Magazine | August 15, 2011, Issue

Letters

Hazardous to Your Freedom

Regarding Daniel Foster’s “Smoke Alarm” (July 18): If the nanny state’s real objective is to scare a significant number of smokers into stopping puffing, let me suggest a warning for the cigarette package that will truly terrorize: “As much as half of the money you paid for these cigarettes will fund the salaries of people who know what is best for you, and will devise ways to make you do it for your own good.”

David K. Hackley

Minneapolis, Minn.

Tax Breaks for Rich Liberals

Regarding Kevin A. Hassett’s “Tax Breaks for the (Democratic) Rich” (July 18), I’m surprised National Review would publish a report on such a shoddy analysis. Would anyone dispute that homes in Maryland, California, Connecticut, Virginia, and New Jersey are more costly than homes in Arkansas, Mississippi, West Virginia, and the Dakotas? It stands to reason that a greater mortgage value at an identical interest rate would result in a greater dollar benefit.

In the interest of a fair analysis, percentages should have been used, as in analyzing tax-rate reductions.

Alan R. Fedele

Via e-mail

Kevin A. Hassett Replies: This letter seems to miss the point, so let me humbly restate it.

The benefits of tax reform are beyond dispute. Yet while Democrats often talk a good game, advocating a broader base and lower tax rates in the abstract, they always seem to abandon ship when reform is sighted. The fact that two of the largest base-narrowing measures (the mortgage-interest deduction and the state-and-local-income-tax deduction) disproportionately benefit Democrats is probably the best explanation available for this behavior.

Yes, liberals tend to live in areas that are more densely populated and have higher property values. That’s why they defend the mortgage-interest deduction to the death.

Correction

Maggie Gallagher’s “Gay Old Party?” (August 1) asserted that conservative donor Paul Singer funds The Weekly Standard. He does not.

Members of the National Review editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

In This Issue

Articles

Features

Politics & Policy

Obama’s Nemesis

Washington, D.C. — Across the rotunda, Sen. Harry Reid, a 71-year-old Democrat, is grumbling about Rep. Eric Cantor, the House majority leader. The previous evening, Cantor, a boyish Virginia Republican, ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Faraway, So Close

Whether or not the late Mexican military ruler Porfirio Díaz (1830–1915) ever actually said, “Poor Mexico! So far from God and so close to the United States,” his alleged quip ...
Politics & Policy

Songs and Tanks

Last month, a singer named Ibrahim Kashush was leading crowds in Syria. They were demonstrating against the dictatorship and for democracy and freedom. Kashush entertained, inspired, and delighted them with ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

Hazardous to Your Freedom Regarding Daniel Foster’s “Smoke Alarm” (July 18): If the nanny state’s real objective is to scare a significant number of smokers into stopping puffing, let me suggest ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Mr. Strauss-Kahn seems quite well qualified to be prime minister — of Italy.  ‐ Rep. Michele Bachmann and former governor Tim Pawlenty, both Minnesotans, have been trading jabs as they ...
The Long View

TO: Studio Personnel

TO: Studio Personnel FROM: Production RE: Captain America This weekend’s excellent box-office grosses for Captain America have been incredibly gratifying. The movie is performing very well nationally, and we’re on track for another ...
Athwart

Statism Down Our Throats

People who see everything as a problem to be solved by the application of exquisitely calibrated governmental force remind you of the maxim: When all you have is a hammer, ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

  ON A THEME OF D’ALIBRAY Such a fine day rides on the soft air, Laura, please pay heed to the new season, That laughs at the clear sky and sings of love: Spring is ...
Happy Warrior

How Weird How Soon?

From London’s Daily Mail: “Scientists have created more than 150 human-animal hybrid embryos in British laboratories.”     You don’t say. Now why would they do that? Don’t worry, it’s all perfectly legit, ...

Most Popular

Elections

Put Up or Shut Up on These Accusations, Hillary

Look, one 2016 candidate being prone to wild and baseless accusations is enough. Appearing on Obama campaign manager David Plouffe’s podcast, Hillary Clinton suggested that 2016 Green Party candidate Jill Stein was a “Russian asset,” that Republicans and Russians were promoting the Green Party, and ... Read More
National Review

Farewell

Today is my last day at National Review. It's an incredibly bittersweet moment. While I've only worked full-time since May, 2015, I've contributed posts and pieces for over fifteen years. NR was the first national platform to publish my work, and now -- thousands of posts and more than a million words later -- I ... Read More
White House

The Impeachment Defense That Doesn’t Work

If we’ve learned anything from the last couple of weeks, it’s that the “perfect phone call” defense of Trump and Ukraine doesn’t work. As Andy and I discussed on his podcast this week, the “perfect” defense allows the Democrats to score easy points by establishing that people in the administration ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Elizabeth Warren Is Not Honest

If you want to run for office, political consultants will hammer away at one point: Tell stories. People respond to stories. We’ve been a story-telling species since our fur-clad ancestors gathered around campfires. Don’t cite statistics. No one can remember statistics. Make it human. Make it relatable. ... Read More
Elections

Democrats Think They Can Win without You

A  few days ago, Ericka Anderson, an old friend of National Review, popped up in the pages of the New York Times lamenting that “the Democratic presidential field neglects abundant pools of potential Democrat converts, leaving persuadable audiences — like independents and Trump-averse, anti-abortion ... Read More
PC Culture

Defiant Dave Chappelle

When Dave Chappelle’s Netflix special Sticks & Stones came out in August, the overwhelming response from critics was that it was offensive, unacceptable garbage. Inkoo Kang of Slate declared that Chappelle’s “jokes make you wince.” Garrett Martin, in the online magazine Paste, maintained that the ... Read More
Economy & Business

Andrew Yang, Snake Oil Salesman

Andrew Yang, the tech entrepreneur and gadfly, has definitely cleared the bar for a successful cause candidate. Not only has he exceeded expectations for his polling and fundraising, not only has he developed a cult following, not only has he got people talking about his signature idea, the universal basic ... Read More