The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on September 28, 1996 · Page 12
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 12

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Saturday, September 28, 1996
Page 12
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B2 SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28. 1996 THE SALINA JOURNAL George B. Pyle editorial page editor Opinions expressed on this page are those of the identified writers. To join the conversation, write a letter to the Journal at: P.O. Box 740 Sallna, KS 67402 Fax: (913) 827-6363 E-mail: SalJournal © Quote of the day "It's clearly not a case of the city just taking a study and saying "Thank you very much,'and putting it on a shelf. It was a community decision." Dennis Kissinger Salina city manager, speaking of a $60,000,1978 study of south Salina flooding. OPINION By SCOTT SEIRER / The Salina Journal Reserve power THE ISSUE Tlie Federal Reserve and interest rates THE ARGUMENT Secretive Fed has real power over the economy F ederal Reserve policymakers met recently and did nothing. Nothing, that is, to raise interest rates. As a consequence, some Wall Streeters who misread the Fed also misread their markets and suffered. And some newspapers that had boldly predicted that higher interest rates were imminent were searching for creative ways to tell their readers that their assumptions were valid, though wrong. This would all be amusing if so much weren't at stake - on Main Street more than Wall Street. For although Wall Street tries to anticipate the Fed's every twitch and heartbeat, roiling the financial markets all the while, it's the end users of money who have the most at stake. That's us. If the Fed forces up interest rates, we pay more for borrowed money. Consumer loans, small business loans, auto loans, variable-rate home loans all would be more costly. But the cost is even greater than the higher interest payments, because the interest rate is a hurdle to economic growth. With each increase in interest rates, consumers become more hesitant to buy and business owners become more wary of expansion. Their reluctance to spend and invest further pushes the brakes of the economy, which, of course, is exactly what the Fed would want because its intent is to keep inflation in check. The Fed has immeasurable power. Because they control interest rates and the nation's supply of money, the Federal Reserve policymakers have control of our economy. The Fed is beholden to no one. Chairman Alan Greenspan reports regularly to Congress and the president, but he doesn't take orders from them. Congress in 1913 set the Fed up to be independent, free of political pressures. The bank is self-funded. Interest the Fed receives on its $392 billion hoard of Treasury securities is far more than adequate to fund a lavish existence. Other than Greenspan, the governors are little-known. They keep low profiles. They meet in secret. Their thoughts on the economy are well guarded, and whatever options they might be weighing are kept private. If the Fed blinks or, as happened recently, does nothing at all, the financial markets soar, or dive. In recent months, the Fed has had little economic tinkering to do. The economy is expanding, interest rates are generally low, inflation is hovering at only about 3 percent and the unemployment rate is at a seven-year low. In leaving interest rates unchanged this week, the Fed was saying all is well. Meanwhile, on the campaign trail, the presidential candidates are touting their own pet economic policies, as if they might actually matter. The candidates' pitches for various tax cuts, budget cuts, asset sales, savings incentives and deficit-reduction plans are mere bribes for your vote. No matter who wins the election, the president will have little influence on the economy. That job is firmly in the hands of the Federal Reserve. -•••SM SHBU FRAHM; 141 Hart Senate Office Building, . ^ phorls . ^ Q2) ^^ ^ Russell Senate ©Jflee ?,0,, WO- Phpne: (?08) ^44774. 9/17/96 LETTERS TO THE JOURNAL Conservative Christians care about family and future I'm writing in response to Dan England's Sept. 18 column, "OOP's 'pro-family' claims are a travesty." First, I resent Dan England's choice of language in this and many of his columns. A bright columnist ought to be able to discuss his views in a civil manner. Calling Ralph Reed the "weenie boy for the Christian Coalition" is uncalled for. Mr. England, in many of his columns, seems to imply that Christians with a conservative viewpoint should have no voice in politics. But we are citizens who care just as passionately about our views as Mr. England does about his and we're not going to leave the arena of ideas. As for the same-sex marriage ban, if we allow these, then where does it stop? We regulate marriage in other ways; one cannot marry one's sibling. What about the huge financial burden you're asking employers to take on if they must provide insurance benefits to someone's new "wife." It's not just Christians, but many Americans, who oppose same-sex marriage. As for Bob Dole's proposed tax cuts, you say "Dole hasn't said how he will make up the $548 billion the package of cuts would cost us." May I propose that it is just that sort of thinking that has gotten us into our deficit mess. Politicians should have been asking how we the taxpayers were going to be able to pay for these programs in the first place. It's our money. You're correct in pointing out that increased defense spending helped to increase the deficit, but you fail to mention that social spending also dramatically increased during this time and also helped to balloon the deficit. Your question, "So who's going to pay for this?" is quite clear. Future generations will pay higher taxes than you can imagine if we do not get things under control. Finally, you mention the welfare reform bill and lament that President Clinton signed it. You state that "the Republicans initially wanted a welfare reform bill that was much, much crueler." The fact is, the bill that was signed into law did not differ much from the Republican's original proposal but Clinton was desperate to sign the bill since candidate Clinton in 1992 promised to "end welfare as we know it." We keep getting told that Republicans have no message, yet Dan England and George Pyle keep writing the same old mindless drivel about Republicans and Christians who hate themselves, hate their mothers, and hate everybody else. It's time for a new line, guys. — CHUCK ROBERTS Salina es were that devious, we, doubt many people would trust them or willingly do business with them. Yet, because the TM representatives presented their plans so convincingly, some are certain the group has Smith Center's best interests at heart. There are always two sides to every issue. Thursday we heard one side. Will the other side be presented? We are not embarrassed to live in a community that is concerned about the effect the TM group says and we do not believe in what they stand for. We do not feel that the headline in the Journal was accurate. Perhaps this would have been a better choice. "Many in Smith Center uneasy about TM Center." — FERRILL and CRIS CONANT Smith Center TM conference center is not welcome in Smith Center I am a citizen of Smith Center, and I'm writing in regard to the recent article in your paper about the TM organization that is building a conference center north of our town. Your headline stated that we are welcoming them with open arms — which is completely false. I only know of a handful of people who are in favor of this organization moving out here — and those are all businessmen who think they'll make lots of money off these people. The rest of the community is very much against this whole thing and wish they would move on. Several people in this area have contacted former TM members in Fair-field, Iowa, and have been told that these people are nothing but trouble to a community. We've been told they can't be trusted and will say anything to win our trust. There are already families in Smith Center and the surrounding areas that are threatening to leave if these people build here. My husband and I attended both public meetings here and these people did not answer a single question truthfully. Every time anyone asked them anything, they either answered that they didn't know or that they would have to check into it and get back to us about it. They couldn't even tell us what courses are offered at their college, which they're very involved with. This is indeed the Bible Belt of America, and as a Christian, I'm very proud of our community and the fact that we put God first here. So any group that comes in here that is against •God and threatening our faith, will not be welcomed at this time or at any other. — LINDA LEVIN Smith Center Many in Smith Center uneasy about TM center We just finished reading an article in the Sept. 21 Salina Journal. The headline caught our attention: "Smith Center opens arms to TM Center." We were two of the 500 who attended the town meeting Sept. 19. We were not among the "60 or 70 people" who met the directors of Maharishi's Global Administration Through Natural Law afterwards, and we do not welcome the TM center with "open arms." We are mistrustful of a group that would come to a community in such a deceitful manner, regardless of the reasons given at the Thursday meeting. If any of the local business- Opinions are predictable, but not consistent I keep wanting to find consistency in the editorial page editor's opinions and in those of some of his staff. Oh, well, I guess I'll just have to settle for predictable, (as in negative; permissive; radical/liberal/left; anti- authority/religious/tradition, etc.). Some examples are Sept. 11, "The Pervert Defense Act;" Sept. 13, "The right to marry;" and Sept. 18, "Search for denial." George Pyle implied in the first article that parents have only responsibilities toward their children, "the most sacred trust in the universe." I certainly don't know what he means. How does he propose parents carry out DOONESBURY P.O. BOX 740, SALINA, KANSAS 67402 that trust, when he says people favoring so- called "parents' rights" supposedly just want to "prevent the state from interfering in family life" (schools exposing children to ideas parents find objectionable, or passing out condoms to kids against parents' wishes)? Writing about same-sex so called "marriages," George says it's a myth the state has any control over marriages. If that's correct, then a man could have as many wives as he wanted, a woman have several husbands, brothers could marry sisters, a mother her son, or several sons and her daughter(s) as well, and just be one big happy healthy "family." Humanity neither "invented" nor "discovered" marriage. It was designed by God according to His purpose — one male and one female joined together for procreation of children and for mutual love and support. In the third article George teaches us the correct usage of "can" and "may." Can children use drugs (are they "able" to use drugs?) Yes. May they use drugs (do they have permission to use drugs?) George says no. Really? But who is going to deny permission if parents don't have rights, and if George had his way we would scrap all the laws against drugs, give up the fight and accept what he considers the inevitable reality? Seems as if neither parents ~ nor the state would have any rights or authority here. Anarchy? So it seems like parents have no rights, just responsibilities; the state thinks it has some rights but really doesn't, yet has other rights which parents thought they had, etc. Excuse Me? Am I the only one missing something here? — NORBERT E. HERMES Salina Gay couples are not so different from the rest of us I'm glad our Congress finally passed a law against gay marriage. It's time we showed these sub-human deviates that they are not "real people" like the rest of us. It also proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that we have a lot of people in Washington who are dumber than a stone post. (I have long suspected it.) Dan England's Travesty #1 ("GOP's 'pro- family' claims are a travesty," Sept. 18) is right on target. Through the years (46) my wife and I had many "gay" friends and the only difference between them and us is in the gender of the partners we chose. Their values, honesty, integrity, love, compassion and commitment are no different than ours. For the last 10 years or more we have been casual friends with a "gay" couple who seem to have the same commitment to each other that we have. They are good hard-working people who have chosen to make a life together. That they should be denied the same protection of the law that "married" couples have is indeed a travesty and unconstitutional. There is no place in the Bill of Rights or the Constitution that says only straight couples need apply. It's long past time the smug, self-righteous moralists opened other books and discovered the homosexuals have been among us since the beginning of time and always will be. God made them too. I have many times read and heard that "God loves even the least of us." If this is true then the Moral Majority needs to open up a dictionary and look up the word "hypocrisy." — FRANK CLOUTIER Wakefield By G.B. TRUDEAU IMBAN, I'M THe PRE&l- NTOF THeuNrm> NPWHeNi'M&-&e 'U~fTIU.0eiH£MA NO MAY I'U- BKOM& THISISNT „. y 6w- YOU KNOW? ][ HUH.. MUST'Be PAIP, RIGHT,

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