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'Economic Witchcraft'

January 19, 1986

Regarding your editorial, "Economic Witchcraft," even more important than your point that Reagan's economic policy has failed to balance the budget or is likely to do so is your closing request for candor on his part.

It is a point of considerable embarrassment to a growing number of us Republicans that the party that originally fielded "Honest Abe" Lincoln for President now has as its leader a man who is apparently unable to distinguish between fact and fantasy.

From claiming to have photographed atrocities in Nazi concentration camps after World War II, to denying that there had been any budget cuts during his first term, to stating that NATO has "no deterrent whatsoever" to Soviet medium-range missiles, to saying that nuclear missiles can be recalled after launch, to denying that he had made that claim, to his Jan. 7 comment that we get "the same percentage" of the gross national product as tax revenue now as when he assumed office, the President is quick to make statements that are patently untrue--not to say lies--in order to make a point.

But, if his position cannot be supported by the truth, then it cannot be supported by the honest citizens of this nation

Unfortunately, there is a large gap between integrity and electability in this country. Many Republicans wish that the President would return to the one traditional value of our party that he has been quickest to scrap--honesty.

CHRIS CONRAD

Long Beach

Conrad is national co-chair of the New Republican Agenda.

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