Letters to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Mayor’s column highlights funding

Editor,

I happen to live in Clinton, but I recognize that what is good for Langley is also good for all of Island County — all of us. The economic activity there generates much-needed revenue for the entire area.

Thanks to Fred McCarthy’s “Mayor’s Beat” column, we all have an opportunity to see how federal and local funding really works. Note that Langley and Island County were able to receive $240,000 worth of improvements for $56,300 of local tax money.

Fred’s column also noted that we can expect more federal funding during the next budget cycle. Maybe, but not if the hyper-conservative, shortsighted Tea Party Republicans in the U.S. Congress have their way. Imagine funding needed public safety, infrastructure, public health, food assistance, and myriad other costly local services without the benefit of federal grants — in this case, 76 percent of federal money versus 24 percent of local money. Things would and might deteriorate even more rapidly than they have.

The misguided reluctance of some of our more conservative neighbors to support federal spending as a means of spurring economic growth and jobs, thereby widening the tax base — I’ll leave increasing taxes on free-loading corporations and the mega rich for another time — is basically approval of the drying up of such federal funding as Fred and the Regional Transportation and Planning Organization were able to obtain.

If we collectively want to sustain and perhaps even improve our standard of living here on Whidbey Island, we had better get busy and rid the U.S. Congress of those who seek the opposite.

GENE KOFFKIN

Clinton

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