Dear WSJ: No More New Deal Ideas

Editor, The Wall Street Journal

200 Liberty Street

New York, NY 10281

To the Editor:

Ed Glaeser wisely argues that it's a bad deal to copy ideas from the New Deal – including that of subsidizing mortgages ("The GOP Has a Dumb Mortgage Idea," Feb. 5). As one of the most astute Americans ever to live, H.L. Mencken, said about the New Deal, "It is a puerile amalgam of exploded imbecilities, many of them in flat contradiction of the rest." And among the imbecilities that Mencken highlighted was the very one that Mr. Glaeser warns against. Mencken described it as a proposal "to lift the burden of debt by encouraging fools to incur more debt."*

* H.L. Mencken, On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1996 [1956]), p. 311.


Donald J. Boudreaux

Don Boudreaux is the Chairman of the Department of Economics at George Mason University and a Business & Media Institute adviser.