Remove the Reagan-Colored Glasses
Apparently overcome with the poetry and splendor of the current Reagan revival, in the opinion-page article "Reaping the Rewards of Reaganomics" (Nov. 4), Dinesh D'Souza has chosen to overlook some realities of President Reagan's policies and philosophy.
Reagan was wrong that there needed to be massive spending to combat the Soviets. The Soviet's military was crumbling from within, and the government was already in a period of change. That vast amount of taxpayer dollars could have been invested in more useful technologies, such as research in alternative energy - a program Reagan scrapped soon after entering office. He also was an advocate of rolling back energy efficiency standards. As a result, we are more dependent on foreign oil than ever before. This will inevitably force us into military confrontations to defend our domestic cheap oil policies.
Perhaps his most unfortunate policy was to help nurture a culture of corporate and individual greed that has stayed with us to this day, with his bogus "trickle down" theory. His tenure brought us the savings and loan crisis, as a result of relaxed regulation. His policies also helped weaken labor unions. The wealth in this country is more concentrated in fewer hands, and the divide between rich and poor is greater than any time in recent history.
I will agree that Reagan undoubtably believed in his policies. And indeed he was a man of action in a city of politicians with feet of clay. But a great visionary? Hardly.
Behind Netanyahu's decisionmaking
Although it is a welcome sight to see your coverage of the attempt in Israel to curtail religious freedoms ("Israel's Orthodox Want Only One Way to Pray" Nov. 4), one of the photo captions is absolutely misleading. It reads: "Power of Religion: Prime Minister Netanyahu confers with Sephardic leader Rabbi Kaduri. The Orthodox are a key to Netanyahu's power."
The Israeli prime minister was certainly put over the top in elections by the religious vote, and, yes, Netanyahu must juggle their demands so they do not bring down his government. But it is a mistake to put forward the notion that Netanyahu is in ideological agreement with the extreme right religious factions.