Archive for Saturday, June 30, 2001

Policy flaws

June 30, 2001


To the editor:

How is it that these days virtually every policy decision coming out of Washington is contrary to the best interests of the American people?

The missile defense shield. Doesn't Washington realize that for every atomic bomb, no matter how powerful, we can dig a hole deep enough to protect us; but for every hole, no matter how deep, they can come up with a bomb big enough to penetrate it? In other words, if we ever succeed in building a missile shield that works, which is highly doubtful, they'll have to work on a system to penetrate it. If China or North Korea developed such a defense system, we would want to find a device to break through it, wouldn't we? And for such a missile defense shield, we'll have to pay billions that could be used to safeguard Social Security, to provide prescription drugs for the elderly or to improve our educational system.

We refuse to sign a treaty that would restrict the emission of pollutants that allegedly contribute to global warming. Virtually all scientists, except those working for and paid by our large corporations, agree with the danger these pollutants present to the world. But Washington says we can't be sure that they are right and we have to study the matter further. So if, contrary to all scientific evidence, we are not sure, then the way to go is to risk the lives and well-being of future generations, isn't it?

Our recently adopted reduction in tax rates IS targeted toward one group in our society, the wealthiest ones. Almost 40 percent of the benefits go to the upper 1 percent of income-earners. On the other hand, a reduction of income-tax rates of lower income-earners DOES benefit all taxpayers. When, for instance, we lower income tax rates for those earning less than $15,000 per years from 15 to 10 percent, the millionaire as well as the minimum income wage-earner then pays only 10 percent on the first $15,000 of income.

So this is what the president in his campaign speeches called "compassionate conservatism"? Anyhow, if these days you are not sure where you stand on any policy issue, I suggest you just find out where the president stands. Then take the opposite position and you will probably be on the right track, as far as the interest of the American people is concerned.

Harry Shaffer,


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