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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

January 14, 2009 at 4:00 PM

National economy

Growth from enterprise, not spending

It is important for The Times to present differing viewpoints, but I would think more care would be taken to choose letters for publication that contribute to a discussion, not perpetuate misinformation. Jonathan Ryweck [“Smart investments,” NW Voices, Jan. 11] wrote, “Just as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal projects … created real, long-term wealth that we are still enjoying 70 years later…” even though no reputable economist I have ever heard says this statement is true.

Roosevelt spent a lot of money, but only the need to produce weapons for a world war lifted us out of the Depression. After the war, good-old free enterprise created a growing economy and a standard of living unmatched in the world. Government spending had little to do with it.

My fear is that every spending program, large and small, that anyone has ever thought of will be included in the list projects to will “jump-start” the economy. I am not expert enough, and neither is Ryweck, to know which programs will get the economy growing and which are just on the liberal wish list. But, I know that the list we are seeing now will result in a huge increase in debt that our great grandchildren will pay for the next 70 years.

— Henry Kroeger, Redmond

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