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Huckleberries Online

Blast from Past: Elect Bob Dole


D.F. Oliveria/For the editorial

Publication Date: October 13, 1996  Page: B10  Section: THE REGION  Edition: SPOKANE

Four years ago, this newspaper endorsed Bill Clinton for president. We're not going to do so again.

We're opting for substance over style this time.

We're opting for a candidate who will sign legislation cutting spending, taxes and regulations, instead of one who says with a wink and a nod that he's for reform and then fights it.

We're opting for a veteran lawmaker who earned bipartisan respect within the U.S. Senate and who keeps his word.

We're opting for a Republican who will end four years of embarrassing White House scandals, corruption and cover-up.

We're supporting Bob Dole.

Incredibly, we have a better idea how Dole would govern in a first term than how Clinton would rule in a second term.

No one really knows: Will Clinton II give us the social engineer who began his presidency by supporting socialized medicine and the nation's largest tax increase? Or, will Clinton II resemble the ``New Democrat'' of the past two years who, under the constraint of a Republican Congress and the polls, claimed the era of big government is over?

In Dole, however, we know we'll have a conservative president with common sense, compassion and the ability to resolve complex problems through cooperation.

As you will recall, it was Dole who broke with House Republican leadership this winter to end the disruptive government shutdowns. In the past, Dole worked with liberal lawmakers such as George McGovern and Hubert Humphrey to launch the food stamp program. In the 1980s, he helped save Social Security.

Now, instead of resorting to demagoguery on the sensitive Medicare issue, as Clinton, the Democrats and Big Labor have done, Dole has proposed a bipartisan committee to save the entitlement. That's leadership.

Dole also showed leadership by adding a tax cut to his economic stimulation and deficit reduction package. Clinton, who reneged on his campaign promise for a middle-class tax cut, claims it'll ``blow a hole in the deficit.'' Economists are split over it. But it's a fact the economy and federal tax revenues took off after Presidents Kennedy and Reagan cut taxes. The bigger risk in Dole's plan isn't the tax cuts, which American families would welcome, it's that Dole may have difficulty cutting federal spending as much as he wants.

Still, we prefer Dole's overall direction - a commitment to get the federal government off the back of this economy and to let Americans keep more of their wages.

This campaign comes down to a fundamental choice: Do you trust big government and the politicians who fight needed reform? Or do you think federal government has grown too intrusive and squandered too much money on ineffective programs and bureaucracy?

We think it's time to shift power and money back toward families, communities, small businesses and today's political innovators, the states.

Whom do you trust? We trust the people, and we support Bob Dole.

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D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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