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October 01, 2012 - Image 4

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4A - Monday, October 1, 2012

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

4A - Monday, October 1, 2012 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board.
All other signed articles and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
Texas messes
Schools should abandon corporal punishment
When a student violates a school policy in Texas, the pun-
ishment, depending on their action, could be as far-
reaching as the paddle. At least this is what happened
in Springtown, Texas, last week when a 15-year-old girl was pad-
dled by her school's assistant principal. As a result, the girl's moth-
er brought the issue to the school board, who then expanded their
corporal punishment policy. This decision should be reversed and
corporal punishment should be restricted to allow for only same-
gender punishment, if any at all.

@UMich proud to be entering
our 123rd year of editorial
-freedom on campus
Observing Mid-Autumn Festival


On behalf of your Central Stu-
dent Government, please allow me
to extend my warm wishes to you
on this auspicious Mid-Autumn.
Festival. Here at Michigan, we have
a considerable East Asian popula-
tion and we want you to know that
your traditions and culture enrich
our campus community and are
very important to us.
We know that this day is among
the most important holidays in
the Chinese calendar and it's also
celebrated widely in Vietnam and
Taiwan, among other places. This
ancient holiday started at least dur-
ing the Tang dynasty, so it's truly
a very rich tradition, passed down
from generation to generation.
This year, your Central Student

Government will strive.to be even
more inclusive and welcoming. We
would love to celebrate the wonder-
ful holidays and festivals that are
meaningful to all members of our
student body.
Our outstanding Chair of the
Minority Affairs Commission,
Julia Papiyants, would love to hear
from you regarding how you cel-
ebrated your Mid-Autumn Festival
- so please e-mail her at jpapiyan@
umich.edu, and feel free to ask her
how you can join this Commis-
sion as well! If there's anything
that I can personally do to make
your Michigan experience better,
I'm always just an e-mail away -
"May we live long and share the

beauty of the moon together, even
if we are hundreds of miles apart,"
says a beautiful ancient poem.
Today, many of you are away from
your families, and whether you
choose to light a lantern or follow
some other rich traditions of the
day, we thank you for making our
community so rich and diverse, and
hope you have a wonderful Mid-
Autumn Festival, filled with happi-
ness, celebration and laughter.
I join members of your elected
Assembly, your vice president Omar
Hashwi,your Minority AffairsCom-
mission chair Julia Papiyants and
everyone else from our CSG family,
in sending our warmest wishes.
Manish Parikh is CSG president.

Texas is one of 19 states that haven't banned
corporal punishment. According to Texas law,
there's no comment on the gender or age of
the student being punished, and in order for
a child to avoid corporal punishment the par-
ent must opt-out in writing. In this particular
incident, the mother complained, not because
the school subjected her daughter to physical
punishment, but because she was paddled by a
man, and left with severe welting. When it was
brought to the attention of the school board
that their same-gender corporal punishment
policy had been violated, instead of punishing
the assistant principal, the board expanded the
policy to allow it across genders.
Thistype of violent and humiliating pun-
ishment has no place in an educational envi-
ronment. According to a 2010 report by the
Center for Effective Discipline, 75 percent
of states that allow corporal punishment are
below the national average in ACT scores
and 75 percent of the states that have out-
lawed corporal punishment are above the
national average. Furthermore, the 10 low-
est-performing states on the ACT are states
allowing corporal punishment. While it's dif-
ficult to correlate corporal punishments and
test scores, educational achievement clearly

needs to be the focus.
In order for a child to avoid corporal pun-
ishment under the current Texas law, their
parent has to send in a letter specifically
requesting that their child is exempt. Even
if corporal punishment has the support of
Texas voters, the policy should have to opt-in
rather than opt-out of it, if allowed at all.
Furthermore, the lack of policy regarding
age limits or gender restrictions creates inap-
propriate situations. When a middle-aged
man spanks a teenage girl, there is an inher-
ently inappropriate dynamic added to the sit-
uation. Neither students nor teachers should
be subjected to this type of educational envi-
ronment. Many students who are subjected to
this punishment are young adults who under-
stand why their behavior is wrong and do not
require physical discipline.
Striking children in schools is not only
wrong, but also detrimental to their educa-
tion. Corporal punishment is not acceptable
in any educational situation and is particu-
larly inappropriate when administered to an
older age group or when adults of the oppo-
site sex are involved in the punishment. An
educator's job should not be expanded to
include physical punishment.

Kaan Avdan, Sharik Bashir, Eli Cahan, Nirbhay Jain, Jesse Klein, Melanie Kruvelis,
Patrick Maillet, Harsha Nahata, Timothy Rabb, Adrienne Roberts,
Vanessa Rychlinski, Sarah Skaluba, Michael Spaeth, Gus Turner

Cain the comedian

My night with Herman

The truth? You know, after Thursday
night, I'm not so sure I can handle the
truth. Or at least the College Truth
Tour's version of it.
Alright, backing up:
Sept. 27, Herman Cain !
and the subsequent Cain/
train jokes stopped by the
Power Center to have a
little chat about the econ-
omy. But don't be fooled,
fool - though Cain's busi- MELANIE
ness was all business, it KRUVELIS
hardly took any time at all
for the former Republican
presidential candidate to
get swept up in Wolverine spirit.
"Aw, shucky ducky," Cain's speech began.
"Now let me see if I'm in the right place - uh,
Go Blue?"
Ah, yes, Go Blue indeed. And what the hell,
go red, too - after all, this was a cross-party
fiesta. Just ask the uncomfortably pluralized
Job Creators Solutions group, the organiza-
tion that brought Cain and the College Truth
Tour to Ann Arbor. According to their web-
site, the College Truth Tour is a bipartisan
initiative devoted to setting students straight
on matters of the economy. And if you have
any doubts about the bipartisan-ness of a lec-
ture from a Republican presented by the Col-
lege Republicans, never fear - the bleeding
hearts got their word in. Specifically, from
the back row of the auditorium, usually offer-
ing a poignant rebuttal to whatever poignant
point Cain made. Just listen:
"The United States does not have a sugar
daddy," Cain yelled. "Who we gonna borrow
"Australia!" someone shouted from the
crowd. "Germany! China!"
And the geography lesson continued for
another thirty seconds.
Actually, there were a lot of lessons to be
learned Thursday night, courtesy of the god-
father of Pizza and the Truth Tourers. For
instance, after the speech, I added "Tax-
mageddon" to my growing list of reasons to
hide my kids and hide my wife for indefinite
periods of time. "The Taxmageddon is com-
ing!" Cain warned the crowd. "I don't know
when it's at but ... it's coming."
And another moral culled from the evening:
History is what you make of it. Or, perhaps
more accurately, what you feel like making up
about it.
"The Founders had the vision to write ...
'All men and women are created equal,"' Cain
argued in his defense of the Declaration of

"Actually, that's a lie," responded a voice
from the crowd, referring to the exclusion of
women's rights in the document. You know,
the little missing piece that resulted in an
ongoing struggle for gender equality.
"I know the Declaration of Independence,
thank you," Cain retorted. Then he started rat-
tling off other lines from what he described as
"the greatest document next to the Bible."
But like always, Cain got back on his feet,
because dammit, this event was all about the
truth! We wanted the facts, and boy, did he
give them to us.
"A trillion is a million, million!"
Uh, no, not that one, I meant -
"I did that job for nine months. Then for
three years."
Ah, ok, not what I was talking about but -
"I used to watch 30-minute sitcoms!"
Well, you get the idea.
But in all seriousness folks, if we get
beyond the "USA" chants, the shouts for
pizza and pretty much all the jeers from ine-
briated Obama fans looking for a good laugh,
Cain really did have a message that we can
all get behind - inform yourself.
"Stay informed," he told the audience.
"Because stupid people are ruining Amer-
ica." Harsh? Maybe. But there was no way
this crowd could get offended - I mean,
do you really think stupid people show up
to the College Truth Tour? No, the Cain-
Trainwreck argued. America needs
heroes. Dreamers. Winners. And we're
not going to get those if we don't
educate ourselves. So stay
informed, he told us.
Find out what's going
on in America and
Read a news-
paper. Flip
through a
book. Better
yet, try Fox
News. w

had the distinct pleasure of
seeing former presidential can-
didate Herman Cain speak at
the University on
Friday. Consid-
ering the crowd
was noticeably
filled with rag-
ing liberals, Cain _
did a pretty good
job of working
the crowd with PATRICK
his "truth talk." MAILLET
Although his
epic quote from
a Pokdmon movie
eventually stole the show, his stance
on tax reform predictably riled up
the crowd.
Like many conservatives, Cain
supports an overhauled tax code
that simplifies the entire process
and lowers rates for at least some
Americans, if not all. As Cain rein-
forced during his speech, it's Amer-
ica's "record-high" - they're not
- taxes that have caused the econ-
omy to be financially dis-
traught; the only
reason Amer-
ica was able
to succeed
sin the
a 1950s is
of the
;. low, sim-
As if this

alizing enough, Cain then involved
the crowd by asking: "Who here
thinks raising taxes raises govern-
ment revenue?" He was quickly dis-
appointed by the people who raised
their hands in massive amounts.
"No, no, no!" Cain yelled, "You're
wrong, we need to lower taxes like
Reagan did!" Although I found
myself laughing throughout most
of Cain's speech, it was after he
made this string of statements that
I found myself practically falling in
the aisle.,
Let's look a little closer at these
claims to fully appreciate thehilari-
ty. First, let's acknowledge the selec-
tive memory that Cain and many.
of his fellow conservatives have,
including Republican presidential
candidate Mitt Romney. Why is it
that the economic boom of the 1990s
that involved a record reduction in
poverty, incredibly low unemploy-
ment rates, and massive government
surpluses always seems to be coinci-
dentally forgotten by any prominent
Republican? Instead, we have to
look at the "Reagan Years" or some
distant time period like the 1950s to
fully understand why the economy is
as bad as it is.
The reason for this selective mem-
ory is simple. Republicans hate to
admit that from 1992 to 2000 when
Bill Clinton was president, America
saw some of its most financially suc-
cessful years. Republicans simply
hate to admit that a crazy "tax and
spend" Democrat could have done
a better job handling the American
economy than Ronald Reagan or
other recent Republicans.
What really ticks off Republicans
isn't necessarily that it was a
Democrat who helped
generate this financial
boom - it was the
way he did it. Under
Clinton, tax rates
for the wealthy
rose from 31 per-
cent to 39.6 per-
cent, all while
the GDP grew
by an average
of 5 percent per
Today, the
tax rate on
highest earn-
ers is 35 per-
cent thanks
to President
George W.
Bush's tax
cuts, and the
effective cor-
porate tax rate
is 12.6 percent - a
60-year low according

to the Congressional Budget Office.
Moreover, GDP grew by approxi-
mately zero percent from 2000-
2010. Taxes are not at a record high,
nor do high taxes simply cause eco-
nomic recessions.
You'll often hear Republicans
praise Reagan as the great tax cut-
ter of American history, thus caus-
ing the economic success during
his presidential tenure. Reagan
certainly was a tax cutter in many
instances, but during his eight years
as president, Reagan increased taxes
a total of 11 times, all while keeping
the government revenue at a steady
18.2 percent of GDP.
As most Reagan insiders acknowl-
edge, Reagan realized the threat of
a growing federal deficit and under-
stood that in order to pay some of
America's debt, he was goingto have
to couple tax hikes with spending
cuts. Reagan was also quoted mul-
tiple times saying that $10 in spend-
ing cuts coupled with one dollar in
tax increases is a fair deal that any
Republican should take.
During one of the early Republi-
can debates in 2011, the candidates
were asked the question "Would
you ever raise taxes if you were
president?" Every single Republican
candidate said that under no cir-
cumstance would they ever consider
raising taxes.
Unfortunately, modern-day
Republicans are too politically
hamstrung to even acknowledge.
the concept. I'm not saying that
raising taxes causes economic
booms nor will it be the sole solu-
tion to paying off America's debt.
But I am refuting the Republican
myth that in order to see finan-
cially successful times, taxes must
be as low as possible. Don't get me
wrong, our government needs to
lower its speiding, especially in
areas of defense, but taxes are a
vital government function and they
must be part of the solution for pay-
ing America's ballooning debt.
Considering that Cain's candi-
dacy went down in flames and he's
about as close to the presidency
as John Edwards is, it is okay for
him to quote Pokemon and discuss
a "Sim City"-inspired "9-9-9" tax
code. But other prominent Repub-
licans, especially Romney, need to
understand that tax increases are
not necessarily going to cause the
next recession. In fact, they very
well could lead to economic recov-
ery. Instead of gaining advice from
such lovable characters as Pikachu,
I think it's time for Republicans to
take tax reform seriously.
- Patrick Maillet can be
reached at maillet@umich.edu.

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