In his Dec. 7 op-ed column, “It’s nothing but a power play,” Charles Krauthammer said that the effect of returning high-earner tax rates to 1990s levels is “a joke” and “a rounding error,” because doing it in 2012 would have cut the deficit only from $1.10 trillion to $1.02 trillion. This is a “rounding error” only if we are rounding to the nearest trillion. Accountants use a 1 percent significance test, but the difference here is more than seven times that. If recovering $80 billion in a single year is really a “joke” for U.S. economic policy, then why not dedicate that money to fighting the diseases that kill millions of children every year?  For example, just a piece of that sum — $6 billion annually — would fully fund the worldwide effort to wipe out malaria.

James Radner, Toronto

Like Charles Krauthammer, I am shocked to learn that there is a political motive in the policies advocated by some politicians.

William Sanjour, Annapolis