Letters from our readers: Every generation says times are ‘uncertain’ 

Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, made a profound announcement. He testified that the state of the economy is in a period of “unusual uncertainty.”

In all my years, I have never ever heard of anybody who said we are in the “usual certain” times. The segment of the human race which currently occupies the planet at any given time always says that its times are the most unusual and uncertain.
I think this tendency is a function of believing that “our generation” is somehow special or the most unique ever.

Michael McGreevy

San Francisco

Our regulatory burden

The budget-busting spending spree of the Obama administration is clear — a record 2010 budget deficit of $1.7 trillion with total federal debt expected to exceed $14 trillion next year.

Less recognized is the debilitating effect of vastly expanded federal bureaucratic power under President Barack Obama. The 2,074-page health care bill creates 183 new agencies, commissions, panels and other bodies. The 2,319-page financial reform bill directs government experts to write rules in 243 separate areas.

As Americans increasingly lose faith in Washington, a suffocating and dramatic expansion of the regulatory burden is being imposed. Increased economic costs are sure to follow.

Jim Hartman


Taxes a patriotic duty

The July 23 op-ed about cigarette taxes hurting the poor represents that faction of voters who hate to pay for just about anything. Taxes freak them out. Republicans fly their patriotism when it’s free, and they blame Democrats when the bill comes due. Worse, the Democrats flinch and underfund most of their programs.

Taxing cigarettes, alcohol and cannabis makes patriotic sense. Those taxes could pave roads, support vital services and help fund our schools. Consumers need to recognize that they’re citizens too and should accept that it’s our patriotic duty to pay for ourselves and help pay for our neighbors in need. Anything less just seems ­un-American.

John Thomas Ellis


North Vietnam’s example

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Hanoi to mark the 15th anniversary of normalized U.S.-Vietnam relations. This should serve as an example to North Korea and Iran that being a part of the normal world community brings with it significant economic and diplomatic advantages, including peace and secure borders, which are much better than the consequences of being an outside troublemaker.

It was only 35 years ago that the U.S. and North Vietnam were bitter enemies. Now they are able to get along and work together. Who would have thought it possible?

Kenneth L. Zimmerman

Huntington Beach

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Staff Report

Staff Report

A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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