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Clinton Summit With Yeltsin

April 14, 1993

How is it that we can part with $1.6 billion for Boris Yeltsin, and not one of our elected officials raises a voice in opposition? If this money is being given to forestall the inevitable, the downfall of the present-day Russian government and the old-guard apparatchiks, how is the money going to be applied? What's going to be different six months from now? Russian advisers themselves have admitted that this is too small an amount to do anything, and they really don't know what to do with it. There is absolutely no accountability for where this large sum of money is supposed to be used. If this was given to a U.S. city, county or state government, those officials would be required to account for every last cent. Why should this be any different?

This money should be used to buy U.S.-made products, whether it be in the form of food, transportation, medical supplies, and/or educational material. Products that will make their way to the Russian people, instead of being used to prop up a teetering government. The money has a twofold effect of benefiting not only the Russians, but Americans as well. Of course we don't want to go back to the Cold War era, but nobody, Russian or American, can explain how this money is going to make any difference.

I thought we elected a new government to get rid of the perks, the pork barrel, the business-as-usual apparatchiks that exist within our own government. Yet we come up with no better solution than this, and the President wants to take more money out of our paychecks to fund decisions like this? Geez, did I buy into a crock.

KEVIN CASH

Redondo Beach

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