Dear NY Times: Hoover's Spirit Alive in Obama

Editor, The New York Times

229 West 43rd St.

New York, NY 10036

To the Editor:

The title of Frank Rich's column Feb. 1 proclaims that "Herbert Hoover Lives." Indeed he does. But contrary to Mr. Rich's argument, Hoover's ghost seems to animate President Obama at least as much as it animates G.O.P. members of Congress.

In response to the economic downturn of the early 1930s, President Hoover signed the largest tariff hike in U.S. history (Smoot-Hawley); he tried to spur the residential real-estate market with the Federal Home Loan Bank Act; he sought to assist the financial sector by launching the Reconstruction Finance Corporation; and he aimed to decrease unemployment through public-works programs with the Emergency Relief and Construction Act.

Oh, and he also raised taxes on corporations and on the rich. No laissez faire President he!

Seems to me as if U.S. President #44 has had some séances with U.S. President #31.


Donald J. Boudreaux


Don Boudreaux is the Chairman of the Department of Economics at George Mason University and a Business & Media Institute adviser.