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October 19, 1993 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-10-19

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The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, October 19, 1993 - 7

.Tax analyst
Engler 'S
*new plan
LANSING (AP) - Gov. John
Engler's plan to raise the sales tax to
help replace lost property tax revenue
"fails the test of tax fairness," the
head of a labor-dominated organiza-
tion said yesterday.
Douglas Kelly, director of tax
analysis for Citizens for Tax Justice,
told the Senate School Finance Re-
formCommittee thatMichigan should
increase its income tax to avert a
regressive tax system.
Engler wants to ask voters on Feb.
8 to raise the sales tax from4 percent
to 6 percent.
Kelly's testimony came as law-
makers worked on Engler's sweeping
plan to replace most of the $6.98
billion lost through this summer's
property tax cut and his proposals for
revamping school policy. The pro-
posed sales tax boost would provide
$1.83 billion.
"Unfortunately, Governor Engler
fumbled away his chance for tax fair-
ness," Kelly said. "Rather than ask-
ing the well-off to start paying their
fair share, the governor's tax plan
protects the rich and hits the poor and
the middle class with added regres-
sive taxes, thereby making Michigan's
"tax system even more unfair than be-
Kelly contended the sales tax is
more unfair than the property tax it
would replace, and that Engler is ig-
noring the income taut, "Michigan's
fairest tax of all."
choices," he said. "But if the legislature
passes his plan, the only choice he'll
*give voters in February is whether they
want higher sales taxes or school clos-
ngs. That's hardly a fair deal.
"A better plan would give voters a
real choice. Do they want higher sales
taxes on working people, or do they
want a graduated rate income tax that
makes the rich pay their fair share?"
The state now has a flat income
tax rate of 4.6 percent.
But Kelly gotlittle sympathy from
the Republican-dominated Senate
"You've used JohnEngler's name
almost in vain. I don't think you're in
the ballpark at all," said Sen. Harry
Gast (R-St. Joseph). He noted that
organized labor is prominent among
the group's board of directors.
Gast said Engler's plan would pro-
mote economic development in
*Michigan while a graduated income
tax would damage the economy and
push business out.
"That would close up shop," he
said. "Surely the last person would
turn out the lights.
"We wouldn't win any friends or
influence many people if we went to
a graduated income tax."
Sen. David Honigman (R-West
Bloomfield) said polls have shown
that people dislike the income tax
more than the sales tax.

"People overwhelmingly favor the
sales tax," he said. "Economic growth
is the best thing for middle-income
and poor people."
Meanwhile, a coalition of busi-
iess groups has joined forces to com-
bat Engler's proposal to raise $350
*million through increased cigarette
and tobacco taxes. They argued that
such taxes would increaseillegalboot-
legging of cigarettes and hurt busi-
nesses near the state lines.

Delayed Columbia mission
focuses on medical research

Fourteen-day flight
to study effects of
prolonged space
travel will set record
- Columbia and its seven astronauts
blasted off on a belated mission yes-
terday, carrying 48 rats that will be
poked, prodded and in some cases
decapitated by guillotine and dissected
in orbit.
All in the name of medical sci-
The astronauts quickly got started
on their 14 days of space checkups,
drawing blood from one another,
measuring their blood pressure and
noting any symptoms of motion sick-
The mission - the longest ever
planned for a space shuttle-- is in-
tended to help scientists develop mea-
sures for counteracting the debilitat-
ing effects of space travel.
"As you can well imagine, there
are seven very happy people up here,"
Commander John Blaha said.
Astronaut-physician David Wolf
was the first one to enter the pressur-
AP PHOTO ized laboratory module in the cargo
bay, followed by the crew's other

medical doctor, M. Rhea Seddon.
NASA needed three countdowns
to get Columbia off the ground. Equip-
ment failures halted last week's at-
"Guys, the third time's a charm,"
orbiter test director Brian Monborne
assured the crew before liftoff.
Delayed 10 seconds by a stray
Navy plane, the 2,000-ton spaceship
rose from its seaside pad at 10:53 a.m.
and tore through three decks of clouds
on its way to a 176-mile-high orbit.
It is only the second mission in 58
shuttle trips focused entirely on medi-
cal research.
Scientists say they need more tests
before they can draw any conclusions
about avoiding such effects of space
travel as shriveled muscles, weak-
ened bones and weakened immune
systems. And then there's space mo-
tion sickness, which strikes two-thirds
of all astronauts,
Two crew members had catheters
threading through theirveins forlaunch
-Martin Fettman, the first U.S. veteri-
narian in space, and Shannon Lucid, a
biochemistwhobecame thefirstwoman
to fly in space four times. The catheters
were hooked to white backpacks with
floating cables, making the two look
like a pair of bees.

Fettman is in charge of the rats,
the most that'sever flown on a shuttle.
Fettman and the others will draw
blood from the 2- to 3-month-oldmale
rodents, inject radioactive isotopes
and hormones, and collect the animal
droppings to measure calcium con-
tent, an indicator of bone loss.
Oct. 30, Fettman will use a guillo-
tine to behead five of the rats, six if
there's time. He and another astro-
naut then will perform the first animal
dissections in space, preserving al-
most everything for postflight analy-
sis: brain, eyes, inner ears, parts of the
skull, spleen, heart, liver, kidneys,
pancreas, thyroid, lungs, trachea,
bones, muscles, blood, glands, teste$.
Biologists say the only way to
know exactly how weightlessness af-
fects creatures is to dissect ther be-:
fore they're re-exposed to gravity.
Columbia's surviving rats will
be killed for dissection after the
flight, the same fate encountered by
the more than 100 rats on previous
shuttle missions in studies of space
As for the nearly 1,000 rats that
were on standby in case of further
launch delays, NASA planned to kill
the animals and donate them to a
rehabilitation program for birds of

The Space Shuttle Columbia blasts into orbit yesterday morning.

States outline tough welfare proposals
despite lack of governmental support


states are proposing to put caps on
welfare -- but without the Clinton
administration's guarantee of a job
when the checks run out.
The experiments could lead to
homelessness, critics say. Backers of
the plans contend the administration
will be retreating from its promise to
reform welfare if it blocks the tough
new programs.
President Clinton has vowed to
bring changes to a program that sup-
ports 5 million poor families. The
administration is working on a plan to
limit welfare benefits to two years.
Several states have asked to ex-
periment with such limits, including
Wisconsin, Vermont, Colorado,
Florida, and South Dakota, said the
Department of Health and Human
Services (HHS).
The state approaches vary when a
parent reaches the limit. Some would
let benefits continue if the recipient
can't find a job; others, like Wiscon-
sin, do not.
HHS has approved Vermont's re-
quest to impose a 30-month limit on
welfare benefits. The state then guar-
antees a job, either with the govern-
ment or a not-for-profit agency. The
plan must still be approved by the
state legislature.
Wisconsin's "Work Not Welfare"
experiment is considered the tough-
est and least flexible, according to a
senior official at HHS.
"Governors are picking up pieces
akthw a e a M

'Many old-school
liberals are really
squirming. They're
petrified we may well
change the welfare
system in a big way.'
- Gerald Whitburn
Wisc. HHS secretary
of the Clinton administration's agenda
without adopting the more compre-
hensive approach that would truly
enable people to move from welfare
to work," said Susan Steinmetz of the
Center on Budget and Policy Priori-
ties, a liberal research and advocacy
"Work Not Welfare" also under-
scores the White House's dilemma.
Conservatives say the administra-
tion will be retreating from its cam-
paign promises if the plan is rejected.
Liberals say the experiment could
leave vulnerable families homeless.
"Many old-school liberals are re-
ally squirming," said Gerald Whitburn,
secretary of Health and Social Services
in Wisconsin. "They're petrified we
may well change the welfare system in
a big way."
"The president has indicated that
he wanted to change welfare as we
know it. Clearly, that is what we are
doing here," Whitburn said. "States
like Wisconsin are inclined to pro-

ceed, not to wait."
White House domestic policy ad-
viser Bruce Reed said the administra-
tion has made no decision on Work
Not Welfare, although HHS is look-
ing carefully at whether there will be
enough jobs for participants.
"The president is generally sup-
portive of welfare reform initiatives
in the states but every waiver request
has a number of technical issues and
financial issues and practical issues,"
Reed said.
Whitburn has taken his case for
Wisconsin's experiment to the White
House and believes the issue will be
brought to a head soon.
He said the experiment will be
conducted in two counties with
healthy economies and businesses
committed to hiring former welfare
recipients, and the state's safety net
will continue to protect families who
are incapable of competing in the
private market.
"On the other hand, if you're job-
ready and able to work, we're intro-
ducing you to real-world values," he
Mark Greenberg of the Center for
Law and Social Policy, a liberal re-
search and advocacy organization,
said the plan "destroys the idea of the
welfare system as a safety net."
"The Wisconsin approach makes
use of the very catchy phrase 'Work
Not Welfare,' but it doesn't provide
work, it simply ends welfare," said


Ann Arbor resident Jason Fuller and his dog - bearing the unusual name
Kush - were strolling across the Diag yesterday when they happened upon
a newly-raked pile of fresh leaves. Being a playful little fellow, Kush started
to frolic gleefully in the fall foliage.

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