Letter to the editor

Milt Zall certainly hit the nail on the head in his column, "More feds, not fewer" [Federal Computer Week, Oct. 15, 2001]. I've been thinking much the same thing, but he is the first person I have noticed saying it publicly.

Airline security, when entrusted to the private sector, was mostly for show and done as cheaply as possible. As soon as the Sept. 11 attacks happened, politicians of every political stripe suddenly were jumping on the bandwagon of federalizing airport security, yet about half of them are in the camp that says that the private sector can to a better job than the federal government at any task. I hope the next time they are tempted to say that, they think of that smoking pile of rubble in lower Manhattan.

What's next? I trust you have noted, as I have with a mixture of amusement and outrage, that the insurance industry now wants the government to get involved as the insurer of last resort. The private sector will make all the money, of course, but if they don't have enough in reserve to accommodate their liabilities, the American taxpayer is supposed to bail them out.

All I can say is that we certainly live in curious times.

Chris Oberlin

Wheaton, Md.

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