Perriello Understands The Challenge

Published 4:31 pm Thursday, September 16, 2010

Editor, The Herald:

To judge from the newspapers and letters-to-the-editor, Representative Perriello and his critics disagree on many things; however, they presumably would agree it would be good to (1) reduce government expenditures, (2) cut taxes, (3) decrease the deficit and the rate of increase in the debt, and (4) lower the unemployment rate.

Problem: You can't have all of the above. You have to make choices. If you cut taxes, you increase the deficit. If you reduce expenditures, you drive up the unemployment rate. And so on.

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Perriello seems to have wrestled with these harsh choices. His critics seem to believe you can have your cake and eat it too, you can get a “free lunch.” Listening to them, I am reminded of the description of a character by that great fictional private eye Philip Marlowe: “From thirty feet away she looked like a lot of class. From ten feet away she looked like something made up to be seen from thirty feet away.” So it is with the economic arguments of Perriello's critics.

William R. Hendley