Letter to the Editor

Deficit Reduction With a Green Thumb

Regarding the front-page article "Dole-Clinton Duel For Western Voters Over Environment," July 31, anyone claiming that efforts to phase out subsidies for the mining, livestock, and logging industries constitute a "war on the West" needs to take another look.

The real war has been waged for decades by those who cashed in on taxpayer money and left piles of mine tailings, silted rivers, clearcuts, and livestock-trampled meadows. It's time to sign a peace treaty, and one of the terms should be an end to these damaging subsidies. If cuts in Medicare, Social Security, and Aid to Dependent Children are needed to balance the budget, then Congress should take on the mining, livestock, and logging industries as well.

Craig Gehrke

Boise, Idaho

State Director, The Wilderness Society

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