Letter to the Editor: Whining Over Taxes and Fees Is Senseless

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What is the current population of Centralia? Based on the latest 2020 data from the U.S. census, the current population of Centralia is 17,745. Centralia, Washington, is the 2,021st largest city in the U.S.

What was the peak population of Centralia? The current population of Centralia (17,745) is its peak population.

How quickly is Centralia growing? Centralia has grown 19.4% since 2000. Centralia, Washington is growing somewhat quickly; it is growing faster than 63% of similarly sized cities since 2000.

Inflation from 1990 to 2021

Cumulative price change — 102.66%

Average inflation rate — 2.30%

Converted amount ($100 base) — $202.66

Price difference ($100 base) — $102.66

CPI in 1990 — 130.700

CPI in 2021 — 264.877

Inflation in 1990 — 5.40%

Inflation in 2021 — 2.62%

Whining over new taxes and fees to improve Centralia and the state of Washington overall is a senseless argument. An argument can be presented that instead of simply taking profits, businesses could have coordinated a system to pay for roads and bridges (infrastructure) used in their operations; private individuals could have also contributed.

We are currently at the beginning of a new era in America. It centers upon our responsibility to each other and to maintaining a clean environment (air, water and land) instead of "leaving it up to others to clean it up later." It isn't political; it is about what we value, as individuals. When the Wright brothers achieved the first aerial flight, did anyone think 100 years later it would affect the air we breathe? How about when the first private automobiles, powered by a combustion engine, took to the streets? How about the manufacturing plant dumping tons of heavy metals into rivers and streams? No! Businesses sought profits and individuals sought employment. It was all about economics. It was short-term thinking.

Our economic system (capitalism) was a dream that spurred immense opportunity. However, as anything created by man, it has had its flaws. It created monopolies that no one thought was fair. Its stock market took a major toll on our country in 1928. Its reliance on foreign-sourced raw materials caused inflation. Its greed caused the 2008 economic crisis, right along with a nation that was ill-prepared to do battle with a novel virus.

As a city, it is our responsibility to each other to fund an educational system that is second to none. We owe the best for our children and grandchildren. We must also adjust the ways in which we violate each other's rights. When we work together, big and important accomplishments take place. Oftentimes that means "pooling our money together" (taxes and levies). Other times, it's as simple as helping out an elderly neighbor. There are many different levels in which to participate and that includes government.

What is important is that we stop thinking short-term and begin thinking long-term in order to gain a better perspective from which to act in the future. Face masks are not political. Through the stupidity of those in Washington, D.C., who took the opportunity to politicize what would have and should be considered a human health challenge, they led us down a path of failure to care about each other. Their response — money. They clearly mishandled the situation. Instead of working together, it cost nearly $6 trillion. That's not political, that's stupidity.

For too many years we have neglected to address our own needs and now the piper is playing his flute, making a new tune to enjoy for a new era in Centralia, the state of Washington, and the United States of America. Let's take part in this new endeavor but, with our eyes wide open this time.

 

Paul Nutt

Centralia

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