Correcting the Record

Editor, The New York Times 620 Eighth Avenue New York , NY 10018 To the Editor: Paul Krugman believes that only irrational right-wing ideologues - along with paid agents of a mysterious cabal of sinister billionaires - could possibly worry that Obamacare threatens ordinary Americans' freedoms, finances, and health (" Republican Death Trip," Aug. 14). But while many Obamacare opponents might misstate some details of the proposed 'reform,' it's quite appropriate to worry about unintended ill consequences - especially when reform as massive as Obamacare is in the works. Examples are legion. Here's one: opponents of the federal income-tax openly... continue reading
Editor, The New York Times 620 Eighth Avenue New York , NY 10018 To the Editor: Paul Krugman argues that Blue Dog Democratic concerns about ObamaCare are incoherent ( An Incoherent Truth, July 27). Far be it from me to defend any politicians from charges of incoherence or duplicity, but Mr. Krugman's own arguments for universal health-care are weak. For example, he wants "all but the smallest businesses [to] be required either to provide their employees with insurance, or to pay fees that help cover the cost of subsidies - subsidies that would make insurance affordable for lower-income American families."... continue reading
Editor, Los Angeles Times Dear Editor: In " American aid to Africa " (July 15) you presume that money given by governments of rich western nations to governments of poor African nations is necessary if the economies of these African nations are to develop. Although as widespread as grass on the savannah, this presumption is preposterous. First, history's greatest industrial economies – the Great Britain and the United States – developed without a cent of "foreign aid." Second, over the past half-century, hundreds of billions of dollars of such "aid" have been given to African governments. The peoples of these... continue reading
Editor, The New York Times 620 Eighth Avenue New York , NY 10018 To the Editor: Paul Krugman asserts that those of us who oppose government regulation to deal with climate change are committing "treason against the planet" (" Betraying the Planet," June 29). It's more accurate to say that Mr. Krugman is committing treason against reasoned debate. One of the most compelling arguments against climate-change regulation is not that global warming isn't occurring but, rather, that the dangers of further regulation far outweigh its likely benefits. Government regulation inevitably is a political animal; it's never guided purely, or even... continue reading
Editor, Baltimore Sun Dear Editor: Bravo for British ambassador Nigel Sheinwald's case for freer trade (" The peril of protectionism," June 8). One clarification, though: he says that "our globalized economy has not come about by accident. It is the result of our collective choice for openness." If Mr. Sheinwald is referring to multilateral trade agreements such as the GATT, he's correct as matter of history, but he should also point out that any country would gain from free trade even if it tears down its customs walls unilaterally. If instead Mr. Sheinwald is referring to each government's choice to... continue reading
Editor, The New York Times 620 Eighth Avenue New York , NY 10018 To the Editor: Floyd Norris wisely warns against the unintended consequences of tax policy - in this case, a one-time tax break on overseas profits that backfired (" Tax Break for Profits Went Awry," June 5). But the ill and unintended consequences of another piece of tax-policy social-engineering needs greater attention. I speak of Internal Revenue Code section 162(m), a 1993 brainchild of Bill Clinton. Aimed at reducing what Mr. Clinton divined was excessive executive salaries, 162(m) eliminated the tax-deductibility of executive pay in excess of $1... continue reading
Editor, The Wall Street Journal 200 Liberty Street New York , NY 10281 To the Editor: John Steele Gordon explains " Why Government Can't Run a Business" (May 20). I learned from the historian Burt Folsom one of the best examples of this truth – namely, Congress's mid-19th-century subsidization of Edward K. Collins' steamship company. In 1847 Collins persuaded Congress to spend several million dollars to support his effort to build a fleet of luxurious steamships for carrying passengers to and from Europe . Constantly over budget – and frequently seeking and receiving more subsidies – Collins' ships were shoddy... continue reading
Editor, The Wall Street Journal 200 Liberty Street New York , NY 10281 To the Editor: Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell are pleased that, at the Initiative for Global Development (IGD) summit in Washington , "business and government leaders will gather to advance new strategies for reducing global poverty. Participants will focus on ways to promote better public policies, and to integrate the best practices of business and government in order to lift up the lives of the world's poorest people through economic growth" (" Don't Forget About Foreign Aid," May 5). Wonderful words. But they offer no hint that... continue reading
Editor, U.S. News & World Report Dear Editor: You report that President Obama today "challenged" his cabinet to "cut the budget by $100 million" (" Obama to Cabinet: Cut $100 Million from Budget," April 20). What courage. A President who proclaims the importance of making "hard choices" calls upon his government to trim away a whopping one thirty-six-thousandth of its projected expenditures for the year - or, alternatively reckoned, one twelve-thousandth of its projected budget deficit. To put this budget "cut" in perspective, suppose that the typical American family, earning $50,000 annually, plans this year to run a budget deficit... continue reading
Editor, The Wall Street Journal 200 Liberty Street New York , NY 10281 To the Editor: Amedeo Teti says that "Dumping and some state subsidies are unfair competition practices that create distortions of international competition and, in the long run, result in the establishment of dominant positions by some companies at the expense of global competition. That is why antidumping remedies have nothing to do with protectionism" ( Letters, April 1). Wrong. First, I challenge Sig. Teti to name even a single instance – one recognized widely by scholars – in which dumping or export subsidies practiced in one country... continue reading