Some Queries for Bradley: Such As: Is the 1996 Welfare Reform a 'Disaster'? Were You Corrupted by Any Contributions?

By Will, George F. | Newsweek, September 27, 1999 | Go to article overview

Some Queries for Bradley: Such As: Is the 1996 Welfare Reform a 'Disaster'? Were You Corrupted by Any Contributions?


Will, George F., Newsweek


With almost insolent ease, Bill Bradley has gained much ground on Al Gore without burdening voters with much information about what he would do with power. Herewith a few questions: You stress racial "reconciliation." What was a reconciler like you doing Aug. 23 spending two hours in Harlem with Al Sharpton, the demagogic race hustler who participated in Tawana Brawley's completely fraudulent claim to have been raped and smeared with excrement by white police officers?

The Education Department's Office of Civil Rights seems poised to rule that heavy reliance on SAT scores in college admissions constitutes illegal discrimination because minorities score lower on average than whites. Do you agree?

Forced busing for school desegregation, which you have supported, is ending in the place where it began 29 years ago, Charlotte, N.C. After billions of dollars spent on busing, and billions of student hours spent on buses, what has busing accomplished?

Cleveland's school-choice program may wind up in the Supreme Court, which will decide whether a program that gives vouchers to parents, for them to use as they choose, at secular or sectarian schools, violates the First Amendment prohibition of "establishment of religion." The Ohio, Wisconsin and Arizona state supreme courts have held similar choice programs to be constitutional. As president, would you have your solicitor general argue, as a friend of the court, for or against constitutionality?

You favor allowing homosexuals to serve openly in the military. (From which military officers did you seek advice?) You favor amending the 1964 Civil Rights Act to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation. Yet you oppose same-sex marriage because of the "religious nature of marriage and respect for the diversity of views on that subject." But marriage is not solely or always a religious institution, and there was, to put it mildly, a "diversity of views" about civil rights for blacks in 1964. By what logic should both discrimination based on sexual orientation and same-sex marriage be illegal?

Federal law (Title IX) forbids sex discrimination in education. This has been construed to require equal numbers of male and female athletes in a college's sports programs, with the result that some men's sports programs are being dropped to achieve numerical equality. Has Title IX been wisely construed?

You called the 1996 welfare reform, which ended the lifetime federal entitlement to welfare, a "disaster." Since 1996 welfare rolls have dropped 40 percent. Granted, the robust economy gets some credit, but do you still think the 1996 law is a disaster? Do you favor restoring a lifetime entitlement to welfare?

You opposed the 1981 Reagan tax reduction, calling it "inflationary." Eighteen years later, years of almost uninterrupted strong growth and low inflation, the economy is more than 70 percent larger and tax revenues have tripled. Were you wrong? In 1981 you proposed cutting the capital gains rate from 28 to 15 percent. …

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