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Kennedy and Line-Item Veto

Is it mere coincidence that President Reagan sups at Ted Kennedy’s house in Virginia, they exchange uncharacteristically warm words and then, after the President’s operation for removal of his polyp, he receives Kennedy’s support for his long sought line-item veto? I refer to Kennedy’s article (Editorial Pages, July 23).

Kennedy must be adapting Reagan’s tactics of seeming to embrace the philosophy of political opposites. Surely Kennedy knows that Reagan would use the line-item veto to obliterate what little is left of any program that serves the needs of the kinds of social progress Kennedy has always stood for.

Maybe Kennedy figures that the President would be held accountable for the increased suffering poor people would experience, as the screws get turned ever tighter. But he doesn’t say so.

Either the President has worked his persuasive magic on the last hope of enlightened liberal leadership in this country or Kennedy hopes the President will finally cut too close to the bone of American decency and that people will finally get fed up with this return to the philosophy of Calvin Coolidge, this time with a truly nasty twist.

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BENNETT OBERSTEIN

Los Angeles

I thought I’d died and gone to heaven after reading the article by Sen. Kennedy, acclaiming the virtues of the line-item veto.

Will wonders never cease?

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Perchance Teddy wet this finger and raised it aloft in the breeze and determined which way the political wind blows; 1988 isn’t so far away at that.

GERRY M. WILLIAMS

Santa Monica

It has been suggested that since our Congress and our President do not agree on the budget, it would be a good idea to give the President the right to veto those items he chooses. On the contrary, I think he should not have a veto at all.

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Our representatives have the responsibility of deciding policies, passing laws and providing for the payment of those policies by raising taxes to pay for their decisions.

Do we want Congress to present the President with a budget like a bunch of daisies, and he could pick those he loves and those he loves not? Perhaps one of his favorites is not there at all; he can still veto every necessary part of the budget until Congress prepares a budget that suits him in every respect.

Why have Congress at all if we are to be totally at the mercy of President Reagan?

BESSIE GILLIS

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Los Angeles


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