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College Tuition Tax Plan Favors Wealthy Taxpayers

I was glad to see the Monitor raise concerns about the growing costs of college education in the editorial ``Costly Colleges,'' Jan. 27. But President Clinton's misguided proposal to make college tuition tax-deductible is not the answer.

If, as the editorial warns, rising costs may eventually make college an exclusive privilege, why should the government divert its limited education dollars to subsidizing tuition for wealthy taxpayers?

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Plans to allow withdrawals from retirement savings for education costs are similarly skewed against those who can least afford college or retirement savings. Financial aid proposals for education must be concentrated to assist only qualified students who could not otherwise attend. President Clinton must resist the temptation to please wealthy taxpayers with a program that would not send more students to college, but may encourage colleges to raise tuition in response to the government's misguided largess. Ron Charles, St. Louis Israeli picture misleading

The photo of Israeli soldiers ostensibly blocking an Arab youth in Jerusalem that accompanies the front-page article ``Israel's Great Wall? Critics Belittle a Barrier Against Palestinians,'' Jan. 27, did little to enlighten readers as to why Prime Minister Rabin has called for separation between Israelis and Palestinians. More than 100 Israelis have been slaughtered at the hands of Islamic militants who seek to destroy the peace process and the Jewish state. Mr. Rabin's call for some type of wall was a reaction to the escalating fear that Israelis are experiencing in the wake of terrorist atrocities.

The absence of background information only tantalized readers into imagining the worst of Israeli soldiers who daily contend with threats of Palestinian extremist violence. Bluma Zuckerbrot, New York Middle Eastern Affairs, Director Anti-Defamation League Foster homes instead of orphanages

Regarding the article ``Welfare Reform: Are Orphanages a '90s Answer?'' Dec. 1: I know that bad foster homes exist, but as a relatively new foster parent, I have found a huge population of unselfish, loving, and giving foster parents doing a thankless job, unpaid except for tremendous personal satisfaction, working against incredible government mentality and red tape for the benefit of children abused and neglected because of drug use.

One social worker summed up my frustrations by telling me that the courts have changed their standard from ``best interest of the child'' to ``minimum level of care.'' At least for the drug babies, the answer lies in reversing the Department of Social Services constant push for reunification back to the way it used to be, when American families were able to adopt these little ones. With all the talk about orphanages, I am disturbed that no one is talking about adoption. From my perspective, it is the best solution. Linda Bargmann, Escondido, Calif.

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