Republican actions far cry from Lincoln

Editor:

I absolutely love it when Republicans refer to themselves as "the party of Lincoln" as Eric Clingan did in his letter ("Students instrument in budget symphony," Nov. 14) The same party that harbors the interests of the John Birch Society and the Christian Coalition is probably not one that Lincoln would want to be associated with.

Clingan says "the irresponsible spending of Congressional Democrats over 40 years" is the reason for the $4 trillion debt and the current crisis in Washington over the federal budget. This corruption of historical fact is typical of a member of Lincoln's party. It took the United States over 200 years to accumulate a national debt of $1 trillion. Along come Ronald Reagan and George Bush and in 12 years we've quadrupled the debt. Talk about efficiency! Lincoln would be so proud.

I will grant that Democrats had Congressional power during these times but it cannot be denied that policies aimed at out-spending the Soviets during the Cold War, developing Star Wars, and cutting taxes in all the wrong places contributed significantly to the debt. Moreover, Reagan and Bush had the ability to veto budgets they found unreasonable, just as Clinton is threatening to do now. We should hope that he doesn't bow to the political pressures that Reagan and Bush did in the 4 previous federal government shutdowns.

To suggest that cutting student aid will significantly impact the federal budget deficit is ridiculous. Republicans are playing the same old political games trying to please their big corporate sponsors who stuff their wallets while screwing Americans who are struggling to survive by putting entitlements on the chopping block.

I agree that some difficult decisions must be made in order to ensure a viable economic future for this country, but I don't believe that distorting the truth about the record of either party is useful in a time when the country is in dire straits. I'm willing to bet that Honest Abe wouldn't appreciate those tactics either.

Ganesh Rao

Second Year Medical Student

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