A More Balanced Approach

I thought “The Bipartisan Dream” [February 12] displayed a degree of naiveté...

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I thought "The Bipartisan Dream" [February 12] displayed a degree of naiveté in regard to the differences of "all at once" versus "one step at a time" healthcare reforms proposed by the Democrats and Republicans, respectively. Any experienced engineer or project manager knows that breaking a large project into smaller steps increases the chance of overall project success. Trying to do everything all at once has a higher probability of failure owing to the near impossibility of correctly identifying and adjusting a malfunctioning component requiring adjustments, leading to spiraling costs and eventually project failure.

BRUCE JOHNSON Minneapolis

What a wonderful edition of U.S. News Weekly. A well-balanced appraisal of the news done in a strategic rather than a tactical, just-in vein. "The Bipartisan Dream," "Politics as Usual," and "Saving America From Debt" felt like the main course rather than appetizers.

KERMIT THATCHER Wesley Chapel, Fla.

Jump-Starting the Job Market

Tax breaks to small businesses, as much as they are needed, cannot create jobs alone [Editor's Note, February 12]. Small businesses will add jobs only when there is sufficient demand for products or serv­ices to warrant one more person and not because the business gets a $5,000 tax credit. Tax breaks are an important element, but it will take a massive infusion of spending capacity to create demand that will lead to significant employment growth. The government can provide that impetus quickly, and it should be targeted at infrastructure projects and job-training programs. It will take a combination of actions to have any real impact.

KENT MILLINGTON Highland, Utah

Lower taxes on all business! If we lower taxes on all businesses, we become more competitive. As the revenue increases, companies will hire, and taxable profits will again increase. Maybe some companies that moved offshore because of high tax rates will return. Business is the lifeblood of our economy and growth.

JACK STONE Plymouth Meeting, Pa.

Why take $50 billion and filter it down through a huge, slow-acting (and costly) bureaucracy to pay millions not to work when you could take the same $50 billion and give 2 million people jobs at $25,000 a year? The mortgage foreclosure mess is similar: Foreclosures lead to damaged neighborhoods, falling real estate prices, and even more foreclosures, rising crime, and associated costs. It was Congress that set the stage for the mortgage meltdown by gutting long-established guidelines for borrowers to qualify for a mortgage loan, by forcing banks to make irresponsible loans, and by failing to pull in the reins on Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

JIM BURDICK Rocky Face, Ga.

What kind of public works does the Obama administration propose specifically? And how will this be prioritized and paid for? Debate over healthcare suggests that addressing answers to these questions will result in little being accomplished. The Franklin D. Roosevelt-Keynesian solution to economic distress may put food on the table and a roof overhead temporarily, but experience shows that government projects may exacerbate economic problems in the long run.

DON R. MATHIS Carmichael, Calif.

Correction: "Should Terrorism Trials Be Held in Civilian Courts?" [February 12] contained an incorrect first name for Anthony D. Romero of the ACLU.


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