New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 16, 1996, New Braunfels, Texas
H9+terald-Zeitung □ Friday, February 16,1996
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t u n
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Q U O T A B
Ult is very important... to curb the violence : [in the entertainment industry] without infringing on the right to free speech.... I don’ believe in censorship, and I prefer that we not regulate.”
— Byron Dorgan U.S. senator, 1995Straight talk on Medicare reform
EDITORIALWolf in sheep’s clothing
Ron Paul’s switch back to Republican Party just a ruse to regain House seat
" Former congressman Ron Paul — best known for his switch in 1984 from the Republican Party to the Libertarian Party, has returned to the GOP fold.
.. But unlike the prodigal son who was welcomed back by his father (his older brother wasn’t too thrilled, however), Paul’s return is not gaining praise from many Republicans.
And one look at his position on this country’s war on drugs explains why.
Not since Louisiana’s David Duke, a white supremacist and former Ku Klux KJansman, ran for office as a Republican has a GOP contender made so many conservatives uncomfortable.
Paul, now a Republican candidate for the GOP nomination for the 14th Congressional District (he's challenging incumbent Rep. Greg Laughlin, who himself changed parties this year, ditching the Democratic for the Republican Party), still advocates the repeal of federal anti-drug laws.
In an interview with the Houston Chronicle, he said, “The war on drugs has been a disaster.”
He also said the war on drugs has increased the price of illegal drugs, thus raising the incentive for dealers to be in the business.
. So his logic, we’re supposed to believe, is that if you de-criminalize the sale of drugs, narcotics will become so prevalent on the street that prices will drop and dealers will find other work — say, in the food service* industry.
~ Paul’s arguments and those of others who wish to legalize drugs are so asinine as to be laughable. But the seriousness of such a discussion makes laughter inappropriate.
Ron Paul has obviously never studied the medical side of substance abuse, visited with patients in a substance abuse clinics or sat in a narcotics anonymous meeting.
If he had, he would know that legalizing highly-addictive drugs — thus making them available to all in our society — would produce a catastrophic rise in drug addiction and all of the negative health, economic and societal repercussions that go with it.
There are drugs now available on the streets, like crack cocaine, that are so addictive that just one use of the drug can htxik that person. To push for the repeal of marijuana laws is equally absurd, considering the progression that users often take to more dangerous drugs after smoking pot.
Voters in the 14th Congressional District should speak loud and clear during this Republican primary — they should send Ron Paul back to the Libertarians.
(Today’s editorial was written by Managing Editor Doug Loveday.)
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Billings Law, set down in the 19th century by Henry Wheeler Shaw, says, “Live within your income, even if you have to borrow to do so.”
That sums up the philosophy of past Congresses. As a result, Medicare is operating on an extremely shaky financial foundation. Serious reform is needed to save this health insurance program for 37 million Americans.
A lot of bad information has been circulating of late, calculated to frighten Medicare recipients. I believe it would be more constructive to deep-six the scare tactics, and discuss solutions.
First we need to understand why Medicare, a single program that accounts for more than IO percent of the entire federal budget, is in financial crisis. Medicare expenditures are growing at the rate of IO percent per year although inflation in the United States has remained at a stable 3.5 percent per year. In the area of private health care, inflation has sunk to near zero.
According to the Medicare trustees’ 1995 report, urging reform, Medicare’s Hospital Insurance Trust Fund was supposed to begin deficit spending in fis
cal year 1996 and continue in the red until going broke in 2002. But the New York Times reported last week that the trust fund actually began running a deficit during 1995, instead of the projected $4.7 billion surplus.
In other words, Medicare is borrowing in order to live within its income. At the rate we’re going, the Medicare trust fund will be exhausted a year sooner than earlier anticipated.
Congress’ proposal for Medicare reform, contrary to what many of you may have heard, would increase Medicare spending by 7.5 percent per year (rather than IO percent), or $1,685 trillion, over the next seven years. President Clinton’s health care reform proposal projected an increase of 6 percent or 7 percent over the same period. No one in either Congress or the executive branch
is talking about cutting Medicare spending in any way, shape or form. We are discussing ways to slow its rate of growth.
Congress has proposed to achieve this goal by allowing seniors to choose from a full range of private health plans or to stay within the traditional Medicare system.
How would this address the trust-fund shortfall? Beneficiaries who enter private plans paid for by Medicare could get better benefits—and a wide choice of plans—for the same amount of money currently being spent by Medicare. They could pick the health plan best suited to their needs, with the doctors they prefer. They would gain control over their health care dollars and avoid the limits on access to medical care that are increasingly applied to Medicare services.
In contrast, the President proposes that we achieve savings by reducing what is paid to providers. Imagine what such an approach will do to access—and the willingness of doctors and hospitals to take on Medicare patients. You choose.
(Kay Bailey Hutchison is a U.S. senatorfor Texas.)
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GOP debate: no clear winners or losers
By TOM RAUM
Associated Press Writer
MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — The major contenders for the COP presidential nomination came away from a high-stakes televised debate each proclaiming victory after lively exchanges on negative advertising, taxes, immigration and trade.
And, if there was no clear winner in the 90-minute exchange, no one stumbled in a big way, either.
“I’ve been shot at a lot tonight but I’ve been in combat before,” Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole joked in the eight-man debate.
The candidates were going their separate ways today, crisscrossing New Hampshire in advance of next Tuesday’s first-in-the-nation primary.
The duel, televised from WMUR-TV, featured sharp exchanges among Dole, Pat Buchanan, Steve Forbes and Lamar Alexander — and even some moments of humor.
At one point, Dole complained that Forbes’ attack ads against him didn’t use very nattering pictures of him — and he passed his rival some snapshots and asked Forbes to use the next time.
“Better of me and my wife,” Dole said, “and that’s my little dog...”
Among the more serious subjects discussed, the candidates all sought to ease middle-income anxi-Today In History
By The Associated Press
Today is Friday, Feb. 16, the 47th day of 1996. There are 319 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Feb. 16, 1862, during the Civil War, about 14,000 Confederate soldiers surrendered al Fort Donelson, Tenn. General Ulysses S. Grant’s victory earned him the nickname, “Unconditional Surrender Grant.”
On this date:
In 1804, Ll. Stephen Decatur led a successful raid into Tripoli Harbor to burn the U.S. Navy frigate Philadelphia, which had fallen into the hands of pirates.
In 1868, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks was organized in New York City.
In 1918, Lithuania proclaimed its independence.
In 1923, the bunal chamber of King Tutankhamen’s recently unearthed tomb was unsealed in Egypt.
In 1937, Dr Wallace H. Carothers, a researchAnalysis
ety toward the economy and job security and promised to take a close look at restructuring the Social Security system.
Dole suggested that raising the retirement age might be necessary at some point. Forbes touted his own plan to allow younger workers to put some of their payroll deduction into private investments instead of government trust funds.
Some New Hampshire voters who watched the debate on television had mixed reviews. "I don’t see a candidate here that I am comfortable with,'.’ said Abigail Beutler, 65, a Republican from Nashua.
She was among seven New Hampshire Voters’ Voice panelists who gathered to watch the debate, then critiqued the candidates' answers in a discussion with a moderator.
The debate showed what a difference a month has made. In a similar debate in Iowa last month, Forbes was the main target. This time, Forbes only got a few verbal pokes while his flal-tax plan was hardly mention at all. The most attention was on Dole; Buchanan, who finished a surprising second in the Iowa caucuses; and on Alexander, whom polls show is rising here.
Dole, his status as GOP front-mnner now under siege, took jabs at both conservative columnist
chemist for DuPont who invented nylon, received a patent for the synthetic fiber.
In 1945, American troops, arriving by air and sea, landed on the island of Corregidor in the Philippines during World War II.
In 1948, NBC-TV began airing its first nightly newscast, “The Camel Newsreel Theatre,” which consisted of Fox Movietone newsreels.
In 1959, Fidel Castro became premier of Cuba after the overthrow of Fulgencio Batista.
In 1968, the nation’s first 911 emergency telephone system was inaugurated in Haleyville, Ala.
In 1977, Janani Luwum, the Anglican archbishop of Uganda, and two other men were killed in what Ugandan authorities said was an automobile accident.
Ten years ago: Philippine presidential candidate Corazon Aquino called for nonviolent protests against Ferdinand E. Marcos, a day after Marcos was declared the winner of a presidential election tainted by charges of fraud.
Five years ago: Iraqi officials charged that 130 civilians were killed when British jet fighters raided the town of Fallouja two days earlier. A Soviet
Buchanan and former Tennessee Gov. Alexander, whom polls shows was rising quickly.
“It’s a two-man race today between Dole and Buchanan. Maybe it will become a three-man race soon,” said Bill Lacy, Dole’s deputy campaign manager. Predictably, he pronounced Dole the victor in Thursday’s match up.
Dole did not participate in a post debate “spin” session with reporters, but other candidates did — and all pronounced themselves satisfied with their performances.
“What I tried to do is act like a president,” Alexander said.
“The debate went very well,” Forbes said.
During the debate Forbes conceded he’d made a mistake in Iowa in relying so heavily on negative ads — then accused Dole of being a tax raiser and he raised ethical questions about Alexander.
In particular, Forbes questioned a lucrative 1981 deal with Gannett newspapers while Alexander was governor of Tennessee. In that instance, Alexander turned stock in The Knoxville Journal he obtained at no cost into nearly $620,000.
After the debate, Forbes suggested Alexander change his campaign theme song to “Alexander’s Ragtime Scam.”
During the debate, Alexander said his personal dealings were detailed in tax returns he has released.
Foreign Ministry spokesman downplayed Moscow’s initial enthusiasm for an Iraqi offer to withdraw from Kuwait, saying it was insufficient to end the war.
One year ago: Four people were killed when tornadoes tore through rural north Alabama. In a dark and defensive address to his nation, Russian President Boris Yeltsin berated his military leaders for big losses and human rights abuses in Chechnya, but insisted Russia had to use force to defend its unity.
Today’s Birthdays: Singer Patty Andrews is 76. Movie director John Schlesinger is 70. U.S. Representative Sonny Bono, R-Calif., is 61. Actor LeVar Burton is 39. Tennis player John McEnroe
Thought for Today: “I am content to define history as the past events of which we have knowledge and refrain from worrying about those of which we have none — until, that is, some archeologist digs them up.” — Barbara W. Tuchman, American historian (1912-1989).