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Opinion >  Letters

We’re all in it

Like it or not, Mr. Dixon, we are all in this pandemic together (“Are they in it with us?,” Dec. 25). Wearing masks and maintaining distance saves lives. As public policy, it’s simple, and it’s really not too much to ask. But, after these simple measures, pandemic hardship sets in and forces a difficult public health choice between some businesses’ financial vitality and increased suffering and death. It’s a lousy dilemma with no perfect answers — but our governor and local elected officials have gotten it mostly right.

Asserting that these officials don’t care seems a bit unreasonable and overblown. With our state paying out $13.1 billion in unemployment benefits and swimming in red ink, is a capital gains tax really so uncaring when it impacts only the wealthiest 1.5% of our population? Also, a 1% increase in property tax (less than inflation) barely keeps the county budget afloat. And adding 0.1% local sales tax (about $25 per year per family) to support desperately needed affordable housing — is that really uncaring?

Lastly, demanding that public officials kick back half their last 9 months of paychecks to qualify as caring and non-condescending seems, well, a little over the top.

The pandemic hurts all of us, and unfortunately some more than others. At some point we’ve all felt aggrieved and more or less alone. So, for most of us, it is comforting to believe that we are all in this together.

Steve McNutt

Spokane


 

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