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'Buried Issues' in the Presidential Race

November 05, 1988

As reported in your editorial "Buried Issues" (Oct. 30), in the second debate George Bush said that he "would never touch the Social Security Trust Fund" (to balance the budget) . . . when in fact the "Administration has employed voodoo bookkeeping to use the Social Security surplus and balances in other trust funds to make the budget deficit appear much better than it is by $100 billion in the past year."

Bush actually went much further and stated that "the Social Security Fund was sound" and that he "didn't want the liberal Democratic Congress to go and take the money out for some other purpose." The Administration which had misused all these funds was now posturing as their protector against the "liberals."

Both Michael Dukakis and the media (prior to your editorial) failed to even comment on, let alone highlight, this enormous misrepresentation.

We don't know whether Bush deliberately wanted to mislead the American public or simply didn't know the basic facts of the budget.

For the last eight years under the Reagan-Bush leadership Republicans and Democrats have jointly passed the 1981 tax cuts, the 1983 Social Security increases and the Graham-Rudman-Hollings Bill which acquiesced in the use of trust fund surpluses to ostensibly reduce the federal deficit. No one has dared alert the American public to the true size of the deficits, the misuse of trust funds, the dangerous shift of the taxes from the rich to the middle classes and the pitfalls facing our economy.

I believe that the American electorate senses the problems, senses the dangers and is tired of the timid politicians and silent editors who submit to this conspiracy of silence. Worse yet are the politicians who either with malice or through ignorance take advantage of this silence to grossly distort the facts for political gain. America deserves better.


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