A recent letter in these pages from Jay C. Smith (“Casting Doubt on Confederate Theory”, July 12) which was itself a rebuttal of John Pryor’s column arguing for a reduction in the size and scope of the federal government was indeed rich. To know from Smith: “When we rolled back some Depression-era financial rules, Wall Street ran with it, and we ended up bailing them out from the financial meltdown of 2008.” As far as I know, the federal government has adopted both programs.
Smith further cites a recovery from the Great Depression as evidence of success. I would like to point out that governments, in general, do not have the capacity to create wealth, only to diminish it and direct it towards favored groups. Because with loud cries, all the money they have has been taken by force from the productive sector. This transpires in the modern American age both through direct taxation and the vile hidden tax of inflation, and it is never enough. You may have heard of inflation lately.
A related sidebar, if the climate crowd is genuinely concerned about the consumption of fossil fuels, their first act would be to downsize the US military, which is said to be the biggest consumer in the world. They might call it the “America Minds Its Business” law. Witness a line of classic finance, all debts will be paid, either by the borrower or by the lender. When the circle of massive US public debt closes in this regard, tell us about the size and efficiency of our federal government. I think Mr. Pryor may have been too lenient with them.
—Andy Wahrenbrock, Bakersfield