April 4th 2009

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Articles from this issue:

EDITORIAL: A way out of the economic tsunami?

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Senator Steve Fielding's political challenge

COMMONWEALTH GOVERNMENT: Rudd Government's radical agenda by stealth

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: The Liberal Party faces moment of truth

QUEENSLAND STATE ELECTION I: Labor's Anna Bligh returns to power

QUEENSLAND STATE ELECTION II: Leading abortion campaigner defeated

ECONOMIC AFFAIRS: Can free trade theory survive the global slump?

ENVIRONMENT: Global cooling is here: Don Easterbrook

BIOETHICS: Plant liberation: Europe's next cause célèbre?

UNITED NATIONS: Voices for the unborn heard at UN session

OPINION: Granting scientists power to take innocent life

F.D. Roosevelt and Obama's strategies (letter)

Agriculture the best-performing sector (letter)

Increasing populations (letter)

CINEMA: Easy Virtue - Dark side of 'deliciously funny comedy'

BOOKS: SMACK EXPRESS: How Organised Crime Got Hooked on Drugs, by Clive Small and Tom Gilling

BOOKS: JOURNEY TO ETERNITY: Victim of Apartheid: a novel, by Eric Carman

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Roosevelt and Obama's strategies (letter)

by Peter J. Talbot

News Weekly, April 4, 2009


I enjoy reading articles by Colin Teese. However, his recent piece, "Targeted spending needed to promote Australian jobs" (News Weekly, March 7), has some questionable observations.

First, he asserts that America pulled out of the 1930s Depression due to massive spending on World War II.

The Great Depression began in October 1929 with the New York stock market crash, and America did not enter World War II until December 7, 1941. with the attack on Pearl Harbor, a lag of some 12 years. Also, President Frankliin Roosevelt's policy of increased taxes is believed by some to have prolonged the Depression.

Additionally, Mr Teese's contention of tax cuts for high-income earners based on political (i.e., conservative) patronage is suspect. In the last US presidential election, many large corporations and high-income earners (e.g., billionaire Warren Buffet) supported or donated to the campaign, not of the Republican John McCain but of the Democrat Barack Obama.

Furthermore, despite Mr Obama's pledge to cut taxes for 95 per cent of Americans, 40 per cent of them pay no tax at all.

Also, the top 5 per cent of income-earners pay something like 70 per cent of the taxes and are responsible in large part for investment in the economy.

Mr Teese also failed to mention the effect that President Obama's massive spending and doubling of the deficit has had on their stock market, which is often an indicator of economic health.

Since Obama's inauguration on January 20, Americans - of which three out of four are invested in the market - have lost US$1.6 trillion dollars in equity.

On a final note, I personally am not against re-distribution of income and a fair, equitable and progressive tax system. I believe it to be the mark of a compassionate society.

Peter J. Talbot,
Nudgee, Qld

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