This letter is in response to Uri Fleming's Oct. 27 letter to the editor, "Cutting student aid won't improve U.S." It is evident in reading Uri's letter that little is taught in history classes dealing with the implications a country faces when running years upon years of budgetary deficits.
First, Uri, I suggest you read Bankruptcy 1995: The Coming Collapse of America and How To Stop It, written by Harry E. Figge, Jr., and one of our own esteemed economics professors, Gerald J. Swanson. Undoubtedly, Uri, you are correct Ÿ the need for higher education is integral to the prosperity of this country. Unfortunately, you fail to understand the big picture, the future financial stability of this country. If every special interest group in this country had full funding from the federal government, we would find ourselves in a position of certain disaster. Everyone Ÿ as the Republicans have made it clear in their balanced budget bill Ÿ must make sacrifices for there to be any type of fiscal balance.
Then, of course, there is that wonderfully kind, caring and considerate fellow Bill Clinton, who promises to veto any bill which discomforts the elderly, the poor, the environment or the students. Common sense should tell you Slick Willie really could care less about the elderly, the students and the other groups he is not a member of, but really just desires to be re-elected in 1996. Clinton is an educated man and knows the Republicans are on to something, so I say Bill, swallow your liberal pride (and hidden motives) and compromise on the amendment. Whether it be negotiating on tax breaks for the wealthy or further privatization of military bases, just keep the budget balanced.
The real issue in balancing the budget is one of responsibility. If citizens see the government of the United States fail to practice fiscal responsibility, then what does that teach? It teaches citizens not to save for retirement and rely on pitifully small amounts of social security payments in order to subsist. It teaches people that sitting around the house watching daytime television and having children are government-sponsored activities. It teaches individuals that bankruptcy is an acceptable alternative and an easy method of reneging on financial obligations. Once the budget is balanced, then that perceived role of lifelong reliance on the government can be broken down. Social programs such as welfare can then be revamped and reinstituted as programs which provide temporary assistance to citizens in need. This point, added to the facts that social security funding is drained, an immense percentage of tax dollars goes to pay off the interest on the national debt rather than being used constructively and the government is wastefully inefficient on the national level, are reasons why this amendment is at the top of the political agenda.
Going back to the original letter, I understand Uri's point and it is well received in the college areas. In Oro Valley, though, retired citizens are not worried about educational spending, they are worried about Medicare cuts. But at Davis-Monthan A.F.B., they may support both Medicare and education cuts and consider a substantial defense budget most important. Not everyone can have what they want, nor can every interest be fully satisfied Ÿ everyone must suffer and make sacrifices. Yes, Uri, cutting student aid won't improve the U.S., but sometimes a couple steps backward are necessary to move forward.
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