US Should Support United Nations, Not Be a `Keeper of Nations'

The opinion-page column ``Bush and the UN: Dreams vs. Actions,'' Nov. 6, evaluating the sudden interest in the United Nations as a function for enduring peace, is right on target. As a member of a group of students in support of the UN, I look forward to the day when President Bush's vision for international peace based on world law is a reality. However, I am also aware of the blatant disregard the US government has toward the UN. The UN framework is not perfect, but when given collective legitimacy, it is a good one. The US back dues and failure to comply with the UN's judgment and treaties are unforgivable. The US is only 5 percent of the world's population, yet it uses a third of the world's resources. It has no place being the keeper of nations. Only now are we realizing how costly this is in terms of dollars and peace. Lisa M. Pearl Eugene, Ore. Students for United Nations University of Oregon

More taxes, more spending The opinion-page column ``The Tax Flip-Flop: Why Bush Did It,'' Nov. 6, says Bush ``believes that the needed deficit reductions could be achieved by cutting government spending,'' but ``he simply could not accept some of the big cuts to programs he, himself, favored - particularly defense.'' Reductions could be achieved without new taxes, but then there would have to be massive spending cuts. The real issue is, could we stand those cuts? It is absurd to say ``Bush bowed to the Democrats.'' What he bowed to was the desire for more government than would be possible without new taxes. John T. Wilcox Binghamton, N.Y.

Fiscal fairness Regarding the opinion-page column ``Who Says I Don't Pay My Fair Share?,'' Nov. 5: Federal tax expenditures for housing was $53.9 billion in FY88. Tax expenditures are subsidies in the form of tax deductions, credits, or other tax breaks. The $53.9 billion is actually a subsidy for homeowners through tax deductions for mortgage interest payments and property taxes. Federal low-income housing assistance was $13.9 billion in FY88.

How do we evaluate this assistance in the light of fairness, balancing those with homes with those caught in the deficit of affordable housing? What other fiscal items have we forgotten to consider fairly? Elaine G. Squeri Arlington, Va. Washington Area Community Investment Fund

Empowering women Regarding the article ``Female Solutions to Housing Need,'' Nov. 6: It is distressing that nothing is mentioned about women accepting responsibility for the situations they find themselves in. If a woman chooses to have six children that she can't afford to raise in the style she would like, then she is choosing not to have a new bedroom set! Women's groups should promote a sense of empowerment as opposed to a sense of entitlement, and women should stop having children that they can't afford. Joan Atteberg Portland, Ore.

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