Tuesday, November 12, 2002

A couple of letters I sent yesterday, with added links:

To the Editor:

In today's New York Times, Richard W. Stevenson claims that conservatives have "always been skeptical" about the usefulness of balancing the federal budget.

Really? Then why has every Republican presidential candidate since 1980 -- including George W. Bush in 2000 -- run on a platform that called for a constitutional amendment to put the budget in balance? And why did a constitutional amendment to balance the budget make it to the Senate floor in 1997, where it received the vote of every member of the GOP?

Current Republican policies virtually guarantee large deficits for the foreseeable future. Thus, it is understandable that the party would like voters to forget its past statements on the subject of deficit spending. The Times, however, should be careful not to aid the party in this effort to rewrite history.


To the Editor:

Howard Kurtz writes today that "Bill Clinton showed you could win a presidential election on alderman-type issues -- school uniforms, community policing." Has Kurtz forgotten the successful 1988 campaign of the elder George Bush? The most prominent issues of that campaign were the Pledge of Allegiance and a furlough granted to one murderer. Maybe Bill Clinton did play "small ball," as Kurtz puts it, but he did not introduce it to our national campaigns.

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