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'Poverty Is Not as Bad Here'

January 07, 1985

Would one of you editors please ask Wattenberg to explain by what tortured semantical reasoning he can make poverty go down when it is clearly going up.

Without citing a single source to back up his assertion, he implies that the Roman Catholic bishops are misguided, fuzzy-headed bleeding hearts for issuing a draft pastoral letter condemning poverty.

Wattenberg is wrong, not the bishops.

The Times last Aug. 3 reported extensively on the latest Census Bureau report showing that the poverty rate rose from 15% in 1982 to 15.2% in 1983. That was the first time since President Lyndon B. Johnson declared his war on poverty in 1965 that the poverty rate exceeded 15%, according to The Times story. The Census Bureau went on to report that poverty has increased 35% from 1979 to 1983.

Then Wattenberg goes on to make absurd comparisons between the United States and the Soviet Union and the United States and Japan. To top it all off he speculates that bus boys in the United States are making $11,000 a year!

Has Wattenberg talked to any bus boys lately? LU HAAS

Pacific Palisades

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