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Jeffords defection should be seen as a warning to conservative Republicans



Published: Wed, June 6, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Jeffords defection should be seen as a warning to conservative Republicans

EDITOR:

When Vermont Sen. James Jeffords withdrew from the Republican Party, thus giving Democrats control of the Senate, he was condemned by the conservative wing that has controlled the White House and both houses of Congress.

We think the rest of us owe him a debt of thanks. The conservative control of the government has brought prosperity and promise to the wealthy, but uncertainty and concern to the rest of us.

A Vindicator editorial suggests: "One likely outcome is that Bush, who ran as a moderate, will have no choice now but to govern as a moderate or risk a presidency stymied by dissent and division." No doubt, some Democrats, looking forward to the 2002 election just around the corner, figure that if the president maintains his present course to the right, it will help the Democrats to win control of both houses.

Jeffords could not in good conscience vote for Bush's tax cut that was so massive that it threatened other important programs, and that was also heavily weighted in favor of the rich. The efforts of the administration to punish Jeffords as a warning to other Republican moderates, backfired when he decided to bow out.

Once in office, Bush wasted no time in demonstrating that his "compassionate conservatism" meant a compassionate concern for the welfare of the wealthy. His efforts in their behalf unfortunately come at a time of growing concern about the widening gap between the rich and the poor.

The Bush tax plan also calls for the elimination of estate tax -- another windfall for the children of the wealthy, and a great loss of revenue that the rest of us will have to pay for. Fortunately, the Bush bonanzas for the wealthy are scheduled to be phased in over a period of time, so there is still a chance that more moderate legislators may bring fairness to the tax structure.

Is the Jeffords defection perhaps the beginning of a rebellion against the rule of the Republican right? Bush's pleasing personality which served him well in his campaign may still be helping him in the current polls.

But as people begin to realize what is involved in his conservative agenda, will his support begin to decline?

PAUL and ANNA MARY GAMBLE

New Wilmington

Energy-efficiency savings lost in deregulation

EDITOR:

I sure am missing something in the advertisement that told me that putting in a new roof with an attic fan, a new furnace with state-of-the-art air conditioning, a new water tank, new replacement windows and a new refrigerator -- all high-energy efficient -- would save money on utility bills. So what happened? Why are the bills higher than ever?

Since I work outside the house, it must be those darned dogs who are using the appliances and running up the cost of all my energy-efficient improvements.

I sure feel stupid doing all of the improvements to save money -- which didn't happen. Changing who delivers the stuff we had been getting for years is just a crock, and we are duped again.

PAT ZOCCALI

Warren

Arithmetic problem

EDITOR:

We awoke last Saturday to find our oak tree, fence and house festooned with toilet paper and are greatly mystified as to why.

It has been 15 years since we had a son at Poland Seminary High School involved in athletics, and I have been retired from YSU for six years. So there are not likely to be students left with a grievance against me.

Perhaps the criticisms of the schools are appropriate, and the students can't read numbers.

GEORGE E. SUTTON

Poland




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