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Execution moral issue,

not ‘question of cost’

Re: The March 7 Associated Press article “In hard times, executions become question of cost”:

The death penalty is a moral issue and not a “question of cost.”

The primary scope of any penalty is to redress the disorder caused by the offense. When his punishment is voluntarily accepted by the offender, it takes on the value of expiation.

Moreover, punishment, in addition to preserving public order and the safety of people, has a medicinal scope: as far as possible it should contribute to the correction of the offender.

If bloodless means are sufficient to defend against the aggressor and to protect the safety of people, public authority should limit itself to such means, because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person. The Fifth Commandment states: “Thou shall not murder.”

Today, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crimes, the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity, are very rare, if not practically non-existent.

There ultimately remains no moral justification for imposing a sentence of death. Violence begets violence both in our hearts and in our actions.

By continuing the tradition of responding to killing with state-sanctioned killing, we rob ourselves of moral consistency and perpetuate that which we seek to sanction.

Paul Kokoski

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Feds’ spending helps, feds’ taxes hurt

Perhaps the most misleading words about our economy are “taxpayers’ money.” Let’s keep two facts in mind:

• The federal government is not a taxpayer; it is a tax receiver. So when the government spends money, it is not spending tax payer’s money. It is spending tax receiver’s money.

• Federal government spending has no relationship to federal taxation. Increased spending does not cause increased federal taxes, nor does decreased spending cause decreased taxes. (Contrast this with state and local government spending which is tied closely to tax receipts.)

Even the experts are confused. Professor Robert Salomon, associate professor of management at NYU’s Stern School of Business, said, “Why should GM and Chrysler use money loaned by the U.S. government to transfer wealth from U.S. taxpayers to exiting GM/Chrysler employees?”

What the professor seems to forget is those employees are taxpayers. Further, if those employees did not receive one cent, we taxpayers would not pay any less in taxes.

Money going from the government to the private sector enriches the economy, just as money going the opposite direction (i.e. taxes) impoverishes the economy. This is the reason for federal stimulus packages. When it comes to the economy, remember this: Federal spending helps; federal taxes hurt.

The government has the unlimited ability to create money, and government money does no good until it is sent into the economy. Because all the stimulus packages have come from deficit spending, not one dime of taxpayers’ money has been sent to GM, Chrysler et al.

Further, if you want to stimulate the economy, it’s silly to lend money to private companies, because when lent money must be paid back, the economy is weakened. Stimulus money always should be given, not lent.

When the government makes a profit, the economy takes a loss. Statements that taxpayers can profit from loans to industry are misleading. So-called taxpayer profits actually are money sent to the government, and similar to taxes, they are an economic loss.

When you read the words “taxpayers’ money,” in an article that complains about government spending, you can be sure the author has no idea what he’s talking about.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

Wilmette, Ill.

Look to Britain to see failure of socialism

The British economy is in much worse shape than ours, with causes of this including Britain’s left-wing Labour Party having been in power since 1997, Britain’s harmful socialist health care system and the further harm done by Britain’s version of cap-and-trade.

In other words, Britain’s economy is suffering in direct relation with the magnitude of socialism Britain already has adopted (just as our economy is doing so).

Perhaps President Obama’s rudeness toward British Prime Minister Gordon Brown was just his way of attempting to deflect Americans’ attention away from the inconvenient truth that Obama’s alleged “cure” to American economic woes is precisely the cause of Britain’s massive economic suffering.

Mark Kalinowski

New York, N.Y.

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