We are paying the price for ReaganomicsThe chickens are...

the Forum

November 18, 1991

We are paying the price for Reaganomics

The chickens are coming home to roost and the Teflon is wearing thin. The problem is what George Bush himself called "voodoo economics."

The middle class, and especially the growing ranks of unemployed white-collar workers, find it incredible that the president (on his way to another foreign capital) thinks the economy is fine ` except for our lack of confidence in it.

It's becoming increasingly clear that much of the boom in the '80s was caused by enormous government deficits. Letting the good times roll and getting the "government off the backs of the people" sounded great, but the administration's failure to regulate properly cost the taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars for the S&L scandal alone. These same billions are desperately needed for education and health care but are now lost to us.

What we also need now is strong domestic leadership and a bipartisan plan to get back to basics. We don't need false promises, lip-reading instructions or tax breaks for the wealthiest 1 percent. We need jobs and investment in our infrastructure to stimulate real growth. Voters are angry. There is a feeling that while George was fiddling in Rome, the U.S. economy was going up in smoke.

Roger C. Kostmayer

Baltimore

Keep coping

I am somewhat puzzled by parents' reaction to Mayor Schmoke's decision to close the schools for one week this winter.

During the oil embargo and the resulting energy crunch, many jurisdictions, including Baltimore County, closed schools for a week to conserve energy in the winter when heating bills were high. People had to figure out what to do with their children. I expect they did not like it, but they coped.

We didn't hear any such outcry then that the children would suddenly forget everything they had been taught. What nonsense!

James V. McCoy

Phoenix

Cuomo vs. Bush

If you were a Republican political consultant who regarded New York's Democratic Gov. Mario Cuomo as "probably the most oratorically gifted politician in either party today" and as a man who is "talented, cunning, fearless and has stature," you would fear the trouncing he could give George Bush in 1992 and would do anything possible to dissuade him from seeking the Democratic candidacy for president, right?

"Anything possible" would certainly include an article designed to convince Governor Cuomo and all Democrats that Republicans would be delighted if he were their candidate. Roger Stone (who has worked in the Nixon, Reagan and Bush campaigns) wrote such an article. All that he needed was an editor to publish it - if only to stir up readers.

Well, you published it (Other Voices, Nov. 8), and I am a stirred-up reader.

Mr. Stone says Republicans would not play to Governor Cuomo's strengths but would "shoot instead for his Achilles' heel ` his disastrous tenure as governor of New York." He of course does not mention the disastrous tenures of Presidents Reagan and Bush, who have added more than $2 trillion to our national debt and produced the trickle-down effect not of sound investments, as promised, but of funding cuts and program cancellations that have crippled our states, countries and cities. Who could better present this sorry picture to the American people than a governor?

The Democrats, and therefore our country, are fortunate: Four of the six men who are already seeking the Democratic nomination are former or current governors; Mario Cuomo will be the fifth if he decides to run. As governor of the state with the biggest problems of all, he can undoubtedly spell out more crimes against our fellow citizens than anyone else and, as Mr. Stone obviously fears, do so with the best oratory around.

The Stone article ends with, "The smoking wreckage of New York state is there for all to see." You bet! And everyone needs to know who set the fires ` there and in the other 49 states.

Alice W. Muth

Baltimore

Let seniors work

Social Security recipients are penalized and discriminated against if they choose to work and be active members of our society. Moreover, the abilities and expertise they have honed over the years could benefit the work force today. With the failing economy, seniors are potential for consumer buying power.

Not merely existing but longing for those extra luxuries to become affordable, these oldsters deserve the financial security not yet earned. The Social Security earnings test should be eliminated, and the sooner the better.

Tony G. Picha

Baltimore

The real Magic

All people who claim Magic Johnson was their role model should neither disclaim their admiration nor forget their hero. Instead, they should realize that Magic Johnson, as all role models, is not a perfect human being but a man with a gift who could do one thing better than anybody else.

Gwendolyn Brooks Stewart

Baltimore

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