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Bush's Terror War Trumps Corporate Corruption

June 30, 2002

Another attack on President Bush by Robert Scheer ("Bush Overplays the Terror Card," Commentary, June 25). This time Bush is accused of ruining the U.S. economy and using the war on terrorism to draw attention away from corporate corruption and his handling of the economy. Scheer also blames Ronald Reagan and the first President Bush, both of whom finished their terms many years ago, for our current economic problems but, at the end of his commentary, lays only some blame on Bill Clinton.

Let me remind Scheer that Clinton was running the White House from 1992 to 2000, when the stock market was going through the roof and corporate executives were deceiving shareholders and employees. The stock market collapse began before the current Bush took office. Also, the Sept. 11 attacks played a huge role in damaging our economy and shattering our confidence.

Dan Sheehy

Rancho Palos Verdes

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Without the terrorism card, Bush is the emperor without clothes.

Geoffrey Holland

North Hollywood

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Thanks for Scheer's commentary. It's important to note that terror would have found us no matter who was in the White House. The cards that mattered were misplayed long ago. I wonder if Scheer might not come to equate open markets with deregulation. If you look at it, the economic froth that recently passed for prosperity has mostly been based in cost-cutting. Cut your labor costs and keep the difference. Cut your tax bill and keep the difference. Cut your regulatory obligations and keep the difference.

Moving production abroad, moving vital services and financial institutions out from under the oversight of regulators and moving corporate headquarters to tax havens are all aimed at the same thing: reducing the number of those who share the benefits of enterprise while enlarging the share for those who manipulate the levers.

Meanwhile, much purchasing power and taxpaying power have been sacrificed to the scheme. Is it the Pakistani consumer or the Mexican investor who will fuel the U.S. recovery? Just like deregulation, open markets use pseudoscience to impress the trusting public. Government is in the hands of those who most despise it.

Apparently, every working man in the country was simply unworthy of his keep. His wages were too high. His government cost too much. Now we're all waiting for his discretionary spending to kick in so that earnings and tax receipts can get back on track. So, while he refinances, we'll have to make what we can by raising the prices of things we used to regulate. Pretty slick!

Jim Woolsey

Sierra Vista, Ariz.

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