New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 12, 1993, New Braunfels, Texas
Page 4 Herald -Zeitung Friday, March 12,1993Quote of the day
“The follies which a man regrets most in his life are those which he didn’t commit when he had the opportunity.” — Helen Rowland, American writer, journalist and humorist (1876-1950).
Promises of tax breaks break down
EditorialsEducationShift focus from giving and getting to results
The Texas electorate will decide in May whether to approve a sweeping education finance plan for public schools in this state. But before voters enter into this constitutional agreement with state officials, they should insist on seeing what they will receive in return for their investment.
So far the only real discussion about the public school finance bill has focused on which districts will benefit the most and which will pay the most. That needs to change.
Before the constitutional amendment on school finance is placed on the May election ballot, state legislators also should adopt a package of reform proposals that would require more accountability from the public school system....
Texas desperately needs standardized testing and reporting policies that will allow state officials to hold school systems responsible for educational results.
The Educational Economic Policy Center has recommended strong measures that would put school administrators and teachers on notice that improved performance should go hand in hand with school financing....
If adopted, the recommendations from the Educational Economic Policy Center would finally give Texans some assurance that the school finance proposition will accomplish something more than shifting the state’s education revenue.
Voters should insist that their state representatives show a commitment to educational reform before they ask for support for a restructuring of school funding.
7bday's editorial was contributed by the Dallas Morning News.
Th# New Braunfels HsraJd-Zeitung welcomes letters on any pubic issue. Routinely, letters are condensed with the objective of priming as many of them as space permits. We also correct spelling, style, punctuation and known factual errors.
We publish only original mail addressed to The New Braunfels Heratd-Zeitung bearing the writer's signature. Also, an address and a telephone number, which are not for publication, must be Included.
Please cite the page number and date of any article that is mentioned. Preference is given to writers who have not been published in the previous 30 days.
ne^is laitaia Sa,
Letters to the Ector
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung
P.O. Drawer 311328
New Braunfels. Texas 78131-1328
Flaw BraunfelsHerald -Zeitung
Editor and Publisher ....................................David Sullens
General Manager.................................................Cheryl Duvall
Managing Editor.............................. Greg Meffotd
Marketing Director.......................................Dee Dee Crockett
ClaitfPfd Manager.. .............................Karen Relninger
Circulation Director.......................................Carol Ann Avery
Pressroom Foreman..................... Douglas Brandt
Published on Sunday mornings and weekday mornings Tuesday through Friday by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, 707 Lands St, or P.O. Drawer 311328, New Braunfels, Tx. 78131-1328. Second class postage paid by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung in New Braunfels, Texas. CUSPS 377-880)
Class delivered in Comal and Guadalupe counties: three months, $16; six months, $29; on# year, $49. Senior Citisen Discounts by carrier delivery only: six months, $28; one year, $45. Mail delivery outride Comal County in Texas: three months, $26.56; ria months, $47.20; on# year, $88.50. Mail outside Texas: six months, $61.95; on# year, $103.25.
Subscribers who have not received a newspaper by 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday or by 7:30 arn on Sunday may call (210) 625-9144 by 7 p.m. or (210) 658-1900 by ll am.
Postmaster Send addice# denfM to the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, P.O. Drawer 811328, New Braunfels, Tx. 78131-1328.
OK, middle-cfcss taxpayers! April 15 is right around the corner! Time for your Tax Relief!
Remember? Last year, during the election campaign, William Jefferson John F. Kennedy Abraham Lincoln Clinton went all over the country saying, in one of his most sincere voices, that he was going to give Tax Relief to middle-class taxpayers (defined, technically, as "taxpayers whose annual income does not exceed the amount that the new administration spent replacing the drapes in the Oval Office").
So, middle-class taxpayers, you elected him, and now ifs time to get what’s coining to you! According to the Internal Revenue Service, here’s all you have to do: When you get to the blank space on your 1040 form labeled “AMOUNT YOU OWE," instead of writing a number in there, you put the international symbol for the middle class, which is a stick drawing of a little person trying to read the fiber content on a cereal box. Then simply mail in your return, and within four to eight weeks, you should receive a minimum of IO years in prison.
That’s right: It turns out that you’re NOT going to get Tax Relief, at least not in the immediate future (defined, technically, as “your lifetime"). President Clinton had to reassess his position on this particular promise, and for a very solid reason: He’s just another suit-wearing weasel.
No! Strike that! The reason President Clinton had to reassess his position is that, after he got elected, he learned about a shocking development. To avoid suffering a shock-related medical injury, please be seated while I reveal this development to you:
The federal budget deficit is very big.
Of course most normal people and household plants were already aware of this. But apparently Mr. Clinton, busy performing his many
duties as a presidential candidate — formulating policies, making promises, practicing the saxophone — did not find out until after the election, when his top aides sat him down and told him about it:
AIDES: Mr. President, it turns out that the federal budget deficit is very big.
CLINTON (shocked): No!
AIDES: Also, the Pope is Catholic.
CLINTON: This is unbelievable!
In the interest of the President’s cardiac safety, they decided to hold off on telling him about the Easter Bunny.
So anyway, you middle-class people can forget about Tax Relief. But you will be pleased to learn that President Clinton has come up with a new post-election idea, which is: Sacrifice.
Of course we’re talking about an equal sacrifice, wherein eveiybody will carry his or her fair share of the burden, as follows:
YOU will, one way or another, pay more money to the government.
THE GOVERNMENT will spend it on critical programs su<*h a? the Space Toilet.
A nui..ber of taxpaying readers who sent me art’des about the Space Toilet, which goes inside tile space shuttle. Tne toilet was originally estimated to cost $2.9 million, but what with one thing and another — you know how it is with plumbing projects — it wounc) up costing $23.4 million. God alone knows what it
will cost the taxpayers when, inevitably, we have to send a Space Plumber up there to fix it (“OK, that’s gonna be $3.4 million an hour, plus $12.1 million every time Vinny here goes back down for coffee.”)
Of course it is not the business of us taxpayers to question such expenditures. We’re too stupid to understand our own tax forms, let alone decide on the need for a high-tech orbiting commode, likewise we are in no position to wonder about the following news stovy from the Charlottesville (Va) Daily Progress, which was sent in by several taxpayers, and which I am not making up:
“University of Virginia medical researchers have embarked on a four-year constipation investigation employing video games to help children better control their bowels. With a $1.2 million grant from the National Insti-tutee of Health, researchers will try to teach children how to ease the passage of bowel ■ movements and determine how success affects family and school life."
The story states that, in this study, chil- .. dren will learn how to control their bowels by operating “a video game controlled with the aid of electrodes attached to the child’s..." OK, never mind where the electrodes are attached. Suffice it to say that you’d have to pay me at ' LEAST $1.2 million to attach them.
The point is that the government needs your money for many vital activities, and you need <. to just forget about Tax Relief, and 3tart thinking in terms of Sacrifice. Remember: If your government can buy electrodes for researchers at the University of Virginia, it can also buy them for the IRS.
Dave Barry is a syndicated columnist for -Tribune Media Services.
North Korea poses increased nuclear threat
By Jack Andor son rod Mtehasl Blnstsln
WASHINGTON—The most serious threat ti .nuclear non-proliferation is not Iraq’s Saddam Hussein or Iran’s Hashemi Rafsanjani, whose nuclear programs in the Middle East are well publicized. It’s Kim Chong ll, son of North Korean leader Kim II Sung, and he’s well on his way to reaching his goal of building a nuclear weapon.
When we first wrote about Kim Chong ll last March, speculation centered around when he would finally take over his father’s title as “supreme commander” of North Korea. The 80-year-old Kim ll Sung is reportedly gravely ill, and his 50-year-old son has been running the day-to-day operations of government for at least the past year. As the commander in chief of the armed forces, Kim Chong II, who North Koreans are taught to refer to as the “Dear Leader,” is also reportedly leading his country's quasi for a nuclear bomb.
The news about Kim Chong ll is all bad. While his father has ruled North Korea with an iron fist for more than 40 years, the son has lived a life of isolation and ignorance. He has never met a foreign diplomat, and has never granted an interview to a journalist The only known trips he has made out of North Korea were two brief visits to China.
North Korea’s nuclear ambitions have Western intelligence analysts gravely concerned. With only one superpower left after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Na I issue confronting the national security establishment is proliferation. On this issue, no country has a worse track record than North Korea.
“North Korea appears to ba a highly unstable government, highly repressive, and it’s run by someone whose sanity is seriously in doubt with a propensity to use weapons for destructive purposes," says Brad Roberts, a research fallow with the Canter for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think
From interviews with several national security analysts, North Korea emerges as perhaps the worst international pariah on proliferation matters. The problem is not that North Korea is going to develop a nuclear weapon and attack the United States, it’s that North Korea is willing to sell its military hardware to just about anyone. This total lack of standards puts North Korea in a class by itself among the world’s outlaw regimes. Some of their best customers are countries like Syria and Iran, which have histories of state-sponsored terrorism.
James Woolsey, who was recently confirmed as CIA director, echoed these same sentiments during his confirmation hearings before the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee.
“North Korea is probably our most grave current concern,” Woolsey said, adding that they might already have all the necessary components for a nuclear bomb.
Further complicating the issue is North Korea’s persistent refusal to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to inspect the facilities where intelligence agencies suspect nuclear arms are being built. Though North Korea has signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, nobody knows for sure if North Korea is telling the truth about its nuclear program. Some sources expect the IAEA to take up the matter with the United Nations Security Council in the near Alture. If North Korea continues to refuse international
demands, it could escalate to the point of an embargo, one source predicts.
The prospect for increased international intervention in North Korea’s weapons devel-
rassment over Iraq. Before Iraq invaded Kuwait, the IAEA estimated Iraq had one nuclear facility and was at least five years away from developing a bomb. When inspectors took a closer look after the Gulf War, they found Iraq had at least five installations working to develop nuclear weapons and was only about one year away.
Lately, North Korea has been pulling out all the stops. Last December, Russian special forces stormed a North Korea-bound jet as it was about to leave Moscow and apprehended 36 senior weapons scientists. The scientists were allegedly being offered between $1,500 and $3,000 per month—a fortune by Russian standards—to lend their expertise to North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. Though the Russian government has promised to keep close tabs on its nuclear researchers, many of whom have experienced a drastic drop in living standards since the collapse of the Soviet Union, it remains a mqjor western worry that some of these highly trained minds will sell their talents to the highest bidder.
Experts add that the problem with a nuclear-armed North Korea is twofold. First, there is the danger of proliferation of these weapons among terrorists, which could then possibly be smuggled into the United States. The second in that if North Korea develops nuclear capability, it could sat off a chain reaction that would spread to South Korea, and perhaps eventually Japan. A nuclear-armed East Asia is something no western intelligence analyst wants to see.
Jack Anderson and Michael Einstein are syndicated columnists for the United Feature Syndicate. Inc.