To the Editor:

Recently, Republicans leaders have expressed their nostalgia for the 1950s. There are two Congressional actions from the 1950s that could be renewed to help our current problems, increased taxes and the National Defense Education Fund.

Taxes were increased to pay for World War II and the Korean War, unlike our current tax policy in regard to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Why have Americans become convinced that only those in the military should sacrifice for wars that the U.S. led? Taxes are a direct way to pay for defense spending instead of cutting domestic spending. It spreads out the pain of war. Should we exhibit those same fair values today?

The passage of the National Defense Education Fund in 1957 provided federal help to foreign language scholars, area studies centers, and engineering students. Second, it provided financial assistance, primarily through the National Defense Student Loan program, for thousands of students who would be part of the growing numbers enrolling at colleges in the 1960s. I was one of those who benefited from the low interest and low repayment plan. Our middle class grew with increased educational opportunities. Do we have those same educational values today?

Julie Stewart Ziesman

Waukee