Clinton's Student Tax Credit: Pro and Con

I am writing in response to the Oct. 18 opinion-page article, "Why Should Others Pay for Students' Benefits?" Although I am a college student, I disagree with Clinton's new tax proposal.

The small benefit to students doesn't even begin to compensate for the cost. Awarding students $1,500 toward tuition makes only a relatively small dent in the cost. A student who is determined to attend college will find a way to acquire funding for his or her education. Numerous scholarships and loans are available, and working through school is always an alternative. As a full-time college student working 30 hours a week, I can attest to the fact that working for your education greatly increases motivation and appreciation. By requiring students to pay, education will be much more meaningful.

Marianne Baker

Rexburg, Idaho

The article brings to mind some other questions. Why should I pay for others' Social Security? Why should I pay for others to receive a welfare check and food stamps each month? Why should I pay for illegal immigrants to have free health care? Of all the reasons that the government spends money to help others, education is the most beneficial for long-term effects in the United States.

Heather Green

Muscle Shoals, Ala.

Republicans and women

The author of the Nov. 5 opinion-page article, "How Republicans Hurt Themselves," hit the nail on the head. He said all (well, almost all) the reasons a lifelong Republican voted for a Democrat this time around. I'd add that the Republicans have been talking vouchers and the elimination of the Department of Education as an additional reason mothers switched parties in this election.

Nancy W. Bachmann

Barrington, Ill.

The fashion of depravity

In the Oct. 25 article about controversial ads, "Boycott Groups: Klein Ads Carry Scent of 'Heroin Chic,' " you ask the question, "innovative or intolerable?" To me, these ads are clearly intolerable, as are other ads which purport to carry social messages, though their real motives are to shock.

Reality is far more than depravity, and fashion could better serve people by uplifting and refining. I have been in the fashion industry much of my life. My hat is off to all the people who earnestly try to make fashion a thing of beauty and enhancement.

Karin Gillett

Melbourne, Fla.

FDR: getting it right

Regarding the Oct. 25 opinion-page article "The FDR 'Myth': You Had to Be There," bless the author for "getting it right."

I'll never forget my playmates' homes where people were so desperate - yet so brave. I had both high school and college friends on the great student work programs which got a lot of kids through. And the Civilian Conservation Corps - what a wonderful thing for young fellows!

There were mighty good reasons thousands lined the railroad tracks, crying as his funeral train came by.

Homer C. Millard

Powers, Ore.

Lighting a fire under the electorate

The author of the opinion-page article "How to Unscramble this Puzzler of an Election," Oct. 22, says he isn't getting any angry letters. This one is not angry, either.

If he wants to understand the malaise of today's voters, I can help. I walked precincts during several campaigns and met wonderful, dedicated volunteers. Today many thoughtful, conscientious people are disgusted with most politicians and the media.

The vaunted "principles" of the extreme right arouse antipathy against religion categorically. Radicals are no better. Moderates among voters have no place to go. The lesser of the two evils is hard to distinguish.

Until we have a renaissance of unselfishness, a return to logic, individual responsibility, and plain old honesty, our political, social, and economic mess will continue.

M.L. Wallace

Menlo Park, Calif.

Letters must be signed and include your address and telephone number. All letters are subject to editing. Mail to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, by fax to 617-450-2317, or by e-mail (200 words) to OPED@CSPS.COM.

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