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Dr. Rafael J. Cabrera

Rector

Universidad de Ciencias Medicas

Managua, Nicaragua

Bail out is not a good idea

Someone should inform former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan that an impostor is ruining his good name.

The real Alan Greenspan sought to place the country on a fiscally sound course and regularly testified before Congress to urge that deficit spending come to an end.

The new Alan Greenspan has endorsed a plan even worse than the administration’s reprehensible scheme to provide rate adjustments for subprime mortgage borrowers who expect to have difficulty paying their obligations when rates reset next year (“Greenspan urges cash bailouts,” Business, Monday).

It is with amazement and dismay that I note that in referring to the handouts, Mr. Greenspan said, “Cash is available, and we should use that in larger amounts, as is necessary, to solve the problems of the stress of this.”

Cash is available? What cash? The country continues to run deficits in the hundreds of billions of dollars per year, thanks largely to our senseless war in Iraq and the amount of the deficit is consistently and significantly understated because of consistent demands for more money for that war.

On President Bush’s watch, the national debt has ballooned from $5 trillion to more than $9 trillion, or about $30,000 for every American, and now Mr. Greenspan wants us to spend hundreds of billions more to void mortgage contracts and to destroy the concept of personal responsibility?

Esteemed Carnegie-Mellon University economics professor and longtime Fed watcher Allan H. Meltzer responded to Mr. Greenspan’s comments, stating, “It is not a good idea for the government to bail out people who make mistakes.” May Mr. Meltzer’s common sense spread throughout the land, and may we regain our bearings.

OREN M. SPIEGLER

Upper Saint Clair, Pa.