The Clinton legacy: domestic prosperity, international...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

January 26, 2001

The Clinton legacy: domestic prosperity, international peace ...

George Will's column "Legacies of a president" (Opinion Commentary, Jan. 12) stated, "Bill Clinton was a remarkably inconsequential president" and credited a Republican Congress for eight years of unprecedented boom.

Under this "inconsequential president," we had the lowest unemployment rate in 30 years, the lowest poverty rates in 20 years, the smallest welfare rolls in 30 years, the highest home ownership in history and the first consecutive years of balanced budgets and surpluses in 42 years.

Mr. Clinton helped set aside more land in protected areas than any president except Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt.

About 20 million people have benefited from the Family and Medical Leave Act. Two million more children have health insurance, thanks to the Child Health Insurance Partnership.

Bill Clinton helped bring peace to Northern Ireland, democracy to Haiti, an end to ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and Kosovo and developed new partnerships with nations in Africa and Latin America, in addition to free-trade agreements and normal trade with China.

Shame on Mr. Will and on The Sun for printing this slanderous column.

Benjamin Millman

Baltimore

... or duplicity and disgrace for high office?

While I agree that it is time to end the matter of former President Clinton's repeated perjury, I am sick to my stomach that this country's perjurer-in-chief has been let off with a slap on the wrist ("Clinton admits to 2 lies to avoid all prosecution," Jan 20).

If I or any other reader of The Sun admitted the same level of felonies as our former leader, would we be let off the hook with an admission of guilt and loss of, say, a hunting license we would never use?

We would be jailed and lose our right to vote and other rights for the rest of our lives.

Instead, in the country in which every man is equal under the law, Mr. Clinton gets off scot-free.

Chuck Frainie

Woodlawn

I see the process of rewriting President Clinton's history has begun with Jamie Stiehm's article comparing Tom Sawyer to Bill Clinton ("Two American rogues and the gift of optimism," Jan. 21).

Tom Sawyer was a fictional character. Mr. Clinton's actions adversely affected many people and will continue to do so.

Ask the folks who lost money on the Whitewater deal. Or the folks who lost their jobs over Travelgate.

I don't forgive Mr. Clinton for not having the decency even President Nixon showed in resigning to avoid dragging the country through an impeachment trial.

I hope history will remember that fact.

Robin Andersen

Baltimore

New president must scorn scandal-ridden predecessor...

Jules Witcover went off the naive meter in his column "Can Bush put Clinton to use?" (Opinion Commentary, Jan. 22).

The very thought that President George W. Bush might incorporate the self-promoting, scandal-prone President Clinton into his administration is ludicrous.

Did Mr. Witcover consider that one of the reasons that Al Gore did so poorly in the election was the fear that he might do exactly what Mr. Witcover suggested Mr. Bush do?

Gary Harkness

Baltimore

... but Bush's ascent is also burdened by controversy

The Sun's article "Swearing-in completes phenomenal Bush ascent" (Jan. 20) bore the subtitle "Connections, charm and self-discipline put Texan in White House."

I can think of a few other things that helped: a partisan Supreme Court; a campaign of obstruction and intimidation in Florida; a complacent Congress that could not even be bothered to raise pro-forma objections to electoral abuses; and complete contempt for the principle that each citizen's vote must be counted.

This president could never have been foisted on the country without a lot of very questionable help from his friends. And, for many Americans, his coronation on Saturday was a travesty of the democratic ideals on which our nation was founded.

The only way to prevent such shams from recurring will be to rid ourselves of that relic of an undemocratic past, the Electoral College.

Ned Humphrey

Baltimore

Women, kids will suffer from abortion aid cuts

I strongly object to The Sun's misleading headline "Bush blocks foreign aid for abortion" (Jan. 23).

What President George W. Bush blocked was aid to any family-planning organization that also provides abortions, counsels women on where to get an abortion or even supports legal abortion.

These family-planning organizations are the primary providers of birth control and reproductive health services to desperately poor women all over the world.

Far from helping to save babies, cutting off funding for these vital services makes it more likely that babies, born into poverty and despair, will die of hunger, disease and even infanticide.

Judith Seid

Towson

College of art, local church build better Bolton Hill

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