To the editor:

Do I detect a contradiction in your editorial opinion of Feb. 14? In "Too Federal Loans...," you indicate that the government should put a damper on subsidized loans for various purposes, including housing, because the cost is too high. Then in "Housing a Test of Bush Priorities," you advocate more government assistance for housing.

Perhaps your expectations of government are beyond reason. When the private sector fails to meet the needs of society, we look to government for aid -- and so it should be. But to expect the government to provide service at lower cost is unrealistic.

Recent events in the lending field make it clear tht we cannot always anticipate future costs of programs, i.e., the "risk of default." That, of course, should not deter our efforts to help the needy but it should remind us that government programs cost money. Something does not come from nothing.

E. Lee hawkes

State director

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