Readers React: Stop calling Paul Ryan ‘immoral’ and ‘extreme’ just because you disagree with him on taxes

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) shakes hands following a roundtable on tax reform on Capitol Hill on April 17.
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) shakes hands following a roundtable on tax reform on Capitol Hill on April 17.
(Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)

To the editor: Noah Berlatsky’s “hit job” on Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) is another example of left-wing name-calling without basis in fact. (“Why do we give Paul Ryan credit for being consistent when his ideas are terrible?” Opinion, April 23)

For instance, Berlatsky claims that the intent of Ryan’s tax cut initiative is to squash the poor for the benefit of the rich. Actually, his intent is to create a better business climate that provides more jobs for people wishing to work.

Berlatsky also writes that conservatives “embrace bigotry consistently.” Why? Simply because they think the police, for the most part, are doing their job? Is it because they support only legal immigration?

Berlatsky calls Ryan’s views “extreme,” but if we ever lose our wonderful freedoms, it will be because of the real extremists of the far left who shout over any opinion they don’t like, try to ban conservative speakers from campuses, regulate anything that moves and try to ruin legitimate businesses because the owners might have a different political view from theirs.


Richard Schultz, Sherman Oaks


To the editor: Berlatsky calls the Ryan tax cuts not simply bad policy but immoral: “Speaker Ryan has devoted his political career to trying to steal from the poor to give the rich cuts. That’s an immoral goal.”

This indicts not just Ryan, but the whole Republican establishment.

A progressive income tax is foundational for equitable distribution of wealth in a democracy. What we are experiencing is refusal of the rich to pay their fair share and an immoral shifting of the tax burden to the middle class and the poor.

Fred Fenton, Seal Beach


To the editor: It would appear that Berlatsky has never read the book “The Bell Curve,” as his assertion that co-author Charles Murray is racist is not borne out by anything in the book.

The book’s main premise is that what we know as the standard “IQ test” is still, unfortunately, the best predictor of future financial and educational success. It is true that the statistics at the time of the book’s writing indicated that among racial groups, Asians fared best, whites fared second best and blacks fared worst in IQ scores, but the book never stated that it was due to lack of intelligence.

In fact, the IQ test measures knowledge far more than intelligence, and knowledge is a function of innate intelligence combined with access to information and motivation.

Murray’s book was principally an expression of disappointment in our inability to measure true intelligence and an implicit condemnation of our education system, which systematically denied blacks equal learning opportunities.

Wayne Knight, McLean, Va.

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