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April 15, 2005 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-04-15

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, April 15, 2005

OPINION

Cije 3id'tl~gau &ztilg

JASON Z. PESICK
Editor in Chief

SUHAEL MOMIN
SAM SINGER
Editorial Page Editors

ALISON GO
Managing Editor

EDITED AND MANAGED BY STUDENTS AT
THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN SINCE 1890
420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
tothedaily@michigandaily.com

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
If I had the
option today, I
would choose
silicone over
saline."
- Nicole Cummings, a saline implant
recipient, testifying at a Food and
Drug Administration advisory panel,
which recommended that the govern-
ment overturn its virtual 13-year ban on
silicone-gel breast implants, as reported
yesterday by The Associated Press.

SAM BUTLER THE $eEA'isox
IAF Vao~'w- wiB'i ombe~eut...
3V
Hone iA
\do Kn \
- \j
i Oo y-

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Asses to the Left, bigger asses to the Right
JASMINE CLAIR TiiE MEANING OF PROGRESS
Because so many people immigration provisions. tangible platform. The Left has values that it's
ask me what my party affili- Promoting himself as a born-again Christian, historically stood for that many predicted would
ation is, I may as well use Bush connected to traditionally liberal voters be very evident in the Kerry platform. From all
my last column to answer through faith, morals and values. Americans the scathing critiques of Bush, many assumed
them. I'm a moderate lib- are overwhelmingly religious. Our government that the Democrats would take strong stances
eral. Far left on race and claims to separate church from state, but we still on the war, health care, education and equal
somewhere in the middle depend on our representatives to represent our rights issues - traditional liberal strong points.
on everything else. Still too values - including those taught in religion. Unfortunately, after the debates and right up
vague? Do journalists ever Providing health care to everyone, not just until the election, the Center still encountered
take strong positions? those who can afford it is a morally sound posi- more uncertainty.
tion. Protecting lives of soldiers and improving I kept thinking: Kerry hates war, but Kerry
What happened to the Democrats on the quality of life for the poor are principles supports a more aggressive strategy in Iraq
Capitol Hill? Besides voicing oppo- grounded in faith, especially in contrast to with more financial support. The Democrats
sition to conservative policies and Bush's opposition of abortion and gay marriage. despise Bush's health care and education pro-
nominations, what's the defeated party doing But why weren't these principles linked to reli- grams, yet Kerry advocated Bush's No Child
these days? If you think I'm a conservative gious appeals to the masses? Left Behind Program and fought to halt Med-
because I ask such questions, know that you're Kerry proclaimed, "I don't wear my own faith icaid legislation.
a big part of the Democrats' problem. on my sleeve," arguing that faith is exhibited Considering all of this, traditional Democrat-
It's called the "Bush is wrong, therefore we're through deeds. Liberal deeds involved calling ic values appeared to collapse before America's
right" syndrome, and it needed to die alongside Bush everything from a Nazi to an evil Hitler- eyes. Despite Kerry's strong presence in the
Kerry's shot at the presidency. The norm for like fascist. These inappropriate gestures were 2004 elections, the quiet liberal presence today
Democrats now consists of choosing reaction- perpetrated by individuals and organizations shows how damaging its reactionary practices
ary policies rather than creating solid policies outside of government like moveon.org and have been. Instead of taking the forefront on
to champion behind. were also contradictory to deeds of faith and issues, Democrats in Congress spend the major-
Noticing this, many moderates and indepen- value - undermining the Left's position and ity of their time fighting the Republican agenda
dents are drifting to the right. conceding the moral high ground to the Right. and challenging the president's nominations.
As a moderate, I may not agree with some of Democrats often forget that Bush makes With great talents like Barack Obama and Hill-
Bush's policies, but I know what Bush stands himself look bad better than anyone else could. ary Clinton, the Left has potential. But unless
for. His platform consists of war, money and a When attacking the president, they only bring Democrats regain their compassion and values,
quasi-values system that's simultaneously pro- more attention to the Republican platform, the compassionate conservatives will continue
life and pro-death in Arab nations. Though overshadowing their own policies. People don't to capitalize on the very ideals that the Demo-
contradictions in the compassionate conserva- need reminders about Bush's wrongs - even cratic Party has traditionally championed.
tive agenda flow like water, Bush sent a steady Republicans have issues with his actions. Bush may have divided the nation, but he
stream of religious voters to the polls. In complaining about the Republican's divi- remained loyal to his base. His supporters felt
With a stroke of political genius, Republi- siveness, the Democrats fail to see how detri- safe in supporting him. We still have three
cans used Bush's first term to stage a monopoly mental their staunch anti-Bush rhetoric is to long years to go, but if the Democrats don't
on morals and values. Bush captured orthodox progress. It creates more division between lib- create a base and support it, we may have to
Christians through his pro-life and anti-gay erals and the highly coveted moderates, who wait much longer to see the first woman and/or
marriage positions. He garnered the orthodox were essential to winning this past election. black president.
Jew vote by endorsing Ariel Sharon's actions Some moderates and independents gave
in the Gaza strip. Catholic Hispanics gladly Democrats another chance to redeem them- Clair can be reached
embraced Bush, thankful for his amnesty and selves, waiting patiently for Kerry to provide a - atjclair@umich.edu.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
ComPuters place breeches Letter writer w ts to be 04/15/2005). Computer breeches worry me
on one legat a tiu e too the Udversity prb ess too! What's next, computers demanding
custom-fit shirts? Where will the computer
To THE DAILY: clothing revolution end!
I want to thank you for your story in the To THE DAILY: Amy Chatterfield
Thursday paper (Computer Breeches Worry Regarding "computer breeches," (Computer Alum
Experts, 04/15/2005). I myself was worried Breeches Worry Experts, 04/15/2005) do they
that the computers were getting to (sic) big come in size 38 long?
for them. We shouldn't minimize the seri- Lew Worthem $TUDENTS MAY LEAVE FOR
ousness of the situation: If those computers The letter writer is a Daily reader. E SUMMER, BUT DAILY
don't learn who wears the pants around here,
we may get caught with our pants down. But PINIO DE '.
even in the face of this alarming situation, There's 110 endto the Clothes
I think everything will turn out all right,
as long as we remember that computers put didt COmn#uterS wearnt t0 WQdr IE EI WR G
them on one leg at a time, just like us. .-MAL:
Jamie Tappenden To THE DAILY:
The letter writer is a University "Computer breeches worry experts?"
professor of philosophy. (Computer Breeches Worry Experts,
VIEWPOINT
He has got a deal for you

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*I

BY PETER ECKSTEIN
Let's say you've just graduated, you're working
at your first job and you get a call from a stockbro-
ker who wants to make you an offer. Other brokers
can lend you some money to invest in the stock
market, but no more than 50 percent of your hold-
ings. But this broker can advance you thousands of
dollars every year, and you can plunk 100 percent
of it in the market without putting up a nickel of
your own. Sounds good so far.
Of course, there are a couple of catches. You'll
have to pay all the money back on the day you
retire at a variable interest rate equal to the rate of
inflation plus 3 percent. And, because no one can
say what your stocks will be worth then, you have
to put up one-third or more of your Social Security
benefits as additional collateral. If your stocks earn
exactly inflation plus 3 percent, the broker's firm
will just take over your whole account. But if your
stocks earn less, then your Social Security checks
for the rest of your life will be reduced to cover
the shortfall.
Your reaction now might be to laugh. Sure, you

al for privatizing Social Security is that the loan
would not be coming from a stockbroker but from
the U.S. government.
Now Bush doesn't exactly describe his plan this
way. He says you will be allowed to divert almost
two-thirds of your payroll taxes - currently being
"taken out of your paycheck to pay the Social
Security benefits of today's retirees" - to invest in
the stock market. What he never mentions is that,
because those benefits still have to be paid, the
government will have to borrow every dollar that
it lends to you to put in your "private account." Nor
does he mention that you have to pay back what
you borrow for your account - with interest.
At a February White House briefing an anony-
mous spokesperson - identified only as a "senior
administration official" - quietly admitted some
of the bad news. One piece is called the "clawback"
- that the worker would have to repay the money
deposited in the personal account at an interest rate
of inflation plus 3 percent. This might be deducted
from the account, deducted each month from the
worker's Social Security benefits, or some mix of
the two. "The person comes out ahead," the official

gram would be in full operation for only the last
four of the next 10 years. Outside analysts estimate
that the first 20 years of full operation the govern-
ment would have to borrow $4.9 trillion to lend to
account holders.
Put in perspective, $4.9 trillion is more than five
times the entire national debt accumulated over
two centuries under our first 39 presidents from
George Washington through Jimmy Carter. It is
more than the gigantic $4.1 trillion of the nation-
al debt that is owed to the public today. And the
borrowing necessary to sustain Bush's program
would have to go on for many years beyond the
first 20. At a 6-percent interest rate, $4.9 trillion in
debt would add almost $300 billion a year to the
interest costs in the federal budget - a $1,000 a
year for every adult and child in the country. That's
roughly two-thirds of what we spend today for all
of national defense.
Bush boasted recently that he would "confront
problems" and "not pass them on to future presi-
dents, future Congresses and future generations."
Yet he seems oblivious to the burden on your gen-
eration of adding an additional $4.9 trillion to the

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