To the editor:
Here are the facts, contrary to what Hugh Wentz (Public Forum, Oct. 24) would have us believe.
Neither France nor Sweden has a socialist government, as he implies. France currently has a conservative prime minister and president; Sweden has a moderate prime minister.
Also, France enjoyed identical growth rate as the U.S. in 2007 (2.2 percent, World Bank), both of which were outperformed by the U.K. (3.0 percent), which does have a socialist government, and China (11.9 percent), which has a communist government.
Having said all that, Sen. Barack Obama is not a socialist. His tax plans simply reverse the tax policies of George Bush, which was socialism reversed, the "trickle down" myth, decreasing the relative tax burden for the top 1 percent of society and increasing it for the rest us. Between 2000 and 2007, for example, despite an 18 percent increase in hourly productivity, middle-class working families' income fell in real terms by 3.5 percent (source, Economic Policy Institute).
Finally, history does not support Wentz's assertion regarding spending, either. The only time we have seen national debt reduction in the past 60 years was when Democrats were totally in charge of our government or when one party was in the White House and another ran Congress. In the same period, when Republicans were in control of the presidency and both houses of Congress, neither debt nor government spending was ever reduced. The last time a Republican Congress reduced the national debt was in 1947, under Truman's leadership.