Grading The Gop Freshmen

Regarding "The House freshmen" (Cover Story, Jan. 29): To call these clowns "freshmen" is demeaning to millions of conscientious high school and college students. If the game isn't played their way, they will take their ball and go home. They label themselves as conservative, but just what is being conserved besides the fortunes of the rich? It is not conservative to allow our environment to be ravaged, our cities and schools to deteriorate, our infrastructure to collapse, our citizens to be slaughtered with assault weapons. Nor is it conservative to push through a $240 billion tax cut when they say they are for balancing the budget.

Instead of debating the merits of their proposed programs, they have resorted to terrorist tactics and blackmail--holding the government hostage and threatening default if they don't get everything they want.

Bruce Rollier

Ellicott City, Md.

In your article, you quote Jeffrey T. Grade, chairman of Harnischfeger Industries Inc., as saying that the freshmen are "inexperienced and unskilled, but maybe that's what we need." Does he pick his professional employees that way? Government demands skill and experience, not arrogance, fanaticism, insularity, intolerance, and a "feeding frenzy at the money trough," as you aptly call it.

John E. Ullmann

Professor Emeritus of Management

Hofstra University

New York

The A- rating you gave the House freshmen on welfare reform is undeserved. The freshmen took a meat-ax approach to programs rather than considering the need to mandate work while addressing the issues of job creation, adequate and safe child care, and opportunities for skills development. The long-term consequences of their proposed welfare reform will prove very costly, both socially and economically.

Richard Rhine

Tacoma, Wash.

While I have noticed a more liberal tilt in BUSINESS WEEK's articles over the past two years, your comments regarding the GOP freshman class in your article "GOP rookies: Take `yes' for an answer" (Editorials, Jan. 29) go beyond my threshold of tolerance.

While the GOP freshman class may not have been able to get the bulk of their agenda passed because of either a timid Senate or President Clinton's veto pen, they were responsible for bringing to a vote and passing in the House a majority of items in the Contract With America. This group of "young Turks," as they are routinely portrayed by the mainstream media, represent the uncluttered, "get-the-job-done" view of many Americans. They should be congratulated for being the most potent political force for sound government change in 40 years.

K.F. Yontz

Chairman, President, and CEO

Sybron International


Your editorial was right out of the typical liberal textbook. If a few more people would get on the GOP freshman bandwagon, then maybe we could get to where we want to go in this country-- forward to prosperity.

James Fox

Janesville, Wis.

The liberal polling bias continues, even in BUSINESS WEEK! Your "Business Week/Harris Poll" asks this question: "A group of 74 newly elected House Republicans is insisting that President Clinton agree to their version of a balanced budget, and has been willing to shut down the federal government to force an agreement. Do you approve or disapprove of what the House Republicans are doing?"

Let me suggest a different question to "pulse" the electorate: "President Clinton is insisting that House Republicans agree to his own version of a `balanced budget,' and has been willing to shut down the government to force an agreement. Do you approve or disapprove of what President Clinton, his Administration, and the House and Senate Democratic congressional members are doing?"

We expect this bias from the "main-stream" media, but not from a supposedly objective publication!

Walter Schild

Mesa, Ariz.

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