Letters

LETTERS

October 27, 2008

How did Greenspan miss warning signs?

For most of the last two decades, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan guided the fiscal policy of this country. He was responsible for the cheap-money policy that fueled the explosive growth of the housing market.

So I was astounded to hear his testimony at the congressional hearings Thursday on the fiscal crises this country is facing ("Market puzzle," Oct. 24).

How could the chairman of the Federal Reserve have failed to realize that the cheap-money policy that he championed, the low interest rates he promoted and the explosive appreciation of housing prices would not ultimately end in financial disaster?

The economic history of the world is full of stories about how bad fiscal policies similar to those promoted by Mr. Greenspan have resulted in serious economic problems like those we are now experiencing.

Why did Mr. Greenspan not see what was coming? Why didn't the other governors on the Federal Reserve Board see it coming?

What is even more troubling is that the current Federal Reserve chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, is again promoting the same cheap-money and low-interest-rates policy that got us into the problems we are now experiencing.

John D. Hergenroeder, Towson

Obama's tax plan would curb growth

The Baltimore Sun's editorial "Republican socialism" (Oct. 21) and Dan Rodricks column "Well-to-do go to war over the U.S. income gap" (Oct. 21) deserve further comment.

Mr. Rodricks clearly recognizes the importance of jobs in his admirable efforts to find jobs for former convicts. I wonder if he is aware of the estimate by the Heritage Foundation that under Sen. John McCain's tax plan, U.S. employment will grow by 2.13 million a year over the next decade but under Sen. Barack Obama's plan, it will grow by only 920,000 per year?

Mr. Obama's plan would increase taxes on corporations and dividends. Wouldn't this adversely affect retirement plans?

The bottom line is that Mr. Obama's plan would discourage the entrepreneurial spirit to invest in business and commerce.

The Heritage Foundation estimates that under Mr. Obama's plan, the gross domestic product would grow $101.3 million per year over the next decade, as opposed to $283.7 million a year under Mr. McCain's plan.

The poor we will always have with us. But Americans are known for their generosity in supporting the many charitable organizations that distribute wealth more efficiently than any government agency does.

Benedict Frederick Jr., Pasadena

No 'hockey mom' buys a $150,000 wardrobe

Criticizing Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is as easy as shooting fish in a barrel - or wildlife from low-flying airplanes - and making an issue out of the $150,000 the Republican National Committee spent on her wardrobe may seem petty, particularly when there is so much else about this woman that is flawed ("In this case, clothes may make the candidate," Oct. 23).

But I think this issue is fair game for the McCain-Palin campaign, especially when you consider that it has been about gimmicks all along.

From "Drill, baby, drill" to "Joe the Plumber" to "hockey moms," all the Republican campaign has given us are cute slogans - when it isn't sliming Sen. Barack Obama with equally gimmicky and misleading slogans such as "terrorist" or "socialist."

And just as "Joe the Plumber" has been revealed to be less than Sen. John McCain made him out to be, so Mrs. Palin's wardrobe would seem to separate her from the hard-workin', gun-totin', God-fearin', final-g-droppin' "hockey mom" the campaign has made her out to be.

Charles Rammelkamp, Baltimore

The wrong sculptor for Schaefer statue?

In all the articles recently published in The Baltimore Sun regarding the proposed statue of William Donald Schaefer, no one has mentioned or questioned the credentials of Rodney Carroll to be a figurative sculptor ("Plan for Schaefer statue clears major hurdle with art panel's OK," Oct. 23).

Mr. Carroll's portfolio mainly consists of rather ordinary fabricated, abstract, metal sculpture.

Since he is a native son and a world-class figurative sculptor, why is Joseph Sheppard not being considered for this commission?

John D. Ferguson, Catonsville

The writer is a sculptor and art educator.

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