Saturday, January 18, 2003

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

Location: New Braunfels, Texas

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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 18, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas Page 6A HERALDZEITUNG Saturday January FORUM Contact Managing Editor Gary E Maitland 6259144 ext 220 NEW BRAUNFELS HERALDZEITUNG New Braunfels Zeitting was founded 1852 New Braunfels Herald was founded 1890 The two papers merged in 1957 and printed in both German and English until 1958 Doug Toney Editor and Publisher Gary E Maitland Managing Editor 830 6259144 Other views The Dallas Morning News on Medicare overhaul needed Medicare reform sounds dull Dry Eyeglazing But President Bush says he will take on the chal lenge this year Americans should rejoice A new Medicare will benefit todays seniors It will matter to baby boomers racing toward retire ment And it will rescue Gen Xers and Yers from crushing taxes Those pluses are anything but dull First todays seniors Medicare reform as envi sioned by President Bush Senate Majority Leader will benefit elderly Americans by giving them more choices Instead of the sameold same old where seniors go to Doc Wilson and use Medicare to pay his bill true reform would let patients select annually from various health plans One plan could offer great eye care Another could help with diabetes The choices could range widely just as they do for the federal employees who select each year from competing health plans Second the approach would fit with baby boomers Boomers who are used to con sumer choice will like a menu of health options when they retire In fact its hard seeing them fit into a universal model Third an overhaul will save Gen Xers and Yers Twentysomethings may think Medicare is all about old people Not so More than any Americans Medi care reform helps them It will keep young Ameri cans from paying enormous taxes to fend off Medi cares bankruptcy which the experts say will hap pen in 2030 The White House must needs a new look For everyones good Today In History BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Today is Saturday Jan 18 the 18th day of 2003 There are 347 days left in the year Todays history highlight On Jan 18 1912 English explorer Robert F Scott and his expedition reached the South Pole only to discover that Roald Amundsen had beaten them to it Scott and his party perished dur ing the return On this date In 1778 English naviga tor Capt James Cook reach ed the Hawaiian Islands which he dubbed the Sand wich In 1788 the first English settlers arrived in Austra lias Botany Bay to estab lish a penal colony In 1862 the 10th presi dent of the United States John Tyler died in Richmond at age 71 In 1919 the World War I Peace Congress opened in Versailles France In 1936 author Rudyard Kipling died in Burwash England In 1943 during World War II the Soviets announc ed theyd broken the long Nazi siege of Leningrad In 1943 a wartime ban on the sale of presliced bread in the United States aimed at reducing bak eries demand for metal replacement parts went into effect In 1990 Washington Mayor Marion Barry was arrested in an FBI sting on drugpossession charges he was later convicted of a Ten years ago The Martin Luther King Jr holiday was observed in all 50 states for the first time Policy The HeraldZeitung en courages the submission of letters Letters must be 250 words or fewer and the HeraldZeitung reserves the right to edit all submissions An address and telephone number which are not for publication must be includ ed so authorship can be con firmed Mail letters to Letters to the Editor HeraldZeitung Drawer 311328 781311328 Fax 830 6063413 email House of Saud an unnecessary liability During last years Super Bowl the Office of National Drug Control Policy ran ads that suggested that buying illegal drugs supported ter rorism al Qaeda That assertion is about as ridicu lous as saying that buying a diamond ring is tanta mount to supporting al Qaeda because this group was known to dabble in the diamond trade Not to be outdone Arianna Huffing ton and company under the guise of Americans for Fuel Efficient Cars AFEC embarked on a media campaign claiming that dri ving SUVs endangers national security Methinks Huffmgton may have sniffed too many gas fumes The simpleminded argu ment goes something like America is dependent on Middle East oil America needs to con sume less Middle East oil as a way to put the screws to any number of oilrich and terroristfriendly Since SUVs consume more gas measured in miles per gallon fuel Americans need to stop dri ving SUVs so that we can be less dependent on Mid dle East oil Huffington et al have once again fallen prey to the myth perpetuated since the 1970s socalled oil crisis that national security is inextricably linked to oil Ergo the less dependent WriteEm President George W Bush 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington 20500 Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison Room 284 Russell Senate Office Building CHARLES V PENA Guest Column the United States is on oil particularly foreign and specifically Middle East the less we will have to pay at the pump and the more secure we will be First a few facts Accord ing to the Department of Energy the oil producing countries in the Persian Gulf Bahrain Iran Iraq Kuwait Qatar Saudi Ara bia and the United Arab Emirates produced about 28 percent of the worlds crude oil Also according to the DOE only about 20 per cent of oil is imported from the Persian Gulf That hardly constitutes the Unit ed States being dependent on Middle East oil Second energy indepen dence is a myth The Bri tish produce enough oil from North Sea drilling to meet their domestic energy needs they are in fact a net oil But the price of a barrel of oil from the North Sea is the same as a barrel of oil from the Persian Gulf or anywhere else in the world because oil is a fun gible global commodity The price of oil is not set based on where it is drilled but on global supply and demand And the market incentive for oil companies is to sell their oil at the best possible Washington 20510 202 2245922 Fax 202 2240776 8023 Vantage Drive Suite 460 San Antonio TX 78230 Congressman Lamar Smith price not based on national allegiance Indeed oil dril led from the North Sea is not supplied to the UK at cutrate prices Third even if the United States tried to wean itself of foreign oil and become wholly reliant on domestic sources of oil the price of oil would likely skyrocket To drive the economy the United States couldnt possibly meet demand High demand combined with a shortfall in supply will result in higher prices for a scarce commodi ty Its called supplyand demand and getting rid of every single gasguzzling SUV in America wouldnt make enough of a difference in demand given a limited domestic capability to pro duce oil national security is indeed jeopardized by Mid dle East oil But not because of AFECs argument of American dependence on that oil Rather the contin ued false notion that the United States needs to pro tect the Gulf region to en sure a cheap supply of oil is the real threat to national security That is why the mili tary has troops sta tioned in Saudi Arabia which have become a light ning rod for Islamic anti American sentiment and terrorist violence And it results in the United States supporting a corrupt Saudi regime that does not share Americas core values of RSan Antonio Room 2231 Rayburn House Office Building Washington 20515 202 2254236 11 DONE Loop 410 Suite 640 San Antonio TX 78209 democracy and individual liberty This is directly at odds with the new national security strategys claim that America stands for human dignity and the rule of law limits on the absolute power of the state free speech freedom of wor ship equal justice respect for women and religious and ethnic tolerance The high price that Amer icans are paying for a de cadeslong misguided Mid dle East oil policy is not at the gasoline pump The real price and attendant risk is a dubious alliance with a regime where vital interests are not at risk American support for Riyadh is one of the prime factors motivating Osama bin Ladens jihad against the United States Continued support will only inflame Islamic extremists and encourage future terrorist attacks Its not Americas love affair with SUVs and de pendence on Middle East oil that needs to be cut Its our close ties and military support for Saudi princes that need to be jettisoned Its not a question of con suming less oil Its a mat ter of understanding that the House of Saud is an unnecessary liability and not an asset Charles V Pena is senior defense policy analyst at the Cato Institute Governor Rick Perry State Capitol Room Box 12428 Austin TX 78711 800 8435789 Presidents are elected to lead not follow opinion The latest Gallup Poll shows President Bushs approval rating has fallen below 60 percent to 58 percent for the first time since the Sept 11 2001 terrorist attacks on America The poll is as unreal istic as the one that showed 90 percent of the public approved of his performance after that fateful day Polling has become a type of meat thermometer The pollster like the thermometer is more tuned to the process than to the result At least the meat thermo meter is more likely to be accurate than the pollster which measures opinion not on the level of the respondents knowledge or exper tise but feelings and impressions adults aged 18 or over were surveyed but the possibility of ig norance in addition to error is contained in two statements buried within the poll In addi tion to sampling begins the disclaimer question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public CAL THOMAS opinion The first question in the Gallup survey asks Based on what you have heard or read please say whether you favor or oppose each of the following economic propos Heard or read Heard from whom and read in what Do we know where the respondents are getting their information If it is from the broadcast networks or newspapers like The New York Times and The Washington Post the likelihood is they will reflect the bias against Bushs domestic and foreign policies contained in those media What qualifies those surveyed to have an opinion on Bushs eco nomic or foreign policies Is it any thing more than subjective conclu sions The poll doesnt say Indeed it cannot say Amazingly the poll reveals that while Gallups measure of the pre sidents approval has declined most people support the very eco nomic and foreign policies he is pursuing An earlier Gallup Poll conducted Jan 35 just before either party announced its eco nomic stimulus proposal found that 86 percent of those surveyed want to expand tax credits for families with children and nearly as many 80 percent support re ducing additional taxes married couples must pay when both spouses work Sixtyfive percent want the tax cuts approved in 2001 to take effect immediately and not over several years which is precisely what the president has asked from Congress When it comes to his handling of Iraq the Gallup Poll shows two seemingly antithetical results The poll says 42 percent of Ameri cans disapprove of the way Bush is handling foreign affairs the highest disapproval he has receiv ed on this issue But the poll also shows a majority 51 percent be lieve that Iraq poses a greater threat to the United States than North Korea which is what the president has said Why this doublemindedness Possibly it is the confusion pro duced in many minds between reality and the medias perception of reality Most Americans pay little atten tion to economics except their own Thats why in a recent Asso ciated Press story a woman was quoted as saying she is concerned about the federal deficit She said she and her husband had recently gotten out of debt and she thought the country should follow their example This was a wire story about peo ple who dont want a tax cut One might as well accept financial advice from a palm reader as to interview someone with no knowl edge about the historical effects of tax cuts on the economy My sense is that President Bush will not be swayed by these polls any more than he was swayed by the ones that put him at 90 percent approval At the time he indicated that polls were fickle and he was simply going to do what he believed best for the country He should and will continue on that course With a Republican though not conservative majori ty in Congress he can get more done than when Democratic obstructionists often prevailed The proof of whether his policies work will be determined not by subjective opinions as measured by polls but by objective truth as measured by results We elect a president to lead us not follow our opinions This pres ident has more than enough con victions to lead the country toward what works and not follow meaningless polls that were the Holy Grail to his predecessor Cal Thomas is a syndicated