Page 4 Pharos-Tribune, Logansport, Indiana, Sunday, March 27, 1988 Opinion The free exchange of ideas is the greatest protection of liberty. Toll-Free Communication progress It is gratifying to know that toll-free service between Royal Center and Logansport will soon be put in effect. We are told that the world has grown smaller. Improved communications and reduced travel time are responsible for shrinking the globe. It is a paradox then when we find barriers to communication in our own county. The new era of commerce demands that the last impediments to interaction in the area be removed if we are to be fully competitive. With the changes in telephone service becoming available with the GTE move to digital switching, we are seeing one barrier fall. Total county access would be the ideal result. There is at least one more obvious barrier to business communication in Cass County staring us in the face: the lack of a county-wide numbering system for addresses. We hope that one will fall soon, too. Our Rivers Respect the assets Logansport marked a milestone this weekend: the 75th anniversary of the flood of 1913. Natives of the city have heard about the flood since childhood. It has become an entrenched piece of the lore of the city. That is fitting, because the rivers have played such a big part in the character of the community. It is likely that with f ^e upstream reservoirs, we will not experience the 1913 devastation again. It , does not mean that we sfiouid cease to respect the rivers and disregard the boundries of the flood plain. As the rivers become more predictable, though, it is increasingly possible to use them for our enjoyment. The Little Turtle group is trying to do just that and deserves the support of the community. The committee cannot be successful in changing the look of the riverbanks, however, without the cooperation of the private landowners. Take a look sometime at the stewardship of the rivers by those who own property along them. In some spots it is absolutely repulsive. You can find property that is so degraded with trash and deterioration that it shouldn't litter any neighborhood, let alone the riverbanks. For too long the rivers were not regarded as the asset they are to the city. It is time to regard those who despoil the rivers with the contempt they deserve. In The Past One Year Ago Former Logansport basketball star Dalen Showalter was inducted to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. He played for LHS from 1953 to 1956. Ten Years Ago Anita Jo Redweik and Kerry Joseph Walsh were named valedictorian and salutatorian at Caston High School. Twenty Years Ago During a wave of warm weather, city police arrested 33 speeders in two days. Berry's World PRESS "Today we are going to discuss Israel's solution to Palestinian unrest.' ; GEE... AND I THOUGHT THIS PLACE WAS UNBELIEVABLE., ***• The Mideast Peace Effort James J. Kilpatrick S! Congress likes to give presents "For the most part, he's very gentle — but he DOES have a Dole-like'streak." WASHINGTON - It was a merry, merry Christmas on Capitol Hill last December. Three months later we are just beginning to discover what a wonderful time was had by all. The story is developed in a document bearing the exciting title of "Request for Certain Rescissions and Repeals of Appropriations." President Reagan sent the request to Congress a few days ago. What fun! On Dec. 23, Congress dumped on the president's desk a massive "continuing resolution. "The bill funded the essential operations of government. It also funded scores of outlays that were not essential at all. Before examining some of these pretty presents, let me make two points. The first is that the Constitution authorizes Congress to levy taxes only to pay for outlays that promote the "general" welfare. The second is that waste is waste, whether an outlay involves $100,000 or $1 million. We ought to rid ourselves of the extravagant state of mind in which an unwarranted item is excuted because it's "only a drop in the bucket" or "just an infinitesimal sum in a trillion-dollar budget." Thus consider a few goodies. The bill contained an item of $85,000 "to assist the town of Harper's Ferry, W. Va., for police force use." How in the name of the Founding Fathers did the Harper's Ferry cops get to be a responsibility of the federal government? Noway. Here is a present for Maricopa County, Ariz., amounting to $300,000 toward the costs of a solid waste disposal facility. Surely this is the sole responsibility of Maricopa County. What about a "gondola transportation system" in Kellogg, Idaho? In his message, the president describes this $6.4 million item as "a prime example of use of federal tax dollars to finance a local project which benefits a very limited area." The idea is to promote tourism in a resort area. The system would run for three miles, but less than one-fourth of a mile is on federally owned land. Fun and games! The bill sets aside $500,000 for the Seattle Goodwill Games Organizing Committee for Cultural Exchange. When the government is running $150 billion in the red, how can this expense be justified? Some of the items recommended for rescission or repeal are large: The president would wipe out an indefensible $100 million subsidy for sugar producers that goes by the euphemistic name of "sugar export enhancement." The program benefits a handful of sugar producers and imposes an enormous burden on domestic consumers. Most of the items are relatively small. The bill compels the government to purchase $10 million in surplus sunflower oil. The Department of Defense is ordered to buy 300,000 tons of anthracite coal — but the department has a four-year supply of anthracite coal on hand. It will come as no surprise that influential lawmakers tucked dozens of water projects into the Christmas party. Here is an item of $47 million to enhance a water supply in Oklahoma City. Here ' is a friendly gift to Cleveland: $35 million for local economic development and recreation facilities in Cleveland Harbor. Here is something for East St. Louis, for Des Moines, for Harlan and Barbourville, Ky. The bill sets aside $5 million toward a regional public park in Dade County, Fla. The project "provides no net national benefits and should be (he strict responsibility of state or local interests," Our congressional Santa Claus provided sugar plums that were not even on departmental Christmas lists, The Department of Housing and Urban Development operates certain public and Indian housing programs. For these programs, the department had asked for a work force of 1,055 employees. Ho, ho, ho! Congress ordered the department to hire 246 more. The Department of the Interior felt that. 13 workers were plenty to provide service at its Wilkes-Barre Office of Surface Mining Reclamation. Congress ordered a staff of '23 full-time persons instead. The president had asked for 13,089 full-time workers in the Bureau of Customs. Congress raised the figure to 1ti,(K)9. It Reagan had his way, he would cancel federal outlays for a dozen highway projects that are state responsibilities. He would rescind duplicative research programs that never have passed peer review. He would not hit all the taxpayers in the United States to support theaters in Washington, D.C. He would recoup $4.3 billion that Congress spent on its Christmas party. Let us see how far he gets. Noborly has shot Santa Claus yet. Kilpatrick is u syndicated columnist based in Washington. D.c'
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