Response to President Bush's Budget Proposals

The front-page article "Deficit's Climb Will Continue, Analysts Indicate," Jan. 29, which quotes economists Barry Bosworth, Murray Wiedenbaum, and Robert Luth, gives a refreshingly truthful analysis of President George Bush's proposals for reviving our staggering economy. That spending more and cutting taxes at the same time can only result in a shrinking economy seems almost painfully obvious. It will, as well, put added pressure on state budgets to reduce maintenance of programs essential for progress.

For a very long time our nation has needed to work on eliminating the causes for our economic and social decline, rather than attacking their effects, in order to regain a strong and thriving position in world developments for peace, health, and prosperity. In this election year, a truthful, workable, perceptive approach to that effort is crucial to our future. This article points the way. Hope M. Scrogin, Corvallis, Ore.

I'm greatly disappointed and surprised that President Bush is not recommending greater cuts in the defense budget.

Due to the Department of Defense's significant lead time for threat analysis, definition of requirements, and procurement, all the systems that are now in development or production were intended to counter the threat posed by the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact nations in the mid 1980s. Needless to say, that threat either is dissolved completely or has been so emasculated as to merit a new Marshall Plan rather than new weapons systems.

Since the president is unwilling to call the hogs away from the trough, it is up to the American people to take the initiative and petition Congress to downsize our military establishment to a level commensurate with our present needs.

Whether these savings are channeled to a "peace dividend," health care, education or other government programs is secondary to the military reality of January 1992. And that reality dictates an immediate additional reduction in our defense budget far in excess of the president's token 3 percent. Elizabeth Perron, Andover, Mass. Of orangutans and governments

I read with great interest the article Orangutan Woman' of Borneo," Jan. 13, on Prof. Birute Galdikas and the 20-year-old Orangutan Project. In December 1991 I was an Earthwatch volunteer at the Orang- utan Project at Camp Leakey in Tanjung Puting National Park on Borneo. My "tour of duty" was deeply rewarding, but also saddening.

Not only are orangutans endangered, but the Orangutan Project itself is endangered by factions of the Indonesian government that have taken the following actions: permitted poaching, logging, and settlements in the park; moved the park boundaries on several occasions; and continue to threaten the existence of the project and to harass Professor Galdikas. She and the project are the only witnesses to these predations with links to the outside world.

It is important to recognize that other parts of the Indonesian government, particularly the Ministry of Trade and Tourism, are strong advocates of the project and Galdikas; but the world should note, and call to account, those within the Indonesian government who are hoping to terminate the project, and with it the witness that the project and Earthwatch bear to the survival of orangutans in one of their few remaining refuges.

If the project is terminated, the eyes and ears of the world will be closed, and the poor treatment of Tanjung Puting National Park, the orangutans, and their habitat will continue unseen, unheard, and unchecked. Caroline D. Gabel, Washington

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