Love/Hate Mail 

Smack about Ashford

Smack about Ashford

Your boy Phil Ashford doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about. In his latest installment of leftist boilerplate (Political Notes, May 8), he attempts to denigrate Rep. Marsha Blackburn by associating her with the supposedly discredited school of supply-side economics. The main problem with his argument is his reliance on the self-serving distortions that have mischaracterized supply-side economics ever since Reagan ground the old Keynesian philosophy into dust on his way to the longest period of sustained economic growth this nation has ever experienced.

Ashford implies that, like Reagan before her, Blackburn mindlessly pushes for tax cuts while gleefully writing rubber checks on the national treasury. This mischaracterization is as untrue as his assertion that supply-side economics has never enjoyed any credibility in serious economic circles. The fact is, most credible economists agree that tax-rate reductions do increase total revenues up to an arguable break-even point. It is also a verifiable fact that total revenues doubled during the Reagan years. The problem was (and still is) that despite increased revenues, spending still outstripped income.

Ashford refuses to acknowledge that whatever spending increases or deficits were run up concurrently with past tax-rate reductions were not the result of supply-siders overpromising that tax cuts would offset unlimited spending increases.

We all know who pushed for the higher spending then, just as we know who is pushing for it now—and it isn’t Marsha Blackburn.

Rick Baker

Rick.baker@verizon.net (Vienna, Va.)

Garcia as mortal

I find Mr. Pulle’s comment about Pedro Garcia interesting: “Wealthy business leaders herald his reign as if he were the Second Coming of Jack Welch” (“Here to Stay,” May 8). I guess this explains all of those going-out-of-business signs I see on private school properties around Nashville. These leaders are clearly pulling their children from the schools traditionally populated by kids of “wealthy business leaders” and enrolling them in Metro schools in massive numbers since Pedro Garcia’s arrival.

Face it, the only reason that the business community supports Garcia is because he’s picked a fight with organized labor. I know the animosity between the right-wing, Chamber of Commerce types and the teachers’ union is great, but I don’t believe that any schools director should get a free pass from the press simply by hammering the union. A closer examination of the system will show a decline in standards (weakened discipline, lessened consequences for student absences and misbehavior, moving resources away from high-achieving students, cuts in specialty classes and focusing the educational process around low-achievers). I believe that under closer examination, all Nashvillians, including conservatives, will raise some much-needed questions about the direction of this system.

Fred Billiards

Wallmatt1@aol.com (Nashville)

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