Letters to the Editor

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BUDGET: Thanks a lot, Gregoire voters

Letter by Francis G. Bergford, Tacoma on Nov. 1, 2011 at 4:56 pm with 91 Comments »
November 1, 2011 4:56 pm

For all of you that voted for Chris Gregoire, I blame you for this $2 billion deficit we as a state are facing. In 2004, our state budget was close to $23.2 billion. Fast forward to 2009 and our state budget was $35 billion.

Seriously people, quit voting party lines and actually do some research on the candidates. No, we don’t need to raise taxes. What we need is people in office who are fiscally responsible and know how to balance a budget.

There were whistle blowers saying that this budget was irresponsible and that we would face a deficit problem in the near future. Look at where we are now. In 2005, state Rep. Doug Erickson stated, “This budget lacks sound fiscal principles and is unsustainable. It increases state spending by over 12 percent, which would be the largest increase in the state budget in 14 years. By conservative estimates, this budget sets us up for at least a $1 billion shortfall next biennium. This is a dangerous path.”

We are not victims of economic downturns. We are victims of a one-party system the last seven years.

Leave a comment Comments → 91
  1. I did not and would not ever vote for gregoire, voted for Dino Rossi as he is a successful business man, not a career politician which i believe all or most of our representatives should be. I also think that they should have to go by the same laws that they pass, ie: health care, retirement, etc. The fact that our politicians have superior health care coverage and retirements is ludicrous and needs to be changed.

  2. bruceo2000 says:

    All you are saying is you wish we had these cuts during the good times. Gregoire has balanced the budget every year. You just like to be angry.

  3. zooey1972 says:

    Hi Francis. I enjoyed your comments. Please tell us exactly what should be cut, Since we do not need to raise taxes there must be another way to balance the budget. What is your plan?

  4. tree_guy says:

    “What is your plan?” zooey

    You didn’t address your question to me, but hope won’t you mind if I try to answer it. I would bring all salary levels down for government employees and end all the defined benefit pension plans. Employees should pay a larger portion of their health benefits too. That’s pretty much it.

  5. ray4903 says:

    Amazing here, when Rossi was running, She denied ANY budget deficit. The idiot they have doing forecasting for economics has missed it for 4 years and now it’s worse– Go Figure.. When will p[people actually wake up – oh I meant the people that actually pay taxes and are not on the government dole. This is insane what they get away with. They make multi million dollar mistakes and errors and no accountability and then set then stage for higher taxes and wring their hands on how bad it is. How about stop spending our money stupidly for every pet cause they seem to want.
    On 1183 – am sick of it- simple proposition – should the state – funded by taxpayer money by in the liquor business ? I’m sorry for any people losing their precious state jobs – but why are 5 million people paying for 1100 state employees to do some thing regular established business can do at their own expense- not ours. If prices don’t change or whatever- the consumer decides- how hard is THAT. We don’t pay the COSTCO employees or ever have to negotiate with their unions. It is amazing how much our normal thinking and rationale has been degraded away for common sense on issues by the media and political money.
    I could go on and on on every issue.
    Stop the insanity of government spending.

  6. nylandce says:

    bruceo2000,

    It is State law that the budget is to be balanced regardless of who is Governor.

  7. sandblower says:

    Francis, did you know that we are in a recession that the folks in Olympia did not cause? The recession is the problem. The Governor is doing the best anyone could do under very difficult circumstances.
    I have a sneaking suspicion that you might be reading something from the extreme right, which, by the way, is always extremely wrong.

  8. “Thanks a lot, Gregoire voters”

    The writer has their right to their opinion, but how utterly wrong and naive it is. We are NOT overtaxed. We are UNDERtaxed. ALL of the “big government” is now gone, so if there ever was a problem it is no longer the cause of the recession continuing. THAT is the fault of greedy people who made record profits while everyone has sacrificed and suffered. As soon as the “job creators” (the rich) actually begin creating jobs and taking a little less income then people can continue whining about Gregoire. But until that happens, we in the middle and to the left have every right to call a spade a spade and a lie a lie.

    And the point of privatization being BAD is that the corporations who might now, for example sell liquor, have not proven themselves in this recession to be willing to add jobs, regardless of profits. THAT is the roadblock in the recession. How, how, how can we trust major companies who have not given back a dime to society? They have been given everything, from incentives to tax breaks and they have not created any jobs from them. Thus the private sector has failed even more then ANY public sector level (local, state, federal). I’m so sick of the right-wing myth that began the second Bush left office, which is nothing more then a LIE about how if we privatize everything and basically kill our representative form of government (because it’s got too many democrats for right-wingers) then everything will magically get better. All lies. The private sector is much more corrupt and inequal, and with much fewer rights other than those unions that are so hated by all of the same right-wingers who I guess salute Stalin’s brand of government.

    Just stop with the lies and the naivety. The private sector corporations have done nothing to help America’s economy during this recession.

    The recession began under Bush’s watch at the federal level, and thanks to the kick backs he and Obama gave the big banks. It’s their fault. If you don’t think that trickled down to affect all levels of American society, you are delusional.

    Right-wingers these days have truly lost their minds. The only kind of society they seem to just really want is a blend of the old Soviet ways of bread lines and a feudalism system, both where the bottom line is workers have no rights and there is a ruling class of rich with everyone else suffering. That’s not American, patriotic, it is insane.

  9. ItalianSpring says:

    Don’t forget to thank Obomba voters too.

  10. Who is “Obomba”?

  11. Dave98373 says:

    zooey- One of the points the writer was making was that state government (under Democratic control) grew from $23 billion in 2004 to $35 billion through 2009—this, despite the fact that we were well into the recession by 2008. The writer highlights the waste of spending in a five year period and the need to control how the state government spends. The challenges Governor Gregoire faces today would not be necessary if she didn’t increase the budget by $12 billion from 2004 through 2009.

  12. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Jonald- Large corporations, the ‘rich’, or even the left’s beloved mom and pop shop will not hire people for morale reasons. That is not how our economy functions or should function. What you are describing is charity, not business. If you ran a business, and hired people just to hire them, A) your company would not last long, B) no one would invest in your business (so forget growth).

    You ignore the growth in our budget while quoting DNC rhetoric. The state and federal budgets are at record levels. Where are the cuts?

    And what does ‘privatize everything’ have to do with our representative system of govt? What has the govt shown it can manage, minus battlefield successes, to Lea one to believe that more government intervention in free markets would be a good thing?

    Your dream economy exists; go live in North Korea for a few years and bring back some pointers for our economic path to prosperity.

  13. nwcolorist says:

    It’s altogether appropriate that Gov. Gregoire should have to clean up the mess she’s made of the budget.

  14. Looktheresanother1 says:

    A hackneyed letter lacking true knowledge of the budgeting process, along with hackneyed responses

  15. Looktheresanother1 says:

    “grew from $23 billion in 2004 to $35 billion through 2009—this, despite the fact that we were well into the recession by 2008.”

    Yet the Repubican Administration in Washington DC knew nothing about the recession until September of 2008. 20/20 hindsight is amazing. Historical rewrite, even more amazing

  16. Looktheresanother1 says:

    “Obomba” is a juvenile name passed along throught the Conservative ranks that demonstrates stereotypical attitudes toward the President.

  17. xx98411 says:

    “20/20 hindsight is amazing. Historical rewrite, even more amazing.”

    20/20 hindsight when it comes to the budget??? How is that possible?

    When the bottom line number is bigger than last years and the year before then it is not a mystery that the budget number is increasing.

    Take a look at this years number… compare it to next years number… bigger? then the budget is in fact increasing and their is no surprise.

  18. xx98411 says:

    ““Obomba” is a juvenile name passed along throught the Conservative ranks that demonstrates stereotypical attitudes toward the President.”

    Though you focus on only one part of the rhetorical equation I am confident that you will take a look at the other side and hold an equal opinion.

  19. Flanagan says:

    ray4903 Amen !!!

  20. Looktheresanother1 says:

    “despite the fact that we were well into the recession by 2008″

    Historical rewrite

  21. Francis, you have heard of inflation and population growth?

    Note that the state pays out a good chunk of money to pay for medical care for the poor, including old geezer nursing home care. Anyone that pays for medical care out of their own pocket knows that medical care inflation is out of control.

    Also note, that the voters approved an initiative that mandated teacher salary increases. They also approved an initiative on long term care that costs money, of which in now back on the ballot.

    So folks need to look in the mirror.

  22. LarryFine says:

    “…is a juvenile name passed along…” so sayth the snail formerly known as Kardnos

  23. olympicmtn says:

    “Quit voting party line.” Thank you. Exactly my words, too.

    And here is a thought for the legislature and “gimme gimme” voters; pay for your own college tuition, work, save, don’t expect others to bail you out because you made bad investments or signed a loan.

    There are makers and there are takers. Time to start earning your own keep and go without your iphone, ipad and MAC.

  24. xx98411 says:

    “So folks need to look in the mirror.”

    they sure do and recind both those votes…

  25. bedtime4bozos says:

    “Just stop with the lies and the naivety.”

    That would put a sudden halt to the Republican campaign for 2012

  26. Ok bozo, then lets stick with facts….

    The spending for the State of Washington for the last 12+ years has grown over 60%…

    1999-01 45b
    2001-03 50b
    2003-05 53b
    2005-07 61b
    2007-09 68b
    2009-11 70b
    2011-13 74b (budgeted)

    Look ast those jumps in 2007 and 2009, Gregiore signed those didn’t she…?

  27. aislander says:

    Not only did the Democrats pass, and Gregoire sign, those spending bills, xx, but they are written in such a way that they are protected from future cuts.

    Now Gregoire and the Dems are cutting public safety, such as monitoring violent offenders, saying (get ready for it…) that they can’t cut elsewhere because those programs are “protected” from cuts.

    These people should be in prison…

  28. Voltaire says:

    Population increase of Washington from 2000 to 2010 – 15%

    Cost of goods increased

    Cost of labor increased

    Cost of essentials increased

    How do you lower the budget when your cost of doing business and your customer demand increases?

  29. Voltaire says:

    I wonder how many people are aware that certain state programs, if cut, lose substantial federal funding also. It’s like burning money or giving it to another state.

  30. I could not vote for her after she cost the state millions due to lax administrative procedures during her time as state AG. Watching that and thinking of her in charge of the state budget gave me the shakes and I am really not surprised at the size of the increase during her tenure. I never did think she was a good steward of our money.

  31. aislander says:

    Yeah–the Devil…er…system made ‘em do it…

  32. Rollo_Tomassi says:

    “Population increase of Washington from 2000 to 2010 – 15% “

    However, if you look at the cost of government increase from 1999 until 2009…

    1999-01 45b
    2001-03 50b
    2003-05 53b
    2005-07 61b
    2007-09 68b
    2009-11 70b
    2011-13 74b (budgeted)

    …you’ll see that the cost of Government increased 56%.

    So how/where/why does a15% increase in population justify a 56% in expenditures?

  33. SoCalPunk62 says:

    Maybe if the republican party didn’t allow itself to be hijacked by ultra-conservatives and their right-wing-nut social agenda, people would be more likely to vote republican. In other words, forget about the abortion issue and keep your “churchianity” out of politics. Also, maybe they could come up with a way to help the homeless and jobless besides tax breaks for the rich.

  34. Voltaire says:

    you left out the increased costs of goods and labor. Why?

  35. fbergford says:

    Glad my letter ruffled some feathers but I am still hearing the same rhetoric from people who consider themselves democrats. My problem is that people who view themselves as democrats cannot be wrong no matter what, they throw a tizzy fit when someone speaks out agaisnt what they believe in! As of right now WE (dems, rep, ind. ALL Washingtonians) pay around 36 taxes on whatever we decide to use our money to purchase. I like taxes, they keep our infrastructure afloat, but what I don’t like is when our politcians misuse our funds that are suppose to keep our infrastructure moving forward and making our state money so we can go out and do support social programs (an example using two of the biggest ports on the westcoast Tacoma and Seattle to import and export goods, rail lines, freeways to move those goods out of our state to other states around the nation in a timely manner). Our tax dollars are suppose to go towards maintaining our roads, keeping criminals off the street, and educating our youth! When these three simple things aren’t met and our elected officials say we are facing a deficit something is wrong! Now when we have majority of democrats in the house, senate, and leading our state there are no checks and balances. So the one party system can push through whatever they want. It’s ALMOST a form of dictatorship because there are no voices, no one representing the minorities interest(which are republicans and libertarians in our great state). When Gregoire was running for office her second time, she claimed we had a”rainy day fund” and that everything was good and peachy! A couple months after she got elected she told us that we had no more “rainy day fund” and that we need more money. I can go on and on, but where I got my views on this is serving eight years in the Army/WAARNG, being a small business owner, and taking numerous Political Science classes at The Evergreen State College. The thing is, democrats are afraid to speak out against the norm, they prefer to go with the flow and not be ostracised for what they believe in, and they do not hold their politicians accountable, that can be said for both sides! I’m tired of stupid people voting party lines and not being responsbile enough to think for themselves and make a decision! Thanks for reading and let’s continue this conversation!

  36. oldman4 says:

    I did some math. Acording to what I read the state budget is 35 billion dollars. The population of Washington State in 2010 was 6,724,540, that includes all men, women and children. If these fiqures are correct then the state not including the cities and counties requires $5204.82 per person to operate. Do I think they need more? NO.

  37. Looktheresanother1 says:

    A hackneyed letter with inaccurate citings will guarantee response

  38. Looktheresanother1 says:

    oldman – It costs about 40K a year to incarcerate an individual and the equal would be half the sum that you quoted, as budgets are biennium. Spending $2,600 a year for citizens that don’t break the law is a pawltry sum, indeed

  39. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Cite the inaccuracies, look. And while you are at it, why are you defending a bloated and wasteful budget? Because you pull the ‘d’ every year and are not man/woman enough to admit you have wrong?

  40. oldman4 says:

    Looktheresanother1 it doesn’t cost that amount we choose to spend that amount. I brought up a family of 4 living comfortable for $80,000 a year in gross income. I would be more than willing to take over the existing system for $30,000.00 per person per yr. The inmates would not be happy and most would likely never return but no one would starve to death.

  41. concernedtacoma7 says:

    “pawltry sum”. To you. For someone making 30k/year, that is about 9%. Now add on local and federal taxes (well, probably no fed taxes).

  42. Looktheresanother1 says:

    no one earning $30K per year has to pay the government share to service one person. That responsibility is shared by all taxpayers.
    strawman at best.

  43. Looktheresanother1 says:

    “it doesn’t cost that amount we choose to spend that amount.”

    sounds like Herman Cain answering a question about sexual misconduct charges

  44. concernedtacoma7 says:

    kard- we are discussing Washington State’s budget. Write a letter to the Ed if you feel Cain needs to be addressed. Nice deflection from the budget mess the Gov got us in.

  45. Voltaire says:

    great analogy, Look.

    I got it.

  46. Voltaire says:

    Rollo – why did you misquote my comment when you responded? There’s more than just an increase in census.

  47. oldman4 says:

    Go come back Look— change the subiect. Make light acuse your opposition of someone elses issues. The government sets a budget and calls it tight can’t do any better. If you disagree your labeled as a trouble maker, a fool, or mean spirited. Truth is there is always waste.

  48. PatBrown1591 says:

    How many of these budget experts have every negotiated a state budget? How many have knowledge of the implementation of federal matching funds? How many have even participated in local lobbying for program funding?

    I’m guessing none.

  49. xx98411 says:

    “I’m guessing none.”

    so what… we are the ones that have to pay for it.

    We elect people who lobby for the position. They present their credentials, we evaluate and then decide… Christine you are the one that the collective we have decided to be the Chief Executive for the state.

    Please don’t whine to us about how difficult it is to make the hard choices. You applied for it.

    Now, We, the People of Washington State, have rejected a personal income tax and other BS measures that dig into our collective pockets.

    Given that restraint… the revenues you have… work with what you realistically have available to you and DO YOUR JOB!

  50. PatBrown1591 says:

    Elected officials are not lobbyists. The budget, although proposed by the governor and signed as well, is negotiated by the Legislature.

    My first guess was good.

  51. aislander says:

    Hackneyed is using the word “hackneyed” in more than one post…

  52. aislander says:

    Would it be a pleonasm to use the word “supercilious” when describing a state staffer, xx? I think one just looked down his rhetorical nose at you…

  53. concernedtacoma7 says:

    lobby- “To try to influence (an official) to take a desired action”. Sounds like what an elected representative should be doing, influencing actions for their district.

    While Mrs Brown is whining about nuances, our state budget is still a bloated mess.

  54. PatBrown1591 says:

    Elected officials are supposed to represent the majority that voted them in office. If you don’t want your representative to seek out programs and funding for your district, let them know. Something tells me you will be part of a minority, regardless of party.

  55. PatBrown1591 says:

    “bloated mess” – hasty generalization for lack of detailed challenges.

  56. PatBrown1591 says:

    and it’s Ms. Brown.

  57. aislander says:

    A Ms. is as good as a mile. Or is that a mlle?

  58. xx98411 says:

    Ok Pat, she lobbied, applied, desired, wished for, actively sought, brown-nosed, back stabbed, lied to, lied about, influence the populace, requested your vote, asked for vote, bought your vote, bombarded the TV with rhetorical nonsense for your vote…

    does any of that cover the “lobby” part?

    and no it doesnt matter that we never proposed, negoiated nor whined over a state budget but we sure to heck have quite a few people who did the above for their respective positions. They need to do their jobs… period.

    The concept is simple. This number next to the word Revenue is what you have to work with. I know that it comes from many sources but the really big one at the bottom of the page is the one we need to be concerned about…

    Now, all you kiddies with your wish basket of state funded goodies just empty them out on the big table here and lets add it up…

    Oh, no Mr Bill, the number is bigger that the revenue number… sorry no soup for you…

    They make it harder then it needs to be…

    supercillious indeed ;)

  59. xx98411 says:

    If you don’t want your representative to seek out programs and funding for your district, let them know.

    whether it is your district or mine, the total for all the goodies can be larger than the revenues… it really is that simple.

  60. PatBrown1591 says:

    I have lobbied for various causes. It had nothing to do with anything other than taking the cause to as many representatives as would listen to reason. In one case, a legislator was attempting to shut off out of state advertising in the Wildlife regulations booklet. It seems he was worried about Cabelas getting his sales of hunting and fishing gear from his hardware store in NE Washington. My stand was that it was good revenue.

    Lobbying is a process that is provided by Democracy. It’s not wrong. It’s not illegal. It does, however require a knowledge of the process and if there are matching funds available, half your story is told.

    What I see here is a lot of “too much money being spent” without one iota of knowledge of the process and the good of something more than a personal grudge.

  61. PatBrown1591 says:

    As to being “larger than the revenues” – there is more than one way to meet budget. You learn that lesson every day you shop a retail food store.

  62. fbergford says:

    Pat, when you run for office you are lobbying for yourself. So just as you “lobbied” for certain causes in front of elected officials, those same elected officials lobbied for themselves in front of the voters to get into office. You are not the only one that has lobbied for a cause in front of the legislators. So let’s put this lobbying thing to rest…your actions of harping on this minute detail about lobbying is proving my point that democrats can’t stand to be wrong.

  63. xx98411 says:

    “As to being “larger than the revenues” – there is more than one way to meet budget. You learn that lesson every day you shop a retail food store. “

    this last post tells me that come heck or highwater you will find the revenue to get that program…

    dudette, is there any limit where the state justs says no, we are taking too much money out of the private sector… is there?

    Lobbying is not the issue for me, constantly taking money that I use at that retail food store is the issue… when is it enough?

  64. Poor Tree_guy – a day late and a dollar short as usual.

    State workers make an average of 23% less than their counterparts in the private sector.

    State workers have agreed to pay freezes and to increased withholdings for retirement and health benefits.

  65. xx98411 says:

    Not all workers and quite a few workers earn more than their civilian counterpart. The report also states that health care coverage and other benefits also are better than the civilian counterpart making for a higher total wage package when benefits are added into the mix.

    Also…

    “We know that public employees are retiring with generous defined benefit programs that are unheard of in most of the private sector,”

    we actually do know that…

  66. PatBrown1591 says:

    fbergford, let me guess. You are the letter writer.

    I enjoyed your previous comment that contained this phrase:

    “The thing is, democrats are afraid to speak out against the norm, they prefer to go with the flow and not be ostracised for what they believe in, and they do not hold their politicians accountable, that can be said for both sides! I’m tired of stupid people voting party lines and not being responsbile enough to think for themselves and make a decision!”

    So, based on that, we’re to believe that you voted for Democrats and didn’t vote party lines?

  67. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    Elected officials are not lobbyists.

    LMAO, not yet anyway. First they must be un-elected, or retired.

  68. Looktheresanother1 says:

    one more time for “hackneyed”

  69. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    Population increase of Washington from 2000 to 2010 – 15%
    Cost of goods increased
    Cost of labor increased
    Cost of essentials increased

    Leave it to Kardy to make such statements without providing links. Why? Because as Rollo_Tomassi so ably pointed out, it’s a bunch of hooey. But nevertheless on par with nearly all of his/her/its typically baseless assertions.

    So, Kardy, are we test driving about three new handles now?

  70. took14theteam says:

    Maybe Pat is his alleged wife that works for the State and fishes with him off his dock on his private lake before he goes to Costco and praises them until they want to privatize liquor sales in the state. Whew.

  71. LarryFine says:

    Exactly what I was thinking Vox_ .

  72. Looktheresanother1 says:

    thread ruined. Off topic. As usual

  73. x20muleteamhas1more says:

    If you need a link to figure out that the cost of goods, labor and essentials has gone up in the past 10 years, you’re living in a cave.

    The census numbers are easy, unless you really want to avoid knowing.

    Some people expect to be spoon fed.

  74. concernedtacoma7 says:

    CPI has gone up 32% since 2000. Population has gone up 14.1% from 2000-2010.

  75. xx98411 says:

    yet the budget has gone up 60+ percent,

    with the above numbers cited why, hmmm

  76. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    If you need a link to figure out that the cost of goods, labor and essentials has gone up in the past 10 years, you’re living in a cave.

    Nice obfuscation. Or maybe you just completely missed the point – whatever.

  77. Voltaire says:

    In 2000 gas was $1.54 according to usa today. today it’s $3.69.

    how much gasoline does the state government consume?

    The increase since 2000 is 139%

  78. IndependVoter says:

    Why would anyone refer to the Consumer Price Index as a reference point to the cost of doing business by a government agency?

  79. aislander says:

    If the price of food and energy really matter, why have the Feds taken those items OUT of the CPI equation?

  80. IndependVoter says:

    CONSUMER Price Indexes are not a realistic reference point for costs of doing BUSINESS

  81. xx98411 says:

    I get your point, but the state must reduce cost wherever possible and must work with the money provided to them, period.

    That being said if the cost of doing business is up as you say then what gives the state the justification to provide new programs when they appear to not be able to fund the current ones.

    Cutting programs with little return as well as others is a good first step to controlling the budget befoere they asked the taxpayer for more.

  82. IndependVoter says:

    Why would private enterprise not be obliged to do the same, xx? The expectation of one business to do what another cannot do isn’t rational.

  83. aislander says:

    Are you KIDDING me? Businesses ALWAYS cut back when finances dictate. That’s one of the problems the left, which evidently believes the purpose of business is to provide lifetime tenure for its workers, HAS with business, …

  84. xx98411 says:

    when revenue falls short a business either cuts back and/or looks for efficiencies to streamline expenses…. they either do that or fail…

    also, and I will go there, business can look for more revenue but that revenue is based on a quid, a pro and a quo… they provide a service for which I voluntarily pay to enjoy… not force me to pay for something I didn’t ask for.

    we are not asking government to do something that it is incabable of doing.

  85. stumpy567 says:

    Defend your positions for the budget shortfall
    ( Costs going up, matching fed. funding) or whatever lame excuse you can dream up. You should all move to Greece.
    FIGURES DON’T LIE AND LIARS DON”T FIGURE

  86. IndependVoter says:

    Businesses cut back when costs increase?

    Is that why a Big Mac is still 99 cents? Gas is still 29 cents a gallon?

  87. IndependVoter says:

    “force you to pay for something you didn’t ask for”?

    Maybe you’d prefer to pay cash for the fire department while having a heart attack.

  88. aislander says:

    So…layoffs are a symptom of business NOT cutting back?

  89. xx98411 says:

    indydude – who are you responding to, that is not what I wrote…?

  90. aislander says:

    You know, xx, there was another forum member who had a mental block about basic business practices and economics, but he’s no longer active.

    No! It COULDN’T be!

  91. LarryFine says:

    Yep… been there, done that_nos.

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