Don't Roll the Dice on Our Future

During the congressional debate on the five-year $500 billion deficit reduction bill, the article "In the Lottery, Even a Winner Can Lose," July 29, reports that Americans spent $304 billion in 1991 on gambling. Comparing these two figures hints that money is not scarce in this country.

Had these funds been unselfishly spent in productive investments for education, the arts, technology, neighborhood improvements, and deficit reduction, everyone in the country would have been a genuine winner.

The millions that people lose so a few lucky ones can strike it rich are a poor rationale for funding any public or private enterprise. Now is the time for citizens to use common sense and make every dollar count for more than a chance. Anne M. Hofflund, San Diego Controversial day care

Regarding the Opinion page article "Au Pair Program Biased to W. Europeans," July 30: The Au Pair agencies are restricted by USIA from recruiting anywhere but the 21 Western European countries, not 13 as stated by the author. All of the agencies have requested that USIA remove this restriction, but to no avail.

Moreover, to state that requiring USIA to supervise the Au Pair program "subverts USIA's mandate to tell America's story abroad ...." is not only inaccurate, it is contradictory. The more than 7,000 au pairs who return to Europe after being part of an American family for a year tell America's story far better than some television program. Barbara Cartledge, Greenwich, Conn. Vice President and Director Au Pair in America

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