To the Editor:

Conservatives read The Times to motivate them against the paper’s principles. Yet the review of “The Case for Big Government,” by Senator Edward Kennedy’s adviser Jeff Madrick (Jan. 18), gushed even by your standards. The review’s title and subtitle – “Renewed Deal: The need for federal spending is apparent even to conservatives, as a time of recovery requires investment in the country’s future” – is completely misleading. Conservatives believe spending is out of hand and never use “investment” as a synonym for tax and spend.

Madrick’s statement, quoted by the reviewer, that “there really is no example of small government among rich nations,” is unsupported nonsense. Think Dubai, free and rich.

For only this, I miss the Evil Empire as a living example of big government. What is apparent is that our spendthrift policies are bringing the United States the empty store shelves of Communism, but it didn’t matter then and won’t matter here: no one has money anyway.