President Reagan once said that the closest thing to eternal life is a federal program. Unfortunately, once it’s started it is rarely evaluated, and unexpected results may be causing more damage than could ever have been anticipated. Two examples are the federal highway construction programs and the welfare programs.
The federal highway construction programs have greatly damaged our environment. Many forest areas were destroyed, farms plowed under for ever-spreading urbanization, rivers silted, fish killed, and wildlife made to vanish. Public transportation on private railroads that were efficient have been eliminated.
This costly program was the result of work by lobbyists for construction corporations, auto companies, oil companies and tire companies, and their labor unions. Under normal conditions we have auto congestion, highway deaths, air pollution, urban sprawl and the lost wildlife. All of this is a result of federal spending to help special interests at the real expense of the public.
The federal welfare programs have unfortunately contributed to the destruction of many American families. After more than 80 years, fatherless households and out-of-wedlock births are increasingly common, and children from such households are increasingly turning to anti-social behavior and crime. Clearly it is time for a serious, comprehensive re-evaluation of these programs.
Fort Lee, N.J.
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