A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of April 10-16


This week, readers sent us letters about adjusting federal spending for inflation, and considering the need for costly regulations.

In the FactCheck Mailbag, we feature some of the email we receive. Readers can send comments to editor@factcheck.org. Letters may be edited for length.

 

What About Inflation?

As usual, this article provided some good context [“Good Debt Chart, Hyped Narration,” April 10]. Unfortunately, nowhere in the article do the words “inflation,” “real,” or “nominal” appear. The impact of inflation is critical to any comparison of costs over time, and you are negligent to not at least inform readers of whether inflation is accounted for. A quick check on Wikipedia clarifies that the debt picture is slightly rosier when adjusted for inflation, and actually manageable when graphed according to percentage of gross domestic product, or GDP.

Ellis Baggs
Richmond, Va.


Necessary Costs

I read one of the articles about the costs of regulations, and the way it failed to address the necessity of some of these regulations really concerns me.

For example, when the Commodity Futures Modernization Act was signed into law in response to the dot-com bubble bust, it caused subprime mortgages to be sold that weren’t even approved by the Credit Reporting Agency. And not too many years later, we saw the housing market crash.

Even if the costs of regulations are higher, often times these regulations are so essential that we’ll lose a lot more in the long run by not having them in place.

I just feel that the costs of not having said regulations should be included when comparing the two.

Michael Christopher MacDonald
Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada