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Posted: February 13, 2009 12:01 a.m.

Through the partisan lens

Dear Editor: I must have missed the headlines when the Covington News hired its panel of economic experts to develop an alternative national policy for economic recovery. It is comforting that, despite alarming indicators to the contrary, you have concluded we have no economic crisis to be concerned about in our country. I’m referring, of course, to your Feb. 11 editorial "Not Targeted or Temporary," in which you liken the president to a "little boy who cried wolf" concerning our nation’s current economic conditions.

 Your conclusions are quite a relief, since you reported just a week ago that: "Newton County’s unemployment rate climbed to new heights in December to 10.4 percent. The county’s unemployment rate is the highest in metro Atlanta. Newton’s unemployment rate is both higher than the state average of 8.1 percent and the national average of 7.2 percent for December."

 There is something ironic about this strong aversion by some to government spending to create jobs. Many people complained for years about those they perceived as "lazy and not willing to work, just living off of government entitlement programs." Now, with more than 3.6 million Americans sent unwillingly to the unemployment line in the past 13 months, those same complainers would rather see unemployed Americans sit on the welfare rolls than put them to work doing something constructive for the long-term good of this nation. What gives with that? If you don’t like the specific programs in the stimulus package, then fine, suggest something different to your Congressman or Senator. But, to put your head in the sand and pretend no harm can come from "staying the course" as we did for the past eight years is irresponsible.

 You wrote: "We would think that looking down the muskets of a mighty British army during our country’s fight for freedom was more of a doomsday scenario than not passing this stimulus package." I suggest you ask your 1,561 neighbors in Newton County who lost their jobs in December to weigh in on that choice. Odds are they are good deal more concerned with food, shelter and clothing than they are with dissecting the news from Washington through a partisan lens.

Maurice Carter

Covington

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