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Letters to the Editor: Once again Democrats try to legislate, and Republicans obstruct

Sen. Joe Manchin III is followed by reporters after a caucus meeting.
Sen. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia is followed by reporters after a caucus meeting with Senate Democrats on Dec. 17.
(Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images)

To the editor: Well, Jonah Goldberg’s column urging Democrats to calm down after the defeat of “Build Back Better” was very clever. He even allowed God a small cameo. I’d just point out a couple of small points.

Goldberg says that not merely one or two senators were against President Biden’s social spending plan, but 52. Yes, but 50 of those were Republicans, not one with a backbone. The Democrats, with messy messaging included, try to get something done; the Republicans obstruct, to a man.

Goldberg also compares Biden’s plan to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. In the 1930s, we were going through the worst depression in our history. I am 91 and have vivid memories of how we lived in those days. While FDR offered hope, economically we didn’t really snap out of it until World War II.

Even though we’re politically divided and Biden has no coattails, but for COVID-19, this economy would be bustling.

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No, Mr. Goldberg, it’s not that many Americans are hungry for a New Deal; it’s that many Americans are hungry.

Nate Tucker, Costa Mesa

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To the editor: Goldberg posits that Biden should be content with success in doing what his predecessor couldn’t — legislating massive improvements in the nation’s infrastructure.

Goldberg suggests that Biden should thank God that Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) thwarted his party’s proposed Build Back Better plan, as if passing that social-spending legislation would not greatly enhance Democrats’ prospects in 2022 and 2024.

Yes, Build Back Better would cost more than the infrastructure law. But there’s a devil in the details: Build Back Better would provide immediate benefits to working-class families — in the form of tax credits, reduced child care expenses and so on — while infrastructure spending, however beneficial to all Americans, would be doled out over many years.

Goldberg should factor in how the voting masses are far more motivated by immediate personal gratification than long-range infrastructure improvements.

Christine Hagel, Orcutt, Calif.

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To the editor: It’s ironic that Goldberg begins a column about the apparent failure of Build Back Better with an anecdote about God’s attempts to rescue a man from a flood.

The climate elements of Build Back Better were an attempt to rescue us from a future of floods and many other varieties of warming-related devastation.

But Goldberg writes nothing about the obvious urgency of these efforts, preferring to concentrate solely on the politics.

Don Shirley, Sherman Oaks


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