- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 10, 2000

Bush has superior health care plan

Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush's goal is for every family to have access to affordable health insurance, and for the elderly to have a choice of plans, including prescription drug coverage.

After eight years of the Clinton-Gore administration, 8 million more Americans are uninsured. Also, nothing has been done to reform Medicare or provide prescription drug coverage. The Clinton-Gore team has simply played politics with reform, and Vice President Al Gore continues to do so.

Mr. Bush's plan would provide immediate coverage of the full cost of Medicare premiums and prescription drugs for low-income seniors. Mr. Gore's plan forces all seniors to join a government-chosen health maintenance organization. Under Mr. Gore's plan, the government becomes the largest purchaser of prescription drugs a sure road to government price controls and shortages. Half of all the elderly would pay more in annual charges than they would receive in drug benefits.

Most importantly, Mr. Gore's entire budget would cost more than $4 trillion and would overshoot the available surplus by as much as $906 billion in 10 years. Mr. Gore will either place us back in the red or the Congress will have to reject many of his promises.

Instead of electing a politician we know cannot deliver on his promises, we need to elect Mr. Bush, who has said, "Instead of polarizing this country, let us honor our common commitment to elderly Americans."


Hagerstown, Md.

Marxism class not a loony left course

I would like to respond to your Sept. 7 article about the "Dirty Dozen" list of classes at American universities that was compiled by the Young America's Foundation ("Dirty Dozen exposes absurd college courses"). I had the opportunity to take one of the classes listed, "Marxism: What Is to Be Learned From It?" three years ago at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, a school which is by no means a liberal institution.

I am very conservative and by no means subscribe to the Marxist ideology. I, however, enjoyed this class thoroughly and did quite well in it. I liked it so much that I chose the course's professor as my adviser.

The class is not taught from a Marxist point of view, but rather gives an objective understanding of Karl Marx's theories. The students may decide for themselves what to think about Marx. Many come away understanding what is intrinsically wrong with Marx's theories and with communism in general.

Marxism is a legitimate and important area of historical study. Its implementation has resulted in more than 100 million deaths. The class I took was by no means a ridiculous course offering.


New York

IRS hits the jackpot

The headline "S.F. Lotto winner says it's for the family" appeared recently in a major California newspaper. It was heartwarming to read that Tommy and Nita Colla, 78 and 69, respectively, won the $88 million California Lottery jackpot. Instead of taking the $88 million in installments, the elderly couple chose to take their winnings in one lump-sum payment, an option that reduced the total to $42.9 million, which they planned to use to make life more pleasant for their nieces and nephews.

The Internal Revenue Service withheld $13.9 million of their winnings as a down payment on their income taxes. When it was delivered, the $42.9 million check was only $29 million. When the Collas file their tax return by next April, they'll have to cough up another $3.1 million to satisfy their total tax bill of $17 million, reducing their windfall to $25.9 million.

The couple will not likely spend all of the money before they die, at which time the government will step in again and take roughly 55 percent of the remainder. After taxes, the Collas will end up with $11.7 million out of the $42.9 million that they can pass to their heirs. The federal government, on the other hand, will receive $31.2 million. Does anyone think that such a split of this good fortune between the couple and the IRS is fair?


St. Grass Valley, Calif.

'Blacklisted' wrong term for Dr. Laura debacl


Debra J. Saunders' indignation at the treatment of Dr. Laura Schlessinger by gay and lesbian groups is understandable and praiseworthy, but she erred in writing that it "is no different than the Hollywood blacklist" ("Pulling the plug on 'Dr. Laura'," Commentary, Aug. 16). History reveals why.

In the decade following World War II, two threats to America's national security shocked the public. In the West, Josef Stalin's Soviet juggernaut was on the warpath, taking over one by one virtually every nation in Central and Eastern Europe. In the East, Mao Tse-tung's communist hordes completed their conquest of China, the largest and most strategic country on the Asian mainland. That next year, 1950, Communist China united with North Korea in a drive (assisted by the Soviet Union) to invade South Korea and force the United States out of the area. They almost succeeded.

On the home front, a series of congressional hearings, court trials and books supplemented by press exposes revealed the existence of espionage rings and communist infiltration of federal agencies, reaching up to the Atomic Energy Commission, the State Department and the White House itself. Similarly exposed were organized labor, the film industry and other private-sector establishments.

In response to the international threat, the United States employed the Marshall Plan, initiated NATO and its sister treaty organization, SEATO (Southeast Asia Treaty Organization), and formed other strategic defense alliances. It created Voice of America, the U.S. Information Agency and other Cold War instruments. Domestically, government security was increased. For example, under New York State's Feinberg Law, more than 250 teachers and administrative employees were fired or resigned from the state educational system while under investigation as Communist Party members.

In November 1947, the Motion Picture Producers Association issued a statement condemning the conduct of 10 Hollywood writers, producers and directors who had refused to answer questions, including those relating to their proven membership in the Communist Party, at a hearing of the House Committee on Un-American Activities. The association declared that the 10 had been dismissed from their jobs and would not be re-employed in the motion-picture industry until they had cleared themselves of charges of contempt of Congress and declared under oath that they were no longer communists. The association further stated that it would not employ any communists or members of other groups advocating the overthrow of the U.S. government. It invited the Hollywood talent guilds to work with it in a united effort to eliminate subversives from the industry.

By the time the congressional committee had completed its Hollywood hearings in 1952, more than 300 persons actors, actresses, producers, directors, writers, scenarists, composers and many more had been identified as members of the Communist Party. For the most part, they were denied film-industry employment. This was the infamous Hollywood "blacklist."

Is there no difference between Dr. Laura and a member of the Communist Party, the same party responsible for the deaths of more than 100 million people, a party dedicated to the destruction of the United States by any means? I do not think Dr. Laura's treatment by gays and lesbians is "no different than the Hollywood blacklist."


Chevy Chase

Story exposes Iraqi plight

Many thanks for your excellent Sept. 5 article "Sanctions become way of life in Iraq." The mainstream news media rarely comment on the catastrophic effects of these sanctions on ordinary Iraqis, and when they do, they rarely present such an objective analysis.

One significant fact that was not noted, however, is that three senior U.N. humanitarian officials have resigned to protest the sanctions policy. Two of them were chief humanitarian coordinators for Iraq, in the same role as Tun Myat. They repeatedly have denied James Cunningham's statement that Saddam Hussein is interfering with the oil-for-food program; please see the Web site www.scn.org/ccpi/ misconceptions.html for some startling quotes from them.

Still, I was pleased to see this article, and I hope to see more coverage that focuses on the Iraqi people, rather than just Saddam.



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