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With the Deficit Rising, Confidence Is Falling

July 18, 2002

Re "Markets Nearing Crucial Stage," July 14: Almost exactly a year ago, President Bush's administration was loudly proclaiming that the economic forces and political decisions leading to the then-accelerating financial slowdown were rooted in the prior presidency and thus could not be deemed to have occurred "on his watch."

But then, in that case, may I ask on whose watch were the policies enacted--and continued for the ensuing year--to cut taxes, deplete the treasury by giving back prior collections and commence borrowing cash to do it, all instead of conservatively saving it for a national rainy day?

We have catastrophically frittered away a balanced budget along with a historic surplus, and the buck stops at the Oval Office.

David R. Ginsburg

Santa Monica

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It is patriotic and necessary that we support the "war on terrorism." Whatever happened to the necessity of protecting the national interest provided by the voice of the "loyal opposition"? The president has been given a free pass.

As the memory of my $600 tax rebate is nearly gone, I look in horror at the rising federal deficit and the corporate tax cuts for the rich who are driving it. As my retirement fund dwindles, I listen to the president asking for stiffer penalties for corporate crooks for doing the same things that he and Vice President Dick Cheney did, without suggesting controls to stop the practices. Catch us if you can, put us in jail and let us keep the money.

In addition, the easing of rules on the environment and allowing big business to control pollution on a voluntary basis is akin to letting the fox guard the henhouse. Hiding behind executive privilege to protect the collusion of government and utility executives that were used to formulate energy policy is appalling.

The Democrats share the blame equally by looking at poll numbers and failing to express any outrage over these policies. It is one thing to be patriotic and another to ignore governing and the needs of the nation.

Arthur Friedman

Newport Beach

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Egregious corporate income tax dodges no doubt will exceed the $165-billion deficit anticipated for this year by the White House. These deficit dollars, with interest, will ultimately have to come out of other pockets. Guess whose.

Harry Levin

Woodland Hills

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