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Washington Gridlock

June 23, 1993

Sen. Bob Dole's plea for a "bipartisan" effort at deficit reduction is a pathetic example of congressional hypocrisy ("Make It Year of the Taxpayer, Not of the Tax," Column Right, June 13). To assert that the Republican delegation is motivated by concern for the taxpayer is unsupported by the record. In the previous decade, Dole was among those cheerleading in support of the policies for which the United States must now pay. President Reagan's arms buildup and the tax cut combined to produce unprecedented deficits. The result of this recklessness is that the taxpayer is now funding interest payments on debt instead of providing revenue for job-producing capital expenditures. The Clinton Administration has inherited this mess. Dole has effectively stated that he and his party will not participate in fixing it.

GREGORY SHEEHY

La Crescenta

* In "Clinton Points to Key Policy Gains" (June 18) you state, " . . . Clinton used colorful charts and confident language in an effort to package a number of small achievements abroad and in Congress as major accomplishments. . . ." I take great exception with that wording. "Small achievements" is clearly the opinion of your staff writer. Is it no wonder then that inside the same issue the Times Mirror Center for People and the Press learned that 43% of those surveyed found the press unfair to Clinton?

SYLVIA HATTON

Costa Mesa

* After reading about the proposed budget and seeing the President and congressional members on TV, I heard how senior citizens are lobbying against cuts in Medicare benefits and against taxation on Social Security benefits, how food servers are lobbying against cuts in business lunch deductions, and how truckers are lobbying against increases in the gasoline tax.

Americans appear to "support" deficit reduction, but suddenly balk when it personally affects them.

A lot of us, in one way or another, are receiving "welfare" from the government. The same people who criticize welfare recipients are probably getting a nice big mortgage interest write-off on their homes. What difference does it make if that "welfare" comes in a check or in an exemption from taxes? Aren't some of these government "spending cuts" really tax increases? It doesn't make sense to insist to the President and Congress that all "spending cuts" are made before raising taxes. The two are interlinked.

Americans don't deserve this country. They're selfish and have the government they deserve. SUSAN J. BARRETTA

Gardena

* Today's (June 17) news read something like "Democrats OK 4 cents per gallon gas tax." Have the Democrats ever met a tax that they didn't like? Sure, the country is in fiscal trouble. According to some, the total sum of the IRS receipts will not cover the interest expense in 1995, much less anything else. But being told we are not paying our fair share is an unacceptable excuse. Adding up my payroll taxes, I am at 43%. This does not count all the other taxes loaded on in utility bills, and the 45 cents per gallon gas tax we pay already.

The answer is to cut spending. Some examples of the blatant abuse of our money by Washington are: The government owns and operates 1,200 civilian aircraft (worth $2 billion) that are used to fly government agency executives, spouses and guests, costing us $800 million per year. Federal agencies spend $7 billion traveling to places such as Palm Springs and Las Vegas. Of the 1,250 toxic waste sites identified for cleanup by the EPA, only 65 have been completed in the past 11 years at a cost of $10 billion. Before you ask me for another dime, start acting like you care about us little people trying to scratch out a living in spite of your spending frenzy!

LARRY TANNER

Huntington Beach

* The big bad Republicans are sabotaging Bill Clinton and his liberal agenda. That is what I've been hearing lately.

The Democrats have control of both houses of Congress. They have possession of the presidency, the media, the movie industry and academia.

What Republican Administration has ever had control of more than two of the above? The Democratic line has been that the Republican Administration of the '80s is responsible for all our problems. Liars!

PAUL A. GENSHEIMER

Torrance

* I support your editorial "The Job for America Is More Jobs for Youth" (June 14). I was surprised, however, that you didn't mention Sen. Dole, who led the Senate filibuster that killed President Clinton's jobs bill as "pork-barrel politics."

And what about President Bush's veto in 1992 of a bill passed by Congress to aid Los Angeles and create summer jobs after the riot? I think it's pretty clear who is creating the gridlock in Washington.

ROY L. GASKELL

Irvine

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