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Hatch has reason for stand

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This is in response to the June 16 letter by Jeffrey Stoddard, who wonders whether Sen. Orrin Hatch is suffering from "a failure in logic" or a "failure in principle."

Armed with the superior wisdom one can acquire only from the liberal political science department at the University of Utah, Mr. Stoddard now knows that the senator's motives are dictated more by the contributions of interest groups "seeking to pass or kill certain bills in Congress" than what is in the best interest of the folks in Utah who elected Sen. Hatch. Nothing could be further from the truth.In his convoluted logic, Stoddard asserts that interest group "strings-attached money" has influenced Sen. Hatch to oppose the McCain bill that would allow for a tax increase on cigarettes. Stoddard's reasoning is consistent with what one would expect to come out of the most liberal university in the state of Utah.

Had Stoddard and his cohorts taken time to independently inform themselves, they would have learned that Hatch, and many others oppose the McCain bill because, first: it taxes the wrong people; and, secondly Clinton and his crowd want the revenue for over 100 new social programs they would like to fund, most of which do not relate directly to kids, but children make a great pawn in Clinton's political agenda. The Clintons preface everything they want with "It's for the children."

In Utah, the people who would be hardest hit by the tax on cigarettes are the folks at or near the poverty level who smoke and who are likely to continue to smoke.

These are the major reasons Sen. Hatch opposes the so-called McCain bill; the revenue would have had little if any impact on programs aimed at reducing youth smoking.

Incidentally RJR Nabisco is a conglomerate, and tobacco products are not its only source of revenue.

Howard A. Matthews