- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 28, 2001

Republican Party finds common ground with Hispanic Americans

As the descendant of Italian and Irish immigrants who left everything behind in the old country for the opportunity to make a new life for themselves and their families in America, I take issue with claims by made the Center for Immigration Studies ("GOP bid for Hispanic vote 'quixotic,' study says," Nation, Aug 23).
The institute's Steve A. Camarota makes the claim that the millions of Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican and Latin American families who have made the often dangerous and expensive journey to America did so to get in line to receive U.S. government handouts and affirmative-action opportunities.
His statements and the study released by the Center for Immigration Studies highlight the basic misunderstanding of the left. My great-grandmother braved the treacherous journey from Italy to America for a chance at a better life. The same goal spurred the millions of Hispanics living in America today. Like those before them, they have come to America for the betterment of their families through economic and educational opportunities.
The Hispanic-American community is a diverse one that shares a number of principles with President Bush and the Republican Party. The principles of economic opportunity, positive and inclusive education reform and community and family values that led so many to America also will guide the millions of Hispanic Americans who participate in our democratic system to Mr. Bush's Republican Party.

DALLAS LAWRENCE
National communications director
GOPAC
Washington

Capital gains cop-out

In your Aug. 18 front-page story "Lindsey forecasts economic recovery," you report that Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill says it won't be possible to cut the capital-gains tax as a further economic stimulus because the government can't afford to lose the revenue.
It is disappointing that someone in Mr. O'Neill's position does not seem to know that every time the capital-gains tax has been cut over the past several decades, revenues from it actually have increased, not decreased. People are more willing to sell investments and realize capital gains when they are not subject to penal taxation than when they are. Thus, a cut in capital-gains tax invariably has the effect of injecting significant amounts of money into the economy. A dynamic econometric model allowing for the changes in investor behavior resulting from changes in the tax law would lead to more accurate forecasts than the discredited static model on which Mr. O'Neill apparently relies.
One of the most unfair aspects of this extremely unfair tax is that it is not linked to the cost-of-living index. It is no wonder people are unwilling to pay tax on illusory "gains" that result from nothing more than inflation. A change in the law to make capital gains index-linked retroactive to, say, the mid-1970s would be equivalent to a substantial cut in the tax rate and simultaneously would address the basic injustice in the way it is administered.
Of course, this never would happen. The lying Democrats would scream about tax cuts for the rich, the spineless Republicans would whimper and roll over with their paws in the air, and nothing would change. Pity.

CHRIS WHEAL
Hollywood, Md.

Fetus much more than 'grain of rice'

In your Aug. 23 story about pro-lifers from California driving trucks with pictures of aborted babies, Feminist Majority Foundation Vice President Katherine Spillar was quoted as saying, "The typical abortion is done at eight weeks or less when we are talking about a pre-embryo the size of a grain of rice" ("A vehicle for change: Pro-lifers hit the road with abortion images," Aug. 23).
Ms. Spillar's description of an eight-week fetus is far from reality. The following is a description of an eight-week fetus from the Focus on the Family brochure, "The First Nine Months": "At a little more than an inch long, the developing life is now called a fetus - Latin for 'young one' or 'offspring'. Everything is now present that will be found in a fully developed adult. The heart has been beating for more than a month, the stomach produces digestive juices and the kidneys have begun to function. Forty muscle sets begin to operate in conjunction with the nervous system. The fetus' body responds to touch "
Sadly, pro-abortionists such as Ms. Spillar have a long sordid history of hiding the truth from women, preventing them from knowing the beautiful process of their babies' development and the medical risks associated with the abortion procedure. They want women to be uninformed ignorant about fetal development so they will choose medically risky abortions, increasing the profits for those involved in the barbaric abortion business. Pro-abortionists call this abuse of women "freedom of choice."

BERNARD MCLOUGHLIN
Chairman
Right to Life of Montgomery County
Rockville

Schools emphasize difference, alienate parents

Robert Stacy McCain's Aug. 23 Op-Ed column, "No drugs, no condoms; What my children learned in home school," just touches the surface of why so many parents opt out of the public school system. The Time magazine article to which Mr. McCain refers says that Thomas Jefferson hoped public schools would "sustain democracy by bringing everyone together to share values and learn a common history." Too many public schools today, however, are dominated by political correctness and multiculturalism, which emphasize differences rather than any shared values or common history. James Madison supported public education so that "the true doctrines of liberty, as exemplified in our political system, should be inculcated on those who are to sustain and may administer it." Try finding more than the most superficial treatment of fundamental constitutional principles, limited government, free-market economics and the requisites of liberty in any public school curriculum today. Public schools spend far too much time and energy on one-sided ideological propaganda and trendy programs rather than on basic education. As long as that's the case, parents who want their children to develop into well-rounded critical thinkers rather than one-sided ideological activists will continue to flee the public schools in droves. Rightly so.

KIM WEISSMAN
Longmeadow, Mass.


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