Budget-Balancing Act Teeters Too Far to Right

The editorial "The Big Change," June 15, is correct that President Clinton's new tack on the budget will lead to a "halfway" point much closer to House Speaker Newt Gingrich's position than to his. But I was surprised that - after months of perceptive analysis - the Monitor now takes this surrender as a worthy sacrifice on behalf of the future.

The question is not just whether to balance the budget, but how to do it. Both Mr. Gingrich and Mr. Clinton plan to cut programs for the poor, the elderly, and the environment; the only difference is to what level of degree. There is no pain for the wealthy or for the military budget. Yet corporations and the wealthy pay less taxes than they did in 1960, while the gap in wealth and income has grown.

We continue with cold war programs designed to fight and win a nuclear war, yet we refuse to invest in less-expensive global programs for children's health, safe drinking water, and a healthy environment.

Clinton - and the Monitor - need the courage to address the real problems, not surrender to false solutions for the sake of political expediency.

David Keppel Essex, Conn.

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