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March 08, 1991 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-03-08

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily - Friday, March 8, 1991

Glbe Lirbtign faiIQ

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
Edited and Managed
by Students at the
University of Michigan

Editor in Chief
Opinion Editors

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board.
All other cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.
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MM 11(4

Bad choices

Engler's budget cuts should not
W ith the State of Michigan sliding deeper into
recession and federal investment in all the
states reaching new depths, newly-elected Gov.
John Engler's focus on Michigan's precarious fi-
nancial position - and how to deal with it - was
inevitable. His proposed solutions, however, are
neither inevitable nor necessary.
Like governors from every political persuasion
and from around the country - including Re-
publican Pete Wilson from California,,Democrat
Mario Cuomo from New York, and Independent
Lowell Weicker from Connecticut - Engler's
soluton to financial woe is to cut expenditures
rather than raise taxes. And perhaps more than any
governor in the country, Engler's idea of cutting
expenses translates into an all-out attack on the
very people who need those services the most -
the poor.
The most excruciating cuts came in state wel-
fare appropriations. Recipients of Michigan gov-
ernmental assistance found a 17 percent reduction
in their already paltry March checks. In a state that
already has the second highest unemployment rate
in the country - along with an auto industry that
just posted yet another decline with the release of
late-February sales' figures-the ramifications of
such a devastating blow will be widespread.
But Engler's cuts have not sparked outrage just
because of their severity. Even more importantly,
they are a symbol of the governor's general un-
Du in
New, stiffer penalties will decrea
The country has finally realized that Superfund
environmental cleanups will not solve the
growing problem of individual and corporate
dumping. Consequently, new federal guidelines
are now proposing that polluters spend time behind
bars. But while these revisions mark a dramatic
step in the right direction, they only begin to make
the law proportionate to the gravity of the crimes
involved. Moreover, these revisions are useless if
they are not fully enforced.
Revisions to Federal sentencing guidelines -
first introduced in 1987 - mean that infractions
againstdumping can finally be enforced by penalties
with a bite rather than by a slap on the wrist.
Furthermore, the new guidelines also expand the
scope of what counts as an infraction. As a result,
there has been a marked increase in indictments for
environmental crimes. In 1983, there were only
40. Last year, the courts handed down 134.
These developments make dumping comparable
to drug trafficking, adding a more sinister tone to
the crime. But as is also the case with penalties for
drug dealing, the new regulations are frequently
applied to small-time criminals rather than the true
fat cats who do the most damage.
When government agencies do not prosecute
companies which dump hazardous waste illegally
in order to save on operating costs - and jack up

affect those most in need
willingness to propose more politically costly al-
ternatives, such as a dramatically more progressive
income tax.
As even the Wall Street Journal ruefully ac-
knowledged this week, the income tax structure in
the United States has grown more regressive
throughout the last two decades. With tax collec-
tion increasingly geared toward payroll rather than
income, the rich are getting richer even as the poor
receive their pink slips.
While much of the blame for these revisions
rests with Washington, the states have universally
squandered an opportunity to capitalize on lower
federal rates for the rich by raising their state
income taxes. While the Republicans' heralded
"new federalism"has indeed given the states more
control over numerous social service programs,
the states have proven singularly reluctant to ex-
ercise the taxing authority they must use if these
programs are to be viable.
Engler is clearly less interested in making such
programs viable than he is in eliminating them
In a classic example of victim blaming, he has
decided to cast Michigan's poor in the role of
villain in his budget morality play. Correctly rec-
ognizing that the state's poor have significantly
less political clout than the more wealthy citizens,
Engler is placing the rich first - and leaving the
poor out in the cold.
zse environmental abuses
their profits - it underscores the extent to which
big business runs this country. When drug kingpins
go free while ghetto kids get busted, the entire
nation suffers. When the largest creators of acid
rain, radioactive waste, and unviable lakes and
streams receive penalties that subvert the very
intention of the law, our nation's legal system
perpetrates an equally devastating outrage.
Compounding the problems of uniform en-
forcement are the whopping budget cuts endured
by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),
which has been whittled down to virtually nothing
during the Reagan and Bush years. While the new
federal restrictions on dumping mandate anincrease
in the EPA criminal enforcement division from its
current total of 60 to an eventual 500 staffers, it is
not clear that the money for these additions will be
available. Nor is it clear that such additions -
however apparently substantial - will be nearly
They will certainly be insufficient unless our
goverment's attitude toward the environment un-
dergoes significant revisions - and quickly.
"Saving democracy" in Kuwait - whatever one
thinks of the actual sincerity of U.S. intentions -
will prove completely meaningless and irrelevant
if the entire world melts down in the interim.

Art is everywhere
To the Daily:
This letter is in response to the
Insight article written by Brad
Bernatek on 2/20/91 ("Engler:
making the right choices").
Though I don't agree with
most of the article, which sup-
ports Gov. John Engler's new
proposals concerning the deficit
cuts, my biggest hang-up is the
author's justification for the cuts
in government funding for the
It was stated that, "...art caters
mostly to a select minority and it
is unfair to force all citizens to
support the luxuries of the few."
The author of this statement
obviously has his head buried in
the sand, or he would know that
art is not something merely hung
in galleries for people in evening
wear to admire while sipping
Art is everywhere. Forms of
art have been around ever since
people first used language. Art is
universal, and encompasses all
time periods.
I also believe that if artists
didn't have sources of support
such as our federal government,
there would be a lot less art
produced, therefore making the
world a much drearier place.
Jennifer Beck
LSA first-year student
Nix Dooder State
To the Daily:
How much longer do we have
to look at the comic strip Dooder
State College by Alan Landau? It
is obviously a political cartoon
with the sole purpose of attacking
President Duderstadt, but it's not
funny. Granted, it is printed in
The Daily, so it has to be left-
wing and anti-establishment, but
Landau can't draw.
In the strip printed on 3/4/91,
there is a poorly drawn man with
a fish tie wearing a Daily hat. He
is turned away by the big bad
"Dooder State Administrator,"
just because he wants to find

Plug women's sports

To the Daily:
While reading the
"Sports Monday"
section of the 3/4/91
issue of the Daily, we
noticed an unfortunate
lack of equality in the
placement of articles
about men's and
women's sports. At a
school where the
women's sports
generally get less
support than the
men's, we found this
The women's and
men's swim teams
both captured the Big
Ten championships
this past weekend, the
men for the sixth and
the women for the fifth
However, the
men's swim team
showed up on the front Step
page, with a bonus team
feature article on one brea
of the men's swim-
mers. What happened to the
women's swim team? They got
a corner on the second to the
last page.
The women's and men's
basketball teams, both playing
well during a less than ideal
season, both defeated Minne-
sota over the weekend. Who
got the front page article? The
On the whole front page

hanie Munson of the women's swim
n comes up for air during the 200 meter
there is not a single article
about a women's team. As we
have already shown, there was
not a lack of women's sporting
achievements worthy of print.
Perhaps if the Daily showed
its dedication to supporting the
teams of this school equally,
the fans might follow suit!
Cheryl Stevens
Lisa Paye
LSA sophomores

"their views."
I know how awful the campus
administrators must be, but I
don't feel sympathy because the
strip is obviously printed by the
Daily as a tool to voice its own
anti-establishment views. Give us
a break! Give us a real comic
If it had to be political, print
Doonesbury. Gary Trudeau at
least has funny strips and descent
art. Alan Landau has nothing. He

can't even draw a good fish tie!
Stop being so... Daily, and
print something good, not the
usual garbage.
Matthew DePerno
LSA Qnriorr

Welfare bashing is a popular sport among politi-
cians who lack the ambition, sincerity, and commitment
to actually do something for their constituents - take
Wisconsin's Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson, for
Tommy has virtually built his political career around
taking pot shots at poor women and their children,
turning his state's most vulnerable citizens into guinea
pigs. Tommy's latest move is called "The Parental and
Family Responsibility Initiative." It should be called
"The Poor Pregnant Women will Marry Get an Abor-
tion, or Be Hungry and Homeless Decree."
This so-called initiative was designed, Tommy says,
to revamp a welfare system that "discourages young
couples from getting married and raising their child in
a family setting." It would put a cap on Aid to Families
with Dependent Children benefits at $440 a month, the
government's current limit for a single woman with one
Right now, that limit increases if the woman has
more children. But Tommy wants to change that. Under
his plan only women who get married would get an
increase in their grant - $80 a month for each child.
Acknowledging that many of these pregnant
"women" are teen-agers, Tommy told legislators last
week that the new plan would "promote and preserve
families by not only providing opportunities for young

couples to marry but also encourage them to become
gainfully employed." Right.
Tommy's plan is a sure-fire fast track for teen-agers
hoping for a life of minimum-wage jobs, debt and
hardship. Even if these kids were fortunate enough to
have marriages that worked, it would be incredibly
difficult for them to go to college and take care of one
or more children. Have you checked the price of day
care lately? Tommy must have his own unique defini-
tion of "gainful employment."
Most teen mariages don't work. Sixteen-year-olds
with children are already in over their heads; forcing
marriage on them intensifies an already volatile situa-
tion. Statistics show that strained marriages like these
have child and spousal abuse .written all over them.
And Tommy's latest welfare experiment sends out
so many negative messages to women, we can't even
count 'em all - everything from "you're nothing
without a man in your life, so if you're not going to
hitched, get an abortion," to "you ought to be punished
for having sex." What's Tommy going to do next?
Propose that welfare moms are witches and should be
leeched or burned at the stake?
Feb. 19, 1991, The Minnesota Daily
University of Minnesota


I can still recall how, as a twelve-
year-old, I sat glued to the televi-
sion watching the last American
soldiers leave Vietnam. Or at least I
think I can. Sixteen years and doz-
ens of Viet-
nam mov-
ies later, it
is difficult
to distin-
guish the
actual event f
from its nu-
m erous
Nordosuch M ike
matter so Fischer
much as
what each
of these vignettes conveys: an
iconographic rendering of the Viet-
nam syndrome, and how it burned
its message into the American

and whom it spoils

American sense of superiority. The
United States was supposed to be
the goodguy. And the United States
wasn't supposed to lose.
In the Persian Gulf, it didn't. As
George Bush officially proclaimed
that the Vietnam syndrome was
behind us at last, everywhere from
New York City to the tiniest rural
hamletbegan preparing victory cel-
ebrations for the returning troops.
"Happy peace," people said to each
other - much as they would ex-
change holiday greetings and gifts.
And why not? The Gulf War
was the Pentagon's present to the
American people - a chance for
them to once again hold and cherish
an image of their country as mighty,
strong and right. Carefully packaged
and beautifully wrapped - right
down to its handsome yellow ribbon
- the war was given to us with little
blood and fewer tragedies.
This time, there were no last

gift or you're labelled a Scrooge.
Currently, you either toast General
Schwarzkopf and appear grateful
for his gift or you're branded a
traitor. Not for the first time id
America, tolerance is one of
victory's casualties.
And that frightens me. For all
the talk lately about the left and its
"PC totalitarianism," it is questions
about the morality or the intelligence
of U.S. policy that are currently
being shoved off the agenda.
The death and destruction we
rained down on the Middle East
simply doesn't matter. The only
consequence of this war in the
American mind is American deaths.
There were only a few hundred of
them. And courtesy of military
censorship, we never saw their
bodybags anyway.
There are a quite a few things
which Americans don't see. Ordon't
choose to see. One of the spoils that 0

Nuts and Bolts
f SNS47

by Judd Winick

WHILE You sniveNTS I I

c" YOU COL..L-EC,& ''ET S.j

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