LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Why you should vote for Patty Murray?

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If you or someone in your family is a veteran, Sen. Patty Murray is the veterans' best friend in Congress. She holds the VA's feet to the fire. She is the main reason Walla Walla will continue to have a veterans health-care facility.

Some Republicans want to privatize veterans health care. Want to give some CEO $50 million a year and give veterans what is left after the company's "bottom line?" Polls show veterans give high ratings to their VA health care. The U.S. government sends service men and women into harm's way. It should take care of veterans and Congress should make sure they are doing the best job possible.

Dino Rossi is making earmarks a large part of his campaign. Rossi told The Seattle Times Editorial Board that earmarks were bankrupting America. The Times board pointed out that earmarks amount to 1-2 percent of the budget and that wasn't going to solve the very real debt crisis.

Locally, U.S. Highway 12 funds were an earmark. Most earmarks are spent on deserving projects. Anyone can cull through congressional earmark lists and find some outlays for giant ball of string museums and the like. If saving money is the litmus test, Patty Murray voted to cut 14 billion from President Obama's budget.

Patty Murray supports agriculture, Washington's number one industry. Sen. Murray makes sure Washington farmers get the best deal in farm bills and actively supports agricultural research.

There is also the tax and spend liberals argument. Look at a graph of the national debt as a percent of gross domestic product. You will see the graph goes down from Truman to Carter and the sharp upward climb to out-of-control debt can be laid to the feet of Reagan, Bush I, Bush II and, yes, it's continuing under Obama due to being faced with reacting to the near total collapse of the economy.

The off-budget Iraq War has cost $1 trillion or more. The tax cuts, opposed by many of Bush's economists, cost at least $1.5 trillion through 2008. If Sen. Dirksen were alive today he'd change his line to "a trillion here, a trillion there, adds up to real money."

Finally, there's the "throw all the bums out" mentality. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. That argument is based on emotion, not logic and clear thinking. Many incumbents deserve re-election. Patty Murray is clearly one of them.

Norm Osterman
Walla Walla

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