--- Making a Permanent Impression Since 1994 ---
November 4, 1996
By Dennis Flesch Tattoo Staff Writer While debating in Hartford, presidential candidate Bob Dole took an opportunity to criticize the president on his highly liberal views. Dole called Bill Clinton "a liberalíí and questioned some of the presidentís decisions. In Clintonís rebuttal, he did everything to defend himself, ultimately denying that he was any kind of a hard-core liberal. One would have expected the president to return the favor and lash his foeís highly conservative views. Clinton, though, never called Dole a conservative with the same scorn and contempt that he was tagged a "liberal." Well, I am taking the initiative that Clinton neglected. Dole is a conservative in every sense of the word, and that is not necessarily a good thing. If elected, the Republican is proposing an across-the-board 15 percent tax cut that many people, including Clinton, say is unrealistic. In one estimate, the cut would cost the federal government $515 billion - and yet Dole vows to balance the budget quicker than Clinton. So how is Dole going to pay for this 15 percent? The answer is by cutting all the governmentís "liberal programs." On the night of the debate, Dole said it was time the government started "pinching pennies." Thatís how Dole plans to get the funds for his big tax cut. The idea of pinching pennies implies getting rid of things that donít have to exist, in effect getting rid of waste. But the programs Dole believes are wasteful are Medicare, Medicaid and the Education department. So rather than cut the truly superfluous costs in government, Dole will practically eliminate the programs that allow single- income families to sleep at night, and give some of the less fortunate students a better education. His views reflect his conservative status - which is why Clinton would have made a strong point by returning Doleís comment with one equal and opposite. Dole has yet to give a detailed outline of where he plans to "pinch pennies" because if he did he would meet with such great opposition that his place in the polls would drop below that of Ross Perot - and then some. Doleís campaign slogan is that he trust the people. But can we trust Bob Dole? If he acts with such utter deception, trying to fool the people by being vague and general, we canít. The meaning of Doleís promise to trust the people is open to interpretation. Does Dole trust that people will be able to survive without proper medical attention? Does he trust that we will be able to maintain the same level of education if he axes the government department that upholds educational standards? The problem here is that he does. As a conservative, he believes people should be able to get along without interference from government. Though Dole said he would "reform" programs, he is trying to deceive the people. The fact is that extreme cuts in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are virtually necessary in order to give the public a 15 percent tax cut. Dole is making a lot of people nervous and canít morally fill Clintonís shoes as president. Our fellow poor and middle class Americans simply donít deserve him.