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March 21, 1991 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-03-21

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily-Thursday, March 21, 1991

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

ANDREW GOTESMAN
Editor in Chief
STEPHEN HENDERSON
DANIEL POUX
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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No newtax cts!
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Taxpayers don't usually argue when politicians
talk about cutting taxes. But Michigan residents
need to speak out against the 20 percent property
tax cuts currently being discussed in the state
legislature.
Michigan's school property tax is one of the
highest in the nation, and state legislators are
debating several plans that would alleviate this
problem.
The average state taxpayer may be relieved to
hear this news, but in actuality, now is one of the
worst possible times for the legislature to discuss
this issue.
The state of Michigan is facing an estimated $1
billion deficit at the end of the 1990-91 fiscal year,
and in anticipation of this deficit, Gov. John Engler
and members of the legislature have been working
for four months to make program cuts before the
money runs out.
In the beginning of 1991, a 9.2 percent across-
the-board cut was instituted. As a result of this cut,
huge reductions were made in programs across the
state; social services and general assistance pro-
grams were particularly hard hit.
While these cuts are still being debated in the
hope that more equitable solutions to the state's
budgetwoes can be found, the legislature is debating
two plans that would reduce state revenue by more
than $1 billion over the next two or three years.
Englerhas proposed one plan whereby property
taxes would be reduced by 5 percent in the first
year, 10 percent the following year, and 5 percent
in the final year. It is estimated that this plan would
"save" the taxpayers $1.2 billion.
A second plan, proposed by Republican Rich-
ard Headlee, would reduce property taxes by 20
percent in the period of two years. This plan is
estimated to "save" taxpayers $1.5 billion.

Although lawmakers in Lansing are examining
every inch of the budget forplaces to trim the fat off
state spending, many continue to push for tax cuts,
using the tried and true "supply side economics"
argument, based upon the trickle down theory.
These lawmakers believe that if money is re-
turned to the taxpayer, it will be reinvested in the
economy. While this is an attractive idea,
Michigan's economy is unable to wait for this
process to run its course.
Adding an additional $1 billion debt to the
state's budget without proposing alternative funding
sources could be deadly for the state's economy. In
order to make tax cuts honest, so that people
dependent on state programs will not suffer any
additional losses, new revenue sources must be
found.
New state monies could be raised with a more
progressive income tax or by instituting service
taxes on legal counsel, car repairs, or banking
transactions, as in other states. New taxes would
obviously be a unwelcome prospect for state
residents, but if Engler and Headlee truly want to
do something about property taxes, they must take
responsibility for the consequences.
But to truly aid the needy people of Michigan,
lawmakers should focus their attention on issues
besides cutting taxes. Residents who recently
sustained a 17 percent reduction in their welfare
checks will not benefit from a tax break. A property
tax cut does nothing for those - like the poor -
who have little property to begin with.
While state legislators are to be commended for
attempting to cut taxes, the timing is wrong.
Michigan tax payers must tell their legislators,
"Thanks, but no thanks," until more burning state
issues are resolved.

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Let Nicaragua live
Washington continues to sabotage self-determination

'u' professors
must support TAs
To the Daily:
My mom - who works on the
medical campus - told me not to
come here for college. "Wait until
grad school," she said. "After all,
it is a grad school; that's all they
care about." But as a die hard
Wolverine fan, I disregarded my
mother's advice and decided to
come here anyway. And I can't
say I've been disappointed. Until
now, I did think this was prima-
rily a grad school - one compari-
son between Rackham's
ampitheater and the Natural
Science Building's lecture room
confirmed my belief. Alas, I was
wrong, and my mother was
wrong. Undergrads are not getting
fat with the administration's
attention; we are all getting
screwed big time! It just happens
to be the graduate students' turn
to ride the Duder-Go-Round.
How can the administration
justify what they're trying to do to
TAs? For those of you who don't
know, the administration is only
offering the TAs a four percent
increase for each of the next two
years, and only five percent the
following year. Meanwhile,
University officials are getting
increases of 11, 13, even 16
percent. On top of that, the
administration is trying to do
away with limits on class sizes -
so we undergrads can get even
less attention - and take away
the TAs bargaining powers.
I don't know where the
professors stand on this issue. It
seems to me that it would be in
their best interests to side with the
Graduate Employees Organiza-
tion, especially with the possibil-
ity of a GEO strike looming
overhead; there will be nobody to
grade those nasty midterms and
papers. It also seems to me that
the administration doesn't give a
flying f--- about their professors
anyway, as evidenced by their not
granting tenure to Drew Westen,
the best undergrad professor on
campus.
What do you know ... a

Readers defend Women's Studies Dept.
To the Daily: SG) asked the Women's Studies
The Women's Studies department to sponsor their
Department is under no obligation Student Soapbox, if, as they
to sponsor the Student Soapbox claim, politics has nothing to do
debate. Why was it the only with sponsorship. Why not ask
department asked? Every Univer- the Economics department, or the
sity department is flooded with Mathematics department? And, if
requests to sponsor various LSA-SG's motivation was
events. Each department - not political, who are they to con-
only Women's Studies - has demn the Women's Studies
certain views it upholds, and department for their alleged
sponsors events accordingly. So political motivation in refusing
why is the Women's Studies the sponsorship? Freedom of
program targeted as being part of expression goes both ways.
"PC thinking?" LSA-SG can bring in an
And why was the Women's admittedly sexist speaker like
Studies department the only Phyllis Schlafly, and anyone who
department asked? Why wasn't wants to can go and listen to her
the Sociology department, the speak. But the Women's Studies
School of Social Work, or the department, or any other group or
Law School asked to sponsor the individual, has every right to
same event? All of these schools choose not to associate their name
have a stake in the question of with the event.
abortion, yet only Women's I doubt LSA-SG would have
Studies was asked. asked the African American
Once people begin to realize Studies department to sponsor a
that abortion effects all of us, only debate in which one speaker was
then will we begin to see some a blatant and admitted racist. The
settlement of the issue that does condemnation of the Women's
not reflect only one interest Studies department is one of the
group. most immature displays I've seen
nKi*sten'Mo*re

W ith Manuel Noriega safely behind bars and
the "Butcher of Baghdad" largely relegated
to the sidelines, the Bush administration has been
searching for a new enemy it can love to hate.
Displaying a characteristic lack of imagination and
originality, President Bush has decided to concen-
trate on his predecessor's favorite target: Nicara-
gua.
- When Violeta Barrios de Chamorro wrested
power from the Sandinistas a year ago, it appeared
that Washington was finally going to leave Nicara-
gua alone. After a decade of U.S.-sponsored
counterinsurgency, which claimed 50,000 Nicara-
guan lives and led the World Court to condemn the
Reagan administration for mining Nicaraguan har-
bors, Nicaraguans looked forward to the peace
they believed they had won by voting against the
Sandinistas.
But it was not to be. Already the third poorest
country in the Western hemisphere when the
Sandinistas took power in 1979, Nicaragua had
slipped further throughout the 1980s under the
combined pressures of the CIA-funded contra war
and the U.S.-sponsored trade embargo. Although
the Bush administration - trying to bribe
Nicaragua's voters - promised $300 million in
economic aid if Chamorro won the election, little
of the money has materialized.
Bush has refused to fork the money over be-
cause Chamorro, while clearly to the right of the
Sandinistas she replaced, is nonetheless a national-
ist who refuses to let Washington strap her country
over a barrel.
Though Chamorro did implement many of the
austerity programs demanded by Washington -
Nicaragua's national currency, for example, has

been devalued over 60 times since last April- she
also refused to smash the Sandinistas' trade unions
or the Sandinsta-led Army which would have
plunged the country back into a civil war.
When Chamorro helped forge apact last October
pledging thather government, the army, the unions,
and employers would work together to pull Nica-
ragua back from the brink, Washington responded
by turning off the aid spigot and trying to sabotage
the agreement.
Now that Bush has once again decided to make
Nicaragua a cause celebre, the petty harassment is
escalating. Earlier this month, Washington began
leaning on Soviet President Gorbachev to stop
selling the Nicaraguan army spare parts. Hoary
stories about the dangers Nicaragua posed to de-
mocracy throughout the Central American isthmus
were dusted off and given new life.
But the only real danger to Nicaraguan democ-
racy is the United States. Since 1979, three suc-
cessive U.S. presidents have done their best to
make sure that the Nicaraguan government's ef-
forts to implement literacy programs, health care,
enforceable minimum wages, and land reform
would all fail.
As Bush knows all too well, the only danger
Nicaragua poses to U.S. interests is the threat that
it will offerexamples of successfully-administered
social welfare programs to the other impoverished
countries in the hemisphere. Since concepts like
profit redistribution and giving the workers a fair
shake are anathema to U.S. business interests,
countries promoting such programs must be sub-
dued. Once again, Washington supports self-deter-
mination and social justice selectively, both at
home and abroad.

Kirsten Mowrey
Residential College senior
LSA-SG guilty of
playing politics
Td the Daily:
I can't help but wonder why
LSA Student Government (LSA-

on this campus in a long time. It
seems that LSA-SG would have
better things to do than to exploit
the political climate in order to
gain extra free publicity for their
event, at the expense of the
reputation of a seemingly blame-
less academic department.
Julie Lyons
LSA senior

i

worthwhile protest. The 60s
might not be dead after all.
Lee Bowbeer
LSA junior
Can CC define
'un-American'?
To the Daily:
As a student with a potential
vote to cast, I'd like some
clarification on the Conservative
Coalition's MSA platform. When

you claim you will end funding
for "anti-American rallies," how
do you propose to define "anti-
American?" Will you set up a
committee to judge the patriotism
of every group that applies for
funds? Will you call this body the
"MSA Committee on Un-
American Activities?" Does the
ghost of Joe McCarthy design
your campaign posters?
Eric Baumann
Rackham graduate student

0

TAs shouldn't get pay hikes

I

by Tom Vestergaard
Do TAs really deserve more
money? That seems to be the
question these days. The TAs
seem to think so.
We, the students, have to sit
there in class and hear it from
these so-called "underpaid" TAs.
We have to watch them picket in
front of student-populated areas.
We, the students, are supposed to
feel sorry for them. Well, this
student is one who does not have
much of any compassion for the
TAs.
I spoke with the picketers last
Friday during their protest at the
cube. I wanted to hear their point
of view and possibly debate with
them if our views differed. The
TAs seek a pay increase to match
inflation and day care for their
children. I, as a student, demand a
more reasonable tuition rate.
Since an increase in the TAs'
wages would raise my tuition, we
found ourselves on opposite ends
of the spectrum.
One TA voiced, "But I have
kids to think about and I have to

I know I bust my butt during
the summer and here at college to
have enough money for my living
expenses, plus tuition. Many guys
on my hall work 15 or 20-plus
hours a week just to have enough
money to survive. And the TAs
want me to feel bad because they
have to work 12 hours a week?

affect TAs, but almost everybody
at this University.
What I am wondering is how
TAs got through undergraduate
studies. If they were anything like
they are now, it must have been
tough focusing on their studies
when they were constantly
looking for a free ride.

0

The TAs seek a pay increase to match infla-
tion and day care for their children. I, as a
student, demand a more reasonable tuition
rate. Since an increase in the TAs' wages
would raise my tuition, we found ourselves
on opposite ends of the spectrum.

...... . . . . . . ........... .:":.. I::::...:.....::..... i_
Nuts and Bolts by Judd Winick:'::"::: Bl

But, of course, the difference
is that the guys on my hall or I do
not have children to take care of
or support. Well, I also see all
those single parents living in
University housing. I see them
surviving and they even have to .
pay for their own tuition. How are
they surviving? Probably a lot of
hard work and student loans.
The TA then voiced, "I have

What I am most worried about
is that if the TAs get a raise each
time we reach a new inflation
level, tuition will be driven to a
level where it will be impossible
for many students to afford. The
only stipulation to attending the
University of Michigan.will be
whether you can afford it or not.
Then, it won't matter how great
the TAs are because the quality of

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