- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 21, 2004

Taxation, theft and liberalism

In all the years I have been reading The Washington Times, I have always been amused with Adrienne Washington’s column (“Democrats must capture moral high ground,” Metropolitan, Tuesday). Her most recent was no different, but its plaintive cries were strong enough that I had to respond.

Ms. Washington seems to be of the belief that the government, in robbing others to fund her pet programs, is somehow performing the Lord’s work, and thus the Democrats and liberal fellow travelers kept the moral high ground, being advocates for this wealth redistribution. How charitable is it, really, to advocate taking the wealth of another against that person’s will, to fund programs that are at best marginal at assisting those who are at society’s edges, simply because you and your group think it is in the country’s best interest? Where I come from, that is called robbery.

The difference between Ms. Washington and me is that she sees nothing wrong with this form of theft. I do. I would prefer to have my own money to spend or donate as I see fit. As has been shown when the tax returns of major political figures are scrutinized, conservatives give a lot more of their wealth to poverty-fighting private charities than do liberals. Liberals invest a lot of time trying to take the wealth of others for their pet causes, and yet they are less willing to put their own money into private, more effective, charities. That tells me a lot about how stable the “moral high ground” occupied by the liberals is, and why the Democrats have been losing for so long.

The leftists’ tenuous hold on the black community appears to be shifting as more black voters wake up to the reality of liberalism and Democrats. Doubtless the Adrienne Washingtons will have a death grip on their ideology, but younger blacks are questioning the very basis of the liberal theology. Meanwhile, the party faithful are clueless as to why they are losing ground. It is amusing to watch.

NORMAN HENDRICKSON

Bowie

Food for thought, part two

I wasn’t surprised to see David Martosko’s letter railing against People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ Fish Empathy Project (“Food for thought,” Friday). The reason is this: Wherever PETA goes, Mr. Martosko’s Center for Consumer Freedom is sure to follow.

As spokesperson for CCF, Mr. Martosko protects sales for tobacco companies, steak restaurant chains, chicken corporations and other companies that profit from animal exploitation. Every time PETA sheds light on animal suffering or the many connections between consuming meat and dairy products and potentially fatal illnesses, Mr. Martosko cringes. Instead of responding to our compassionate message, he writes letters that attack the messenger.

In the meantime, people like my father — who suffers from diabetes and underwent quintuple bypass surgery after years of eating hamburger, chicken, and fish — are adopting vegetarian diets to prolong their lives.

CHRISTINA MATTHIES

Staff writer

People for the Ethical Treatment

of Animals

Norfolk

Fewer taxes, more prosperity

Paul Craig Roberts’ fears over our trade imbalance and declining dollar are a bit overwrought (“Declining superpower act,” Commentary, Friday). Although a sustained decline in the dollar or loss of the industrial base caused by heavy regulatory and corporate tax burdens must be avoided, the nation’s underlying economic strengths far outweigh a temporary decline in the dollar.

Regardless of relative currency prices, with gross domestic product growth averaging nearly double that of the European Union, the U.S. economy produces far more wealth than Europe (or any other economy in the world). Aside from our more open trade policies — including those with China — we are wealthier because government consumes a smaller share of our economy (approximately 31 percent of GDP) as compared to the EU, where government consumes nearly 45 percent of GDP. Quite simply, the United States is more economically powerful than Europe because government takes less of our wealth (although the burden here is still considerable).

Rather than bashing free trade and overseas outsourcing, both of which contribute to our economic strength, Mr. Roberts should direct his ire toward Congress’ spending habits and federal indebtedness. In fact, with Congress at last focused on reforming Social Security to both improve retiree returns and head off a massive entitlement tidal wave, it would be a shame if today’s profligacy were to minimize or forestall needed congressional action. If, on the other hand, President Bush succeeds in reforming Social Security and simplifying taxes, America’s best economic days are still to come.

PAUL J. GESSING

Director of Government Affairs

National Taxpayers Union

Alexandria

‘Knock Out’ for respect, not combat

Knock-Out Abuse Against Women appreciates your recognition that domestic violence is a serious problem by covering our event (“Battle of the sexes plays out for charity,” Party lines, Nov. 15) and raising awareness of the issue. However, we are concerned about the combative tone of the article and some errors.

This event was created to help women and children who are victims of abuse. It was never designed as a competition to Fight Night. On the contrary, we have always enjoyed a great relationship with Fight for Children, the charity that Fight Night benefits. Rather than a competition, it’s been a great partnership that benefits both organizations and their donors. It is most regrettable that you chose to position it as a competition, since that is at odds with the awareness we try to bring to this issue. If Knock Out Abuse Against Women stands for anything, it’s for respect and peaceful coexistence for men and women. The entire tone of the article was at odds with the spirit and the mission of the people who work so hard at Knock Out and the women who support it.

We also want to correct a few errors in the article.

First, Jill Sorenson Robert is the co-founder, along with Cheryl Masri, of Knock Out Abuse Against Women. They created the first event in 1993 at Cafe Milano and have worked as a team since then.

Second, Jill and Joe Robert are separated, not divorced.

Third, there was a live band, Disco Inferno, who performed at the end of the evening, not a disc jockey.

Knock-Out Abuse Against Women raised more than $450,000 at this gala for victims of domestic violence. In the past 11 years we have raised more than $5 million for organizations that help area women and children fight the cycle of domestic abuse. This point — which we consider the most important part of the event — was missing from the article.

HOLIDAE HAYES

2004 Chairwoman

CHERYL DAVIS MASRI

Co-Founder

JILL SORENSEN ROBERT

Co-Founder

Knock Out Abuse Against Women

Vienna

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