The Herald ran two lead articles this week touting “free” goods and services issues at the local level: On Tuesday, Sedro-Woolley schools’ problematic “free and reduced (price) lunch program” where “every child receives free meals” regardless of need, and on Wednesday, Sen. Patty Murray’s self-serving lobbying for “free community college” in her pitch to students and staff at Skagit Valley College.

I saw/heard nothing that specifically defines the latter and presume it to mean no tuition or fee charges, thus basically creating the equivalent of adding two or more taxpayer-funded years to K-12 public school education.

These articles are disturbing for a number of reasons, especially that the notion of “free” ignores the reality that nothing material in life is actually “free,” and the fact that by design, they do not distinguish between those who can afford the current cost structure and those who are actually in need. Very real costs are involved here, and are (or would be) merely shifted and paid for by a very liberal/socialistic “government” via increased taxation (i.e., other people’s money) or debt (borrowing), which is currently measured in trillions of dollars.

If readers reflect for a moment and contemplate the entire “picture” these situations present, they will find any promotion by self-serving politicians to offer “free stuff” to a gullible electorate with costs shifted anonymously to others to be highly questionable and certainly less than attractive.

Bruce Elliot

La Conner

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