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LETTERS: MacArthur Airport, tuition tax credit, tax cuts

MacArthur Airport is aptly named

Michael Polimeni's piece ["For LI's gem of an airport, why this guy?,'' Opinion, Oct. 15] is a thoughtful and sincere observation regarding Gen. Douglas MacArthur's lack of connection to Long Island. However, it is sadly misinformed and ill-timed.

In 1942, the Town of Islip chose to name its little-known airport after a famous American war hero, who was recently awarded the Medal of Honor. It was a way of demonstrating American patriotism in a world facing the threat of totalitarian and fascist domination.

It is the only airport in the entire United States named after a military general. It is not the name of the airport that matters so much as what MacArthur stood for: "Duty, Honor, Country."

The real purpose of establishing a memorial bust of the general at the airport is to call attention to all American heroes, past and present, including creating an ongoing public awareness of this great nation's tradition of producing magnificent leaders - strong, decisive individuals who have led our nation through the most difficult times, both in peace and war. This is critical given the ongoing war on terrorism this nation faces.

Let's keep this distinction for Long Islanders. Renaming it "New York Regional Airport" does nothing for me.

Charles F. Howlett

West Islip

Editor's note: The writer teaches at Molloy College and is a member of the L.I. Gen. Douglas MacArthur Fund.

Extend tuition credit to private schools

"Pushing to keep college within reach" [News, Oct. 14] reported on the possibility that the tax credit of up to $2,500 for college might be made permanent.

The Democrats pushing for this tax credit oppose its being extended to include tuitions for grades K-12. Doing this would not only benefit many low- and middle-income families in failing schools by giving their kids a chance for a better education, but would also result in savings for taxpayers who are now paying for public schools. In New York, it would amount to giving parents about half the average tuition at a private religious school.

Frank J. Russo Jr.

Port Washington

Business group should do the math

After reading about the Long Island Association's opposition to letting the Bush tax cuts expire, I had to laugh ["LIA: Keep Bush tax cuts," News, Oct. 14]. My wife and I and my son live quite comfortably on Long Island making a lot less than the $250,000 addressed by the expiring tax cuts. Extending these cuts to the richest 2 percent of the population will add $700 billion to the deficit.

I have a suggestion for those hurt by the expiring tax cuts: Try living within your means. Maybe one day, 98 percent of the population will wake up and stop letting the other 2 percent run things. Look where they've gotten us to this point.

Robert Stadelmann

Floral Park