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January 19, 1996 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-01-19

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4 - The MichiganDaily - January 19, 1996

Maynard Street ---- -- - MICHAEL ROSENBERG
rbor M 48109 Editor in Chief
and anapci y :

424 A
AnnAi
Editedr

BRENT MCINTOSH MCINTOSH CLASSICS
.- First lady's fan dub captures the
essence ofa cofee-addited ciy

students at the
University of Michigan

,JULLIE IDECKER
JAMEs M. NASH
Editorial Page Editors

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of a majority of the Daily's editorial board. All
other articles, letters, and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Dail.

Foreign

Service

'U' should aid international grad instructors

International students vying for graduate
student instructorships face many hard-
ships in leaving their countries behind and
venturing to a new land with new customs.
The University fails to defray many of the
hidden costs, requirements and burdens these
potential students face. Recognizing this, the
Graduate Employees Organization has in-
cluded better treatment of potential interna-
tional graduate student instructors in its list
of contract demands. The University should
use this opportunity to overhaul hiring and
training practices for international GSIs.
Would-be international GSIs are required
to attend a three-week training session, and
they must pay for it. In addition, they must
purchase health care premiums to cover the
duration of the workshop. Despite the heavy
financial burdens, the University does not
promise to hire any of the foreign partici-
pants. One of GEO's proposals would re-
quire the University to reimburse the foreign
participants at the hourly equivalent of the
GEO rate. In addition, the University would
pay a $34 premium for each international
GSI to provide participants with health care
for the duration of the workshop, GEO pro-
posals reflect not only the needs of potential
international GSIs, but also of its under-
graduate students. The financial and logisti-
cal hardships prevent many potentially good
teachers from attending a program that may
not result in employment. This, in turn, hurts
undergraduate students because many quali-
fied international GSIs are never hired.
Under another provision, GEO is asking
the University to allow any potential interna-

tional GSI to request English language assis-
tance. Currently, English assistance is lim-
ited to IGSIs whose departments request it in
advance. GEO's solution would make the
process more fair for all candidates and not
give special preference to those whose de-
partments are more organized and sensitive
to the candidates' needs.
Ifa candidate receives English assistance,
he or she is still subject to intense and unfair
scrutiny during the interactive phases of the
workshop. Currently, candidates must take
an English Language Institute test as well as
participate in the workshop. During the work-
shop, the candidates' scores can be altered
based on their performance. American stu-
dents, however, are not being monitored and
a double standard emerges. The foreign par-
ticipants often are nervous during the work-
shop because they are being closely moni-
tored, which detracts from their performance
and participation. To solve the problem, GEO
has proposed an end to that scrutiny. GEO
members also would like to prevent instruc-
tors from altering the participants' grades.
The University should recognize the in-
strumental role that international graduate
student instructors, who comprise an esti-
mated 25 percent of all GSIs, play in under-
graduate education. It should meet GEO's
modest demands and help eradicate the tre-
mendous expense, financial burden and psy-
chological hardships potential international
GSIs endure to be considered for a job. If the
University continues to slight them, diver-
sity ofscholarship -a significant element of
the University's credo - will be damaged.

In a hastily called press conferenceNASA
revealed yesterday that astronauts in the
space shuttle had stunned the Houston con-
trol room with a startling revelation: Even
from space, the line to see Hillary Rodham
Clinton in Ann Arbor Wednesday was easily
visible, snaking around the block from
Border's Books past Bivouac to the Burro
and beyond - this sighting despite heavy
cloud cover.
Just as the rocket scientists reported,
approximately 147,822 people waited in a
downpour Wednesday to see the first lady of
the United States - although the National
Park Service representative who counted the
Million Man March put the figure at "around
235, give or take a couple dozen."
Many of the people in line held hand-
lettered signs praising the besieged first lady.
One, forexample.read "Saint Hillary."Saint
Hillary? A piece of advice: Whatever reli-
gion that man practices, avoid at all costs.
Most saintings require three miracles;
Hillary's only miracle is finding Chelsea a
date last weekend.
The College Republicans also showed
up to heckle the first lady, since -being that
they are the College Republicans - they
really have nothing better to do. Some of the
Republicans began milling about like
drugged sheep and others curled into tight
fetal positions on the wet sidewalk after a
H-illarian pointed out to them that the most
charismatic leaders in their party are Newt
Gingrich and Bob Dole.
Many of those who came to see Hillary
were members of the Ann Arbor chapter of
the Hillary Rodham Clinton Fan Club
(AAHRCFC, an acronym that should only
be pronounced by trained professionals).

which, they are fond of pointing out, is the
nation's largest chapter.
Largest chapter? There are other chap-
ters'?
I was sure that such a thing could only
happen in Ann Arbor. This city is weird that
way.
Don't get me wrong: Ann Arbor is proud
to be home to the nation's largest chapter of
the Hillary Rodham Clinton Legal Defense
Fund - uh, I mean, Fan Club.
I can imagine the meetings: first, a criti-
cal look at Hillary's new hairstyle. Then, on
to the important business: how to invest
wisely, according to the first lady.
Which is, one must admit, a whole bunch
more interesting than the Nancy Reagan Fan
Club, which spent its time discussing topics
like "How to push around your not-quite-
all-there-anymore husband, especially if he's
leader of the free world" - at least until the
members of the club all quit on the advice of
their own personal psychic advisors.
Or the Barbara Bush Fan Club, which
was really nothing more than a recipe-ex-
change chain letter.
Still, for these AAHRCFC members, I
have a single piece of advice:
Get a hobby.
Soon.
Even if you like the first lady, which for
the first time ever a majority of Americans
do not, do you start a fan club'? The answer,
for people with real lives, is no.
But, as I was saying, Ann Arbor's weird
that way. More examples?
In recent history, only one Ann Arbor
line has exceeded Wednesday's Hillary-
queue in length: the line to get into Touch-
down Cafe. Hardcore Touchdowners are

often seen drunkenly bedding down outside
the bar immediately after lastciall, such that
they can be first in line when the plac
reopens.
There is, of course, a reason for this
mildly deviant behavior: Ann Arbor, strange
town that it is, has about six times as many
coffee shops as bars, so real drunkards have
to crowd into the few bars there are. There is
a reason for this lack of pubs, also. Think
about it: What can you do with a big cup of
coffee that you can't do with a beer?
While true, the answer I'm looking for is
not "burn myself, sue McDonald's and wi
a grotesque amount of money.
The answer I'm looking for, of course, is
"drive the new Jeep Grand Cherokee that
Daddy gave me." And since good little New
Jersey girls wouldn't be caught dead away
from that new Polo Green-Jeep, double
cappuccinos will always be in greater de-
mand than bottles of Budweiser.
This coffee addiction has strange effects
on Ann Arbor. For example, in most cities,
the town drunk slurs his earnest plea for
quarter. In Ann Arbor, on the other hand, th
bums lear at you, wide-eyed and wired, and
demand in ajittery voice, "Gimme yer spare
freakin' change, or I'm going rip yer beady-
eyed little head off, buddy-boy.,
It makes me sad. I really want to give
them money, but I'm afraid they'll run right
out and spend it on coffee.
Sometimes I give them a buck or two,
anyway - at least they're:not paying
Hillary's legal bills.
- Brent McIntosh can be reached ove
e-mail at mnctosh@umich. eda. He will,
however, decline all requests to contribute
to Hillary's defense fund.

I

JIM LASSER
C ONFLC T7
GOVE
r

SHARP AS TOAST
COMPROM/5 E
4r
o-
0 a. '

NOTABLE QUOTABLE
'Politics is a life
of artifice. You
become, through
press releases
and self-
promotion, a
figment of the
public's
imagination.'
- Sen.'William Cohen
(R-Maine), who an-
nounced Wednesday he
woutd not seek re-
election, iwrote this in a
piece offiction.

The rich remedy
Flat taxes cheat middle-class families

F ormer Housing and Urban Development
Secretary Jack Kemp's congressional
tax reform panel this week unveiled its pro-
posal for a "flat tax" system to replace the
current income tax code. The report comes at
a time when several GOP presidential candi-
dates and congressional leaders are calling
for a similar restructuring. While the tax code
needs reform, Kemp's "solution" would do
America more harm than good.
The details of the various flat-tax plans
differ, but there are a few common points.
The government would tax all income above
a certain threshold - usually near $30,000
per year for a family - at a single rate
between 14 and 24 percent, depending on the
plan. Most or all "tax breaks" - deductions,
exemptions and credits - would vanish.
Some plans spare the home mortgage interest
and the charitable donation deductions. Over-
all, the plans would tax only earned income;
investment revenue would become tax-free.
Supporters argue that a flat tax would be
more fair than the current code because it
would eliminate the loopholes that allow so
many wealthy Americans to pay unreason-
ably low income taxes. This is a valid point.
While a few deductions are worthwhile, Con-
gress must re-examine the tax code and phase
out all but the most important tax breaks.
The flat-taxers do not stop, however, with
eliminating deductions. They also propose a
single tax rate for all income above a certain
threshold. This idea is fundamentally unfair
and unwise. Millionaires and working-class
families would pay equal taxes on any in-
come above the threshold. While a flat tax
rate would lower the actual rate middle-

income families must pay, the lost deduc-
tions would result in more money owed to the
government.
Worse yet, the proposed system would
tax only earned income, not investment in-
come. Thus, a millionaire who does not work,
but makes hundreds ofthousands of dollars a
year from investments would pay no income
tax.
A flat tax plan would harm the poor by
eliminating the Earned Income Tax Credit.
Also, the working poor would still be saddled
with high payroll taxes, such as Medicare
and Social Security. Although Kemp has
suggested that payroll taxes be deductible,
this would not solve the problem. Real tax
reform must deal with the payroll taxes are
disproportionately borne by the poor and
working class.
Support for progressive taxation should
not stem from envy or loathing of the rich,
but rather from sound economic reasoning
and fairness. Government needs revenue,
and it should try to acquire money from the
sources that are best able to sustain taxation.
Working people who face an uncertain fu-
ture should be allowed to keep more of their
paychecks. The wealthy can afford to con-
tribute at a higher level to society.
The simplification of the tax code, which
many politicians support, is a good idea.
However, the tax code can be simplified
without being "flattened." A flat tax would
harm the middle class and strike a blow to
America's tradition of upward mobility. The
current tax code is not perfect. But it at least
makes an attempt at economic justice - a
cause the flat tax would abandon.

FIVE YEARS AGO IN THE DAILY
Iraq bombing complicates peace efforts

The United States is at war.
President George Bush, de-
spite mixed opinions from citi-
zens around the countrylast night
authorized an air attack on Iraq
and Iraqi-controlled Kuwait. On
national television immediately
after the strike, Bush vowed to
continue attempts to forcibly -lib-
erate" Kuwait through military
might.
No one yet knows the number
of casualties, either of American
soldiers or of Iraqi and Kuwaiti
civilians. Further, no one yet
knows how long the war will last,
or how many more will die.
It is shameful that Bush, while
speaking of peace, would launch
an attack without first exhausting
all possible diplomatic options.
This editorial ran ill the
Daily five years ago this week,
01n the day tafter the United
States bombed Iraq, starting the
Gulf War.

Even economic sanctions,
which the president assured us
would force Saddam Hussein's
hand, have not been given enough
time for an adequate assessment
of their effectiveness.
Bush's action has put hun-
dreds of thousands of people at
risk. He was aided by a U.S.-
pressured United Nations resolu-
tion, which set Jan. 15 as the
arbitrary deadline for Iraqi with-
drawal. The deadline allowed
those hungry for war, like Bush,
to abandon dialogue and negotia-
tion in favor of aggression.
Unfortunately, lamenting last
night's attack will not change the
fact that the country is at war, nor
will it bring back those people
who have already been killed.
Though many Americans have
already expressed opposition to
war, we must now focus our at-
tention on ways to halt the mili-
tary conflict.
Even those who were in favor

of an attack must now see that the
importance of any subsequent at-
tack has been diminished; clearly,
Bush's promise of an attack on
Iraq can no longer be seen as an
unsubstantiated threat. Saddam
must surely hold no illusions
about why U.S. troops have been
sent to the Persian Gulf.
The United States should halt
bombing and give Iraqi troops a
chance to withdraw from Kuwait.
It should also seek to reopen ne-
gotiationsconfident that Saddam
now recognizes the willingness
of the United States to use force.
Ultimately, it will be discus-
sions and dialogue that end the"
aggression. Bush said he would
attack "sooner rather than later."
The longer the attacks continue,
both by the United States and by
Iraq, the more people who will be
unnecessarily killed.
If Bush means what he said
last night to a national television
audience, he will demonstrate his

commitment to:human life with
more than rhetoric. Talking, and
not violence! is the best way to
solve problems.
Here in Ann Arbor, people
must think of and support U
troops, many of whom are c
friends or relatives; it is not the
soldiers' fault the country is at
war.
Students and members of the
community must also demon-
strate their opposition to contin-
ued militarilyconflict. There will
be a rally at l1 a.m. today on the
Diag, and Aati-war leaders will
announce subsequent rallies
that time. Go,t and make sure yo
voice is hear inWashington.
Whether we like it or not, the
United States is at war. And al-
though anyone can resort to vio-
lence, it takes strong-willed
people to make peace. Ameri-
cans must now make it clear we
support peace through negotia-
tion, not more killing through war.

LETTERS

Alums revisit
'U' through
online Daily
To the Daily:
I am a former student at the
University, and I would simply
like to show my appreciation to
the Daily staff for the mature.
comprehensive newspaper it pub-
lishes each weekday.
The Daily, you see, is one of
my only last links to your glori-
ous institution, now that I am no
1----.A-

back to that stimulating, pictur-
esque, cultured place all of you
call home.
Through reading about the
basketball teamsI am "in"Crisler
Arena; by finding out how the
top-ranked swim teams are per-
forming, I feel the moist humid-
ity of the fabulous Canham Nata-
torium; or when I see that the first
lady of America herself is ap-
pearing at Borders, I fondly re-
call both that crowded, exciting
bookstore, and the Clintons' 1992
campaign visit to the campus,
when I was at Michigan.
Q - . .. - - _ . - 1 a] xr. :i r41 M-I.

thank the Internet for this possi-
bility, and most of all, thank you!
Kenneth Swinkin
University graduate
OFA does a
great job at
this large 'U'
To the Daily:
I want to take the time to pub-
licly compliment the staff at Of-
fice of Financial Aid on the out-
vinindin ithv o. nThe U ni-

800 students, the second had
20,000). Consequently, one
might expect, as I did, that the
service here -would be ;imper-
sonal, slow and difficult to ob-
tain. On the contrary, each of the
five times I've been to see a
counselor at student financial aid -
I've been helped promptly (I'
never been able to finish eve i
one magazine article), I've been
treated very politely and I've had
my problem corrected efficiently.
To the management and staff
in the student-financial aid office
I want to say, thank you and keep
a. t ..h e rp i . trnh .,. ' in ia.

How TO CONTACT THEM
President Bill Clinton
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500
e-mail: President@WhiteHouse.gov

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