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What Will History Say About Reagan?

September 10, 1988

Your article on "The Reagan Legacy," ("National Security Success Imposes New Dilemmas," Part I, Aug. 29) indicates that deficit-financing paid for our arms buildup. The article might have mentioned that, in addition to government borrowing, the $2-trillion defense buildup was funded, as well, by reductions in spending for programs addressing the needs of our people--typically, street people for whom government subsidized housing is not available, children who have been living in poverty, students and graduates who have received inferior educations, the ill who have received no or inadequate medical care, those who live in polluted environments and other similarly situated large segments of our population who made the tacit choice of funding the cost of the arms buildup by a reduction in their share of federal spending.

For example, during the years 1980-7, military spending increased $61 billion per year while spending for the poor and the unemployed was cut by $33 billion per year; for education, by $6 billion; for the environment, by $11 billion.

B. L. NEWMAN

Pacific Palisades

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