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January 28, 1983 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-01-28

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4

OPINION
Page 4 Friday, January 28, 1983 The Michigan Daily
Reagan joins real world, drops rhetoric

By Helen Thomas
WASHINGTON - President Reagan,
seeking to-show that he is in touch with suf-
ering America, is planning to hit the road
more often to sell his new belt-tightening
policy.
Reagan laid out a program in his State of the
Union address that spreads the sacrifice and
nakes no big promises of a quick economic
recovery.
STILL, HIS Republican cohorts were happy
to see that he is abandoning some of his anti-
government rhetoric and taking a more
pragmatic approach to the nation's problems.
House GOP leader, Bob Michel, who barely
won re-election in a hard-pressed district, ,told
reporters after getting a preview of Reagan's
programs: "I was impressed by the fact that
the president is at least living in the world of
reality."
In recent weeks, there have been a spate of
reports from Reagan insiders who maintained
;that the president was out of touch with the 12
nillion unemployed.,
R HIS AIDES are now organizing a blitz cam-
paign to refurbish his image as a caring, com-
passionate president who is in step, and also

While insisting he will oppose any effort to
scrap the next tax cut, starting July 1, Reagan
is calling for a "standby tax" that could go into
effect in fiscal 1986 is deficits remain high.
THE FINE print on Reagan's budget
proposals for the 1984 fiscal year shows that
spending on domestic, mostly social rpograms,
will go up only 2 percent while defense spen-
ding will increase 14 percent. Budget director
David Stockman gave the figures reluctantly at
a briefing for reporters on Reagan's program.
While some praise Reagan's program, there
is no question that his refusal to make any real
dent in Pentagon spending will be up for close
scrutiny on Capitol Hill. Whether there has
been a turnaround in the president's philosophy
that government is the villain of the people
remains to be seen. Democrats stood up and
applauded when he said, "We who are in
government must take the lead in restoring the
economy."
"Normally at this point he would not have
heard that from the president," said Michel.
HE SAID that the time may now have come
when Reagan recognizes that the government
"must take the lead in restoring the economy."
Many of the lawmakers duly noted the change
in tune from his inaugural address, that gover-

nment is the "problem," not the solution.
While last year he" predicted that the natiop
would be out of its slump by now, Reagan waS
more cautious this time in forecasting an earl
turnaround.
THE MOST he said was that "America is on
the mend," but he made it clear that "we have
a long way to go."
Sen. Robert Stafford, (R-Vt.), noted that
Reagan has stressed his bipartisanship froi
the Social Security compromise to foreign
relations, and said he was pleased "the
president recognizes the pain being felt by
millions of Americans. But I'm not sure the
medicine he is prescribing will work fast
enough." .{
On the other hand, conservative supporters
applauded Reagan's call for a spending freeze;
tuition tax credits, a simplified tax code, and'a
special youth minimum wage.
In the coming months, Reagan must prove
that he is not only a "great communicator but a
super salesman," as one lawmaker put it. 'U
sell his program he is going to the grass root
for his initial support.
Thomas wrote this article, for United
Press International.

Reagan: Reaching out to the grass roots

probably to set the stage for his re-election. T¢
the man, his aides all believe he wants another
four-year crack at the presidency.
What is clear in the "strong medicine"
Reagan has proposed to cure the country's ills
is that nothing works unless the Democrats
come aboard. But some of the proposals are

unpalatable. He has called for a freezing of all
benefits in Social Security, entitlement
programs, government pensions and
retirement funds. Democratic leaders believe
that a rollback in the third year 10 percent tax
cut also is in order to keep up government
revenues.

. o Tp
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I

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Wasserman

f

OUR CO(1UN4TY tNPS "NOU DO t)AO- To

Vol. XCIII, No. 97

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

a

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

Same old message
THEME of President Reagan's slash. They are commonly blamed for
State of the Union address runs the runaway budget deficit that may
" America is on the mend." But under- reach $200 billion this year. But the
;heath the crowd-pleasing of Tuesday's real reason programs such as food
epeech lay the real message: Feed the stamps are costing more is simply that
I ilitary and starve the needy-hardly more jobless people are being forced to
the bipartisan elixir needed to heal seek them out because of economic
those suffering most from the coun- circumstances beyond their, and
try's economic malaise. everyone else's, control.
In spite of his conciliatory cloak of The president is not impressed,
soft words, the center of president's however. He sees a real need over at
proposals is remarkably the same, in- the Pentagon, where the feast that
volving more cuts in domestic spen- began when he took office continues
ding. Uncharacteristically, Reagan unabated. The president wants to keep
did admit that the government must 1984 spending at 1983 levels after in-
lead the nation out of the recession. flation, and he asserts this is a fair
But the happy words are backed by no solution for everyone.
substance, leaving the government lit- What the president does not point out
tle with which to lead. is that spending on social programs
Although specific proposals have yet will rise less than 3 percent while
to be formally announced, the defense spending will soar by about 10
president has targeted the very areas percent under his proposal. In spite of
that are supposed to stop 12 million Reagan's assertion that, "cuts"in
unemployed and needy from free defense spending will save $55 billion
falling with the dismal economy. The over the next five years, the Pentagon
president wants to make further cuts has been promised a $41 billion budget
in the so-called safety programs : increase in 1984.
Social Security benefits, supplemental What the president offers, then, is
income for elderly poor, and worst of nothing new, in spite of the toned down
all, food stamps. rhetoric. He is a great communicator,
The automatic rise in the costs of but his message is stale, containing
these programs makes them an easy bountiful dollars for the military and
target for a president eager to cut and precious few alms for the poor.
IF WE KEEP ON WITH ThE ARMS RACE. AFTER
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4

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:

SCRAP petition is coun terproductive

To the Daily:
Students are seeing a lot of
petitioning going on around cam-
pus. One group, the Student
Committee for Reform and
Progress (SCRAP), is petitioning
so that "special interest groups"
-particularly PIRGIM-do not
receive what SCRAP believes is

unusual treatement from the
University for fundraising.
Currently PIRGIM has
representation on the Student
Verification Form, but it is in the
midst of petitioning for a new,
stronger fundraising system
which would also be conducted
through the University.

Review cripples Nat. Res.

To the Daily:
I am questioning the University
of Michigan administration and
its review of the School of Natural
Resources. This review has not
accurately assessed the
strengths and weaknesses of the
school, nor has it come up with a
more efficient system for running
the school. Instead the review
has crippled the institution with a
33 percent budget reduction. This
reduction, I feel, would only
debilitate the school so severely
that closure would inevitably
follow.
The proposed faculty reduction
from 34 to 21 members would
eliminate all junior faculty
members and would force early
retirement of tenured faculty
assuming the University follows
its policy of not removing tenured
faculty. Would this lack of fresh

mended an increase in the num-
ber of students. Presently there
is little if any job market for
graduates. Therefore I question
the committee's knowledge of the
natural resource field.
The review committee also
recomended that the five major
programs of study within the
school be combined into two
distinct divisions despite the
School of Natural Resources'
nationally acclaimed integrative
approach to resource problems.
Therefore I question the commit-
tee's understanding of the school
or the field in general.
These are but a few of the
problems with the proposals and
recomendations presented by the
review process. This procedure
has only crippled the school and
demoralized the students.
Students have tried to present
their views and alternatives only

The contrast in the actions and
goals of PIRGIM and SCRAP
deserve discussion. My primary
concern is the energy SCRAP
devotes to its cause. Students are
already engaged in an endless,
exhausting struggle to gain some
power, control, or even
significant influence onrthe run-
ning of their own university.
Why, then, when faced with this
discouraging student status, does'
one group feel compelled to wage
a one-on-one battle with another?
The only thing to call it is coun-
terproductive. And it seems
peculiar that this group has just
made its presence known in time
to try to counteract the effects of
PIRGIM's petitioning. Where
have they been hiding until now?
It seems that SCRAP's drive is
a blatant case of antipathy, and
their goal is to sabotage PIRGIM
as a group.
I am struck by the fact that a
group that calls its goals "reform
and progress" would want to un-
dermine the financial support of
the most famous and successful
of student social reform and
progress groups.
Is SCRAP's definition of
reform imposing severe

economic hardship on an
organization that is wholly for the
student community? Do the
members of SCRAP think
progress means the elimination
of the potential for PIRGIM to
continue working as successfully
as it has in the past, and to con-
tinue to help students make
valuable contributions through
their own initiative?
If SCRAP does not believe
PIRGIM is a viable organization
from which' the student com-
munity can benefit, then why not
simply say so in their petitions
instead of attacking PIRGIM's
survival line? It was, after all, a
similar petition drive that
allowed PIRGIM to first fund it-
self using Student Verification
Forms. Later petitions reaffir-
med student support - support
which means students wanted the
University to provide a funding
system.
If SCRAP cannot demonstrate
a positive, productive, and for-
thright purpose to their
petitioning, then they should not
continue to waste our time.
-Maura Johnston
January22

-d

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