Readers Tell Congress What It Should Do In the Next 100 Days
The opinion-page article ''House Members Are Looking Ahead to Second 100 Days,'' April 13, asks readers the question, ''What would you like Congress to do in the next 100 days?'' I would like to see Congress tackle the issue of entitlement spending and then use those savings to reduce the budget deficit.
The debate about entitlements should have been educational to all those who listened. A relatively large percentage of the budget goes to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. At the same time, relatively little goes to foreign aid, public television, and all the types of programs that the Republicans are pointing to as evidence of wasteful spending.
The money saved by trimming government should be applied to the budget deficit. The US dollar is in trouble. Instead of giving me a tax break, give me a break on deficit spending.
J. Brian Hovis, Olympia, Wash.
As Rep. Pat Schroeder (D) of Colorado said in the article, ''They've [Republicans] been treating the Constitution like the first draft and have introduced over 40 constitutional amendments.''
We need change at the federal level -- in some cases, drastic change. What we don't need is poorly planned change-for-the-sake-of-change legislation that causes the public to think that this Congress is remaking the United States. We need tough problems resolved, not a new government.
The current ''show'' is more like a TV network strategy designed to get ratings from a targeted audience -- the voters who put the Republicans in office last year.
It is easy to blame Congress for these items. We can and should demand better. Unfortunately, until more of us get involved and educate ourselves to the issues of the day (locally and globally), Congress and the government will be a side effect of our indifference. I can only hope that we will be able to make the changes necessary to move into the next millennium.
Carl Barringer, Dallas
Young welfare mothers, and fathers, are still children, themselves usually neglected and ill-treated. I would like Congress in its next 100 days to provide group homes for welfare mothers and their infants under conditions where their self-worth and voice are encouraged by caring adults, and where human values and self-supportive methods are taught. Similarly, young males should be taught to see females as potential life partners and not as sex objects.
Herb Stevens, Westport, Mass.
I would like to see Congress achieve the following during the next 100 days:
* Include the defense budget and our commitments to the Camp David Accords in the budget trimming exercise.
* The Senate should listen to the majority of Americans, who give higher priority to budget deficit reduction than to tax cuts, and reject the tax cuts legislation passed by the House.
* Continue to debate welfare reform and reopen debate on health-care reform.
* Begin a dialogue with the American people that will lead to a better understanding among all of us about the importance of cooperative ties among nations and people through such institutions as the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to achieving world peace.
* Do not reduce any further the funds allocated for crime prevention in the existing crime bill.
Rudy Ramp, Arcata, Calif.