- The Washington Times - Monday, February 2, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

I have been complaining about President Obama and others in the government telling industry how to spend its money and conduct its business. Professional politicians know naught about business and have bankrupted the auto and housing industries with their interference. Unfortunately, I have to add The Washington Times to my blacklist after your Sunday editorial “Enough! Business excesses are disgraceful.” Having the government tell businesses how much money they can spend on bathrooms, airplanes, bonuses or anything else is tantamount to nationalization.

I admit that some of the expenses are bad public relations, but that is the business of the shareholders, not the government. If the government gives money with strings attached, the strings should be clearly defined, or else the government should shut up.

As I understand it, Citicorp ordered its airplane several years ago, made progress payments on it and intended to retire two older, more inefficient airplanes when the new one arrived. Now because of government interference, it is canceling the new plane; playing cancellation penalties; and keeping the older, gas-guzzling planes. Although I have never received a bonus in my life, I suspect that in some cases, a bonus is in lieu of part of a salary and as such is planned and due. Mr. Obama sounds like President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. We are barreling into socialism, and I am disappointed that The Washington Times is joining the nattering mob.

JOHN CULLOM

Catonsville, Md.

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