Letters to the Editor

We need to distinguish needs from wants

In response to Val Torrens’ column on Initiative-1033, Oct. 23, she questions anyone’s judgment who agrees with sound financial budgeting. Ah, just as our income ebbs and flows, so does the state of Washington’s, in good times and bad. Does it not matter that I, as an individual, cut back spending when my money decreases and the state of Washington doesn’t expect to? Acceptably, the roller coaster is never ending – money in, money out; no money in, no money out.

She uses the word “need” four times, as in, “Government programs grow in demand to public needs … .” Let’s distinguish a need from a want. A need is a necessity, like a road and its maintenance. A want is something nice to have, like visiting Kitsap County public nurses going to every pregnant woman’s home, and thereafter to check up on her and the infant for a period of up to two years, but this is not a need. This is pure luxury when scores of outlets exist for their good health in this county already. Call the new Hotline 2-1-1, run by United Way, to access the innumerable free or sliding scale health care facilities already available.

About education — I was reminded by the six state representative candidates in their debate last election, that the education of our children is required by Constitutional law to be our No. 1 priority. If we got rid of the pure lard programs (street art for instance), the luxury programs, the stupid projects (the millions upon millions spent on highway sound barriers) and duplicated programs, we might have the money for our most important program and not shriek every time a budget is passed.

Over the past 50 years, Americans have come to believe they no longer have personal responsibility for their neighborhood, children’s education or their elders, never mind the desperately poor. This behavior has been fostered by entitlement programs, leaving its devastating path of fatherless households, failing schools and shunned elders, all now under tax-funded care.

And, as for the public’s demand for more government services, my wise father once told me: “If they didn’t keep making all those laws and regulations, they wouldn’t have a job.”

Yes, Ms. Torrens. This will mean more cuts and fewer services. Let me keep my money. I need it to take care of my own.

LN Salsbury

Poulsbo

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