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Letters: We also need relief, reform


I read with some interest Mr. Bogaard's letter criticizing Mr. Schissel for not knowing of the term "Raw Deal" as described by Mr. Burton Folsom in his book. Perhaps a typo, but the name of the author was misspelled. The book was published on Nov. 4, 2008 and has hardly withstood the test of time. Mr. Folsom, a revisionist historian, analyzes mainly only one of the three "Rs" of the New Deal: relief, recovery and reform. How much would have suffering increased without the relief offered by the New Deal. One of Mr. Folsom's own sources praised the reforms, including the FDIC and bank regulations, as being critical to our wellbeing.

Mr. Bogaard's analysis of the thirties is a little inaccurate. Unemployment did increase during the 1937 recession, which was brought on by pressure from the Republicans to reduce spending on the New Deal. When spending resumed, the recession ended as well.

As to the current problems, one could look at the cost of our Iraq adventure, the excess spending on no-bid contracts, the reduction of regulations on banks and the lack of enforcement of regulations we still have. Business bonuses and executive pay became obscene. The disparity between the "haves" and the "have less" has steadily grown. While Mr. Bogaard is quick to attribute Clinton's successes to the Republican control of congress for 6 of 8 years, he ignores the fact that Bush had a Republican controlled congress for 6 of his 8 years.

His claim of the success of the Bush tax cuts is especially interesting. First, if tax cuts were the only answer, we should never have been in the current condition at all. Second, he says Clinton caused our financial problems. Clinton had a balanced budget and a surplus, reducing the national debt. Third, he talks about the spending bill of the current administration but ignores the fact that Republican Presidents Herbert Hoover and George Bush called for the same measures. He ignores the simple fact that, unless working people have money to spend, business will not build, buy, produce or hire. As long as the general population remains worried about unemployment, loss of homes and trying to meet daily expenses, there will be very little demand to justify business expansion. In this economy, we need recovery for sure, but we also need relief and reform.

Norman Leistikow, Park Rapids