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To the Editor: In response to Lisa Parsley's column ("A Southern gentleman with the big, bad scissors," The Daily Pennsylvanian, 4/12/01) I would suggest to her that not only do conservatives actually read Dickens and the other literary references she makes in her article, but we read the facts, too. And while it is obvious that Parsley is still irate over the 2000 election result, as a journalist, she should not allow this irrationality to cloud a few very clear realities in the fiscal year 2002 budget proposal of President Bush. That reality, as it now stands, is an increase in federal spending in 2002, and an increase in funding for the types of social programs Parsley herself is advocating. Parsley claims that "the Bush budget cuts child welfare funds," and that President Bush is targeting children because they cannot vote. To support her opinoin, she claimed that "Child Abuse Prevention Program funding to the states will be slashed" and that "the Bush budget will cut $200 million from Federal Childcare and Development Funds to the states." In reality, the Bush budget increases federal funding for child abuse prevention programs by 66 percent (from $305 million to $505 million). In addition, funding to the Federal Childcare and Development Block Grant will actually increase to $2.2 billion because of a new $400 million after-school program which will assist parents in attaining after school child care for their children. Furthermore, President Bush's 2002 budget will create a $67 million mentoring program for children whose parents are in prison and will increase the Department of Education's funding by 11.5 percent. The facts demonstrate that the Bush budget is targeting children, and is attempting to improve their lives and well-being. President Bush will do all of this and cut your taxes proportionally more than the richest person in America. That is the "miracle" of over-taxing wage rates which have been growing much faster than inflation in recent years. Maybe, just maybe, there is not a villian in every story.

Steven Boyd College and Wharton '03

To the Editor: The University's policy of requiring the Class of 2005 to purchase the 17-meal "Penn Titanium Plan" will almost certainly result in the malnutrition and dissapointment of many students, especially those with specific dietary requirements. As a vegetarian, I found it especially difficult to eat in the dining halls during my freshman year. The variety and composition of the vegetarian options which was offered was atrocious at best, and dangerous at worst. The lack of quality and options for vegetarians caused me to lose 20 pounds the first semester of my freshman year. I also believe the new policy will serve to create more student resentment toward the nascent College House System -- just as it has for Yale, where vegetarians have been protesting the mandatory meal plans for years. I find the University's attempt to stuff its hemmoraging pockets with our (parents') hard earned money completely shameful. Penn should instead look to shift its priorities toward reenergizing underperforming assets -- such as the Health System and the anemic endowment -- and leave us alone.

Gaurav Kapadia Wharton '03

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