The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 8, 1996 · Page 4
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 4

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Tuesday, October 8, 1996
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A4 TUESDAY, OCTOBER 8, 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 Salina, KS 67402 Fax: (913) 827-6363 E-mail: SalJournal ©aol.com Quote of the day Tonight, it looks life Dole is tough. He's an old man, but he speaks withwidsom." : Bob Nix Republican farmer ' from Chehalis, . Wash., after watching Sunday's presidential debate OPINION By GEORGE B. PYLE / The Salina Journal Friends of Bill THE ISSUE WJiitewater pardons THE ARGUMENT President powerless to rein in rogue prosecutor I n Sunday's debate, President Clinton said there has been no consideration, no discussion, of his pardoning any of his old Arkansas business partners who have been snared in the trap of the Whitewater special prosecutor. That's hard to believe. It is also not very comforting. Clinton should be considering the question, and he should have a few of the best brains over at the Justice Department thinking about it, too. What if a pardon is the right thing to do? To knowingly pardon the guilty would clearly be an abuse of the power that the Constitution carefully places in the president's hands. But it would also be an abuse of power for a president to leave an innocent person in prison just because issuing a pardon would look bad. We have seen the way Whitewater independent counsel Kenneth Starr, the tobacco lobby's favorite lawyer, treats those who don't aid his cause. Ex-spouses Jim and Susan McDougal were both convicted of defrauding a now-defunct Arkansas savings and loan, part of the decay of the dream that was once the Whitewater Land Development Corporation. Jim agreed to sing to prosecutors in return for a more lenient sentence. He walks about a free man, holding impromptu press conferences on the sidewalk. Susan refused to give the grand jury any more information, claiming that if her testimony isn't what Starr wants to hear, he will charge her with perjury. She was led away in handcuffs and leg- irons and faces years in prison. There is reason to wonder if Clinton and his allies have told the whole truth about Whitewater and related matters. There is just as much reason to wonder if Starr and his patrons have left no stone unturned in search of embarrassing details that can be twisted to undermine the president's moral authority to oppose big tobacco, corporate welfare and the insurance industry. The idea of independent counsels is that they are independent of the administration they are investigating. And there is much to be said for that. But they should also be independent of the special interests that have it in for that same administration, and they should not be independent of justice and the rule of law. That is not happening in this case. Normally, innocent people caught in the grasp of a reckless or unethical prosecutor can hope that the prosecutor's boss — the attorney general or the president — will either call off the investigation or pardon those wrongly convicted. Innocent people involved in Whitewater — if there are any — can expect no such protection. So much for the benefits that go with being a friend of the president. T ABROAD AT HOME LETTERS TO THE JOURNAL P.O. BOX 740, SALINA, KANSAS 67402 We must reject ideas we know are wrong I am writing in response to comments made by Chuck Roberts and Frank Cloutier on the editorial page of Sept. 28. ^Hooray for Mr. Roberts for defending conservative Christians, Republicans, and supporters of the welfare bill, as I qualify for all three of these. • I fully expect that if we condone same-sex marriages, we will only contribute to the current landslide of corruption, creating a nation of morally bankrupt citizens. Other than the financial burden, and the obvious danger of spreading diseases, what example would we be setting for our children? If all of us turned to immoral practices, there could never be another generation. • Will our children also be forced to accept full-term abortion, incest, child pornography and sex by computer? Have we sunk so low that immorality is the accepted way of life? Mr. Cloutier claims that gay couples are no different from the rest of us, I'm sorry for he and his friends, but those who choose an "alternate lifestyle" while pretending to lead virtuous lives are not pleasing to God. While it is true that God is no respecter of persons, and loves all people, He may not be pleased with what they are doing. Perhaps we should look in the dictionary for true meaning, after becoming familiar with words I Dole's budget numbers do not add up ANTHONY LEWIS The New York Times * Nobody really believes that Dole can cut taxes and balance the budget, too G oing into the first debate, Bob Dole was hobbled by one problem above all. What was meant to be the foundation of his campaign for president, the promise of a 15 percent cut in income taxed, had turned out to be a loser. Doubly so. From the moment he unveiled the idea, at the San Diego convention, it damaged Dole's reputation as a man of principle, of consistency. He had long ridiculed as puerile fantasy the supply-side doctrine — theology, really — that reducing rates would increase tax revenue. Now here he was embracing that very doctrine. The second difficulty has developed in the weeks since San Diego. As Dole has made more arguments on how he can cut taxes while still keeping his old commitment to balance the budget, he has quite failed to convince his listeners. And for good reason. His figures do not remotely add up. Dole's proposal for the 15 percent income tax rate reduction plus a 50 percent cut in the capital gains tax and the child tax credit would cost the Treasury $548 billion over six years. In order to meet that cost and also eliminate the budget deficit by the year 2002, he would have to cut a total of $867 billion in spending by the federal government. On the stump, Dole has been saying he can do that by reducing by just 5 percent all expenditure except on defense and entitlement programs. He holds up a nickel to show how little that would be. But the arithmetic he offers is embarrassingly phony. The Dole plan starts with the premise that most of the $867 billion in spending cuts he needs are going to occur anyway under the budget resolution passed by the current Republican Congress. But Thomas Oliphant of The Boston Globe pointed out the other day that congressional Republicans have already abandoned the harsh budget-cutting requirements of the resolution. Before it adjourned, Congress dropped the idea of huge cuts in Medicare,and Medicaid spending that were in the budget resolution. Republicans did not act, as they had said they would, to cut the earned-income tax credit for poor working families. And so on. The reason Republican leaders in Congress shied away from the sharp reductions promised in the budget resolution is no secret. The public did not like them. It did not want to destroy the civilian side of the federal government. So Newt Gingrich & Co. dropped their T TRUE WEST Past studies have sKovin that: The Elderly Tend to be. •Sick A recent study says: HMO: Dbftot perform as well as Traditional Pbor or Elderly Therefore. HMOs Traditional F«e For Service. Unlett you're A HEADACHE What federal programs would the public want to cut by 37 percent? Hurricane forecasting? Air traffic control? Prisons? The FBI? Emergency relief for the victims of floods and other natural disasters? Border control? radical plans and agreed to appropriations that preserved most government services. The result is that the spending cuts needed to reach the Dole target by 2002 would make Dracon of Athens look like a pussycat. Dole ruled out touching some of the biggest items: defense, Social Security, Medicare, veterans' benefits. All other government activities would have to be cut not 5 but 37 percent. That figure comes from a study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and it is convincing. What federal programs would the public want to cut by 37 percent? Hurricane forecasting? Air traffic control? Prisons? The FBI? Emergency relief for the victims of floods and other natural disasters? Border control? No president could eliminate or drastically scale back those and numerous other programs. So remaining federal activities would: have to be slashed far more than 37 percent to; reach the target. The Concord Coalition, the spending watch-' group headed' by former Sens. Paul Tsongas i and Warren Rudman, said the Dole plan would ! reduce the federal government to. the level of; the Coolidge and Hoover era. It said: "Most public services to the young and the poor will ', have to be defunded entirely." You do not have to be an economist to un- 1 derstand that Dole's economic plan is humbug. • But economists do not think much of it either. A magazine that takes a rigorous view of government spending, The Economist of Lon-1 don, reports in its current issue a survey it' made of 60 macroeconomists "at America's top! universities," about hah" the total number of such economists. An astonishing 70 percent responded. Asked whether they believed that Dole could cut taxes and balance the budget as he promised, they voted: 17 percent yes, 83 percent no. ; Campaign promises always tend to be rosy.; Bob Dole's budget promises could have been < written by Pollyanna. ! Docking fails her own campaign test Security and like "morality" and "decency." (Then turn to abnormal behavior such as the Oedipus complex, pederasty, bestiality, infant sacrifice and cannibalism, as these may be the major topics for sensationalism in the near future). Must Christians be again persecuted and thrown to the journalistic lions because we have the courage of our convictions? It is too late to give lip service to human decency, while becoming nonchalant about moral values. We must begin now to reject ideas that we know are wrong. Our children, in fact, all of us, deserve better than this. — JUDY BOWEN Salina We need another pool I would like to suggest that the city of Salina consider building another public swimming pool on the west side of Salina. The south end of Centennial Park would be an ideal location. This city is growing and I believe it could easily support another public pool. There are a lot of children on this side of town who never get to enjoy swimming in the summer months because it is too far to walk to the other two public pools. When both parents work, it is an impossible situation. At least it should be given consideration to see how other residents of Salina feel about it. — JENNIFER FAUBION Salina Democratic Senate candidate tosses around code words in order to frighten people T he newest TV advertisement for Jill Docking, the Democratic candidate vying for Bob Dole's Seriate seat, got me out of my easy chair the other evening during Must-See TV. Here's the scene: Mrs. Docking sits at a kitchen table with a couple. Her expression is dour as she expresses faux & concern for what the couple is saying. Her voice comes over the television speaker: "(This couple has) retired and they are concerned about what extremists in Congress might do to their future. The (couple has) worked all of their lives and contributed to Social Medicare. I don't think it's fair to gut their Medicare to provide tax cuts for people making $200,000 a year. Congressman Brownback voted to do just that. Let's balance the budget by making responsible cuts, using a scalpel, not a meat ax." I think maybe the Democratic Party has implanted microchips in the butts of all its candidates this year. Meanwhile, at the Hall of Doom, a mind-control signal is sent out, causing said candidates to spout the same nonsense in states, districts and townships the country over. The Bad Guys have bandied about their little code word "extremist" ever since the Oklahoma City bombing. It's their attempt to put the Good Guys in the same category as military rejects who run around the woods with mud on their faces, talking wildly about The Treasury being run by thugs from Alpha Centauri. Code words have long been a staple of DAVID E. FRESE The Salina Journal If a voter's whole reason for voting against Mr. Brownback is that he voted to cut Medicare, that voter needs to wake up and smell the bedpans. American politics. The President unveiled his own code words at the Bad Guys' National Convention with his "Let's build a bridge to the future" speech. On the surface, the statement makes The President appear to be full of hope and optimism, but he's really making a cynical jab at the age of his opponent. Here's how it works: By The President discussing the future, you have to think of the years down the road. By thinking of the years ahead you naturally think of the ages of the candidates: Mr. Clinton's 50, Mr. Dole's 73. Who has a better chance of living farther into the future? The younger candidate. Therefore, Dole's too old to be president. Imagine, The Man from Hope Who Feels Yore Pain is an agist creep who picks on elderly handicapped people. Yes, ma'am, they're sneaky, those Democrats. Take Mrs. Docking's first statement about Social Security and Medicare, for instance. The problem there is the verb "contributed." Sure, we all contribute to those so- called "entitlements," but we're not entitled to our contributions when we retire. We don't pay into an account that we tap into when we turn 65. That would be like saying we could quit our jobs at any time and live off the money we've squirrelled away in our magic welfare account. We're paying for those who now use welfare, Social Security and Medicare. We are entitled to nothing. And her tax-cut line. Horse manure, I say. First off, the tax cuts Mrs. Docking refers to are in a whole 'nother fund than the monies used for Medicare. Look it up; it's H.R. 2491,. popularly known as the Seven-Year Balanced" Budget Reconciliation Act of 1995. It can be pulled up on the Internet by way of! http://thomas.loc.gov. If a voter's whole reason for voting against Mr. Brownback is that he voted to cut' Medicare, then that voter needs to wake up, and smell the bedpans. -_ Fact: Cuts will have to be made in Medicare in order to balance the budget. In addition, The Candidate's people said in'.' a phone conversation Friday that Mrs. Dock-,' ing would also vote to cut Medicare. Her lack:, ey said she favors something called "The Centrist Budget," which the Docking camp was planning to have a press conference about to-'" day. It contains, gasp, cuts in Medicare. "; Tax cuts? Yup, the Wichita stockbroker with a business degree from the University of. Kansas supports them, too. Her press person '• said The Candidate supports "responsible" cuts "targeted" in "a more moderate way". and some cuts in the capital-gains tax. To pay for what? Perhaps, cuts in Medicare? Looking at the parameters of argument as set forth by Mrs. Docking her ownself, she, fails her own tests. Mrs. Docking could have told us how she would help those who can't help themselves'-' and keep our children's future from being flushed down the toilet, but she wasted prel cious airtime going negative falsely. 1.- If one was to go just by her advertisement, it would seem all Mrs. Docking has to offer is-: stale rhetoric from the Mind-Control Division of the DNC and a plan to jump on a "centrist" bandwagon with a "moderate" proposal to balance the budget. Her only new idea is to ride into Bob Dole's', Senate seat on a wave of nostalgia for tha. grand old tax-and-spend days aboard the rep-, utation of her last name. Come to think of it, for those of you who might remember when Kansas' junior sena-'. tor was known as Nancy Landon Kassebaum,, that's been done before, too. III iSBURY By Q.B. TRUDEAU

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