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Editorial: Washington state lawmakers scramble to keep public in the dark

State lawmakers want to create a legislative loophole in Washington’s Public Records Act. While it’s nice to see Democrats and Republicans working together for once, it’s just too bad that their agreement is that the public is the enemy. As The Spokesman-Review’s Olympia reporter Jim Camden explained Feb. 22, lawmakers could vote on a bill today responding to a court order that the people of Washington are entitled to review legislative records.