New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 19, 1996, New Braunfels, Texas
\ □ Herald-Zeitung □ Tuesday, March 19, 1996
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“The role of the pn vs in developing countries is also to i > ' ide hope. By excessive criticisi might be self-defeatii.,.”
— Aristides Katoppo Indonesian editor, 1994
EDITORIALJust blowing smoke
Affidavits may prove tobacco industry executives lied during recent testimony
The tobacco industry has a lot of explaining to do.
Recent information obtained through the affidavits of former tobacco industry employees contradict tobacco executives’ testimony before Congress that nicotine levels in cigarettes have not been manipulated.
The affidavits, by former cigarette plant managers and research scientists, has led to a Justice Department perjury investigation.
We think the investigation will reveal much more than perjurious testimony.
According to the affidavits of two scientists, tobacco giant Philip Morris developed and utilized an “olfactometer,” a machine designed to give smokers exact amounts of nicotine and other chemicals, according to an AP story.
The machine was part of &n elaborate study that used a computer and a neurologist’s input to record just how nicotine interacted with the brain.
The obvious uses of the machine include the ability to design the perfect cigarette — the cigarette that best affects and addicts the smoker.
In light of this information, is it any wonder tobacco industry executives kept quiet about this practice during recent Congressional hearings?
But according to longtime industry critic Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), lawmakers had been “silenced because of payoffs from the tobacco industry,” the AP story said.
Waxman then rightly stated that a Justice Department investigation would be the best way to clear the smoke (ouch!) that has shrouded the tobacco executives’ testimony.
Many w ill argue that adults should be able to make decisions about how they will live their lives. If they choose to smoke, that is their nght, and no investigation into tobacco industry practices will change their minds.
But recent information obtained from tonner industry employees has finally stripped away any. mask of legitimacy the tobacco interests have tried to maintain.
According to these former scientists and a plant manager, they’ve researched ways to better addict smokers to their products.
They haven’t just been providing a tobacco product for consumption — they’ve been ensuring that smokers will be physically dependent on their unhealthy products, regardless of the consequences.
If these affidavits prove correct, and tobacco industry executives have been lying about their products, they should be held accountable for their actions and the poor health of millions of American smokers.
(Today’s editorial was written by Managing Editor Dong Loveday.)
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Pos imastoc Send address changes to the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, P.O. Drawer 3U328, New Braunfels, Tx. 78131-1328.Some gov’t programs DO work
I was talking politics with a co-worker today, when she mentioned that she doesn’t like Democrats because “they’re always looking for a quick fix.”
I thought about that — tax and spend liberals throwing money at problems — we’ve all heard that one. Heard it so often, in fact, that a lot of people accept it as fact.
But then I started thinking about the respective parties and which one really looks for quick fixes and which one tries to address deeper social issues in a meaningful way.
First, the Reagan years. Ronald Reagan, the standard-bearer of the Republican party, if the GOP is the long-term thinking party, then Ronald Reagan was the president who looked to future generations. And in fact, we all owe a debt to Ronald Reagan that we can never fully repay.
When he took office, the federal deficit was $73 billion. By 1986 the country was running a $221 billion annual deficit. But Reagan tried to cut spending, and the Democratic Congress wouldn’t let him, right? Not quite. In fact, Congress passed budgets with less spending than Reagan requested, $16 billion less, and Congress passed budgets with smaller deficits than the budgets Reagan sent to Congress six of his eight years.
I guess spending $200 billion a year more than you have is not considered a “quick fix” in Republican circles. But I’ll tell you what, let me spend $200 billion a year more than I make, and I can fix a few things real fast and maybe event get started on a $50 billion space-based missile defense system.
Then came George Bush, who sDent $290 billion a year more than the federal government made by his fourth year in office.
Now, Bill Clinton in the first two years of his term, working with a Democratic Congress, cut the deficit to $200 billion. I guess that’s what my coworker meant by Democrats always looking for a
quick fix. Cutting $90 billion from the federal deficit in two years, now that’s a quick fix.
But maybe she was talking about our children. After all, everyone says the children are our future. So maybe she wasn’t talking about the staggering debt we’re leaving to future generations. Maybe she meant the Democrats are always seeking a quick fix by doing things that will make our tax burden a little easier to bear now but will hurt our children, who, of course, are our future.
And she’s correct there. During the last Congress the Democrats pushed draconian cuts in a myriad of programs that are investments in our children: Funds for education, school lunches, Aid For Families with Dependent Children, Head Start, Ameri-corps, student loans, job training...
Oh wait, it’s the Republicans who pushed those cuts, not the Democrats.
Well, maybe she was talking about the environment. After all, we’ve just got one environment and when it’s mined, we’re history. So a party that shuns the quick fix and looks at the long term would have a commitment to the environment. After all, making business a little more profitable for corporations now by killing environmental regulations may help the economy in the short term (and keep big campaign contributions rolling in to GOPAC), but it will cost future generations billions of dollars to clean up the mess. Talk about short-term thinking.
But if she was talking about the environment, then I guess she hadn’t heard about GOP efforts to copple the Environmental Protection Agency by slashing its funding by a third and prohibiting it from enforcing many environmental laws. Or the fact that the Repub
licans invited lobbyists from major polluters to rewrite the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act. Then gave those same lobbyists office space just off the House floor, where they whipped out answers to Democratic criticisms of their bills, and handed them to Republican congressmen to read verbatim. So we not only had lobbyists for polluters writing the bills, they were debating them as well. Maybe we could help balance the budget by eliminating the position of congressman and just let the lobbyists cast the votes too.
And I guess she hadn’t heard about GOP efforts to gut the Endangered Species Act. Or a GOP law that would make it illegal to pass a new environmental regulation without doing a cost-benefit analysis and finding that it is the cheapest way to solve the problem. So even if the study found the regulation would weak well and save lives, it would be killed if it couldn’t be confirmed that it was the “cheapest” way to accomplish the goal. (They defeated an amendment that would put the value of a human life at $7.5 million for the purposes of cost-benefit analysis.)
Sometimes it’s true that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Some federal programs DO work. Things like Head Start and environmental protection may be expensive, but they are certainly not “quick fixes.” They are investments that future generations will thank us for because they will make America stronger, healthier and more prepared to compete globally. It would be a quick fix to stop investing in areas like education and the environment in order to give some rich campaign contributors a big tax cut.
I’ll have to get back to my co-worker and find out exactly what she meant about the Democrats “always looking for a quick fix.”
(Send hate mail to That Damn Liberal, 707 Landa St. New Braunfels, TX 78130.)
(Roger Croteau is the city editor of the Herald-Zeitung. )
v(P°* • * '
1997 budget to stir up election-year debate
By MARTIN CRUTSINGER Republicans repeatedly have rejected Clinton’i
AP Economics Writer spending proposal for not going far enough to trin
wi a cuimc/ah, t l , i the fiscal year that begins Oct. I, a 4 percent increase expensive government benefit programs such a
By MARTIN CRUTSINGER
AP Economics Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — After a year of hostile and futile debate with the Republican Congress over how the government should spend its money, President Clinton is trying again, sending lawmakers a $1.64 trillion election-year budget that is sure lo touch off the same arguments.*
Clinton’s budget for fiscal 1997 would offer Americans a modest package of tax relief for families with young children and education expenses while constraining the growth in government programs enough to product a balanced budget by the year 2002.
The president proposed spending $ 1.64 trillion in
Today In History
By The Associated Press
Today is Tuesday, March 19, the 79th day of 1996. There are 287 days left in the year. This is the date the swallows traditionally return to the San Juan Capistrano Mission in California.
Today’s Highlight in History:
In 1920, the U.S. Senate rejected for the second time the Treaty of Versailles by a vote of 49 in favor, 35 against, falling short of the two-thirds majority needed for approval.
On this date:
In 1687, French explorer Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle — the first European to navigate the length of the Mississippi River — was murdered by mutineers in present-day Texas.
In 1859, tile opera “Faust” by Charles Gounod premiered in Pans.
die fiscal year that begins Oct. I, a 4 percent increase from the estimated $1.57 trillion the government will spend this year, according to budget documents obtained by The Associated Press.
The 2,000-page budget was scheduled to be formally transmitted to Congress today. It provided specific details on how the president would allocate government resources, fleshing out a 20-page outline that Clinton submitted on Feb. 5.
Thai outline and today’s detailed budget submission were both based on the last offer Clinton made to Republicans in January before marathon White House negotiations over a balanced budget broke down.
In 1917, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the eight-hour workday for railroads.
In 1918, Congress approved daylight-saving time.
In 1931, Nevada legalized gambling.
In 1945, about 800 people were killed as kamikaze planes attacked the U.S. earner Franklin off Japan; the ship, however, was saved.
In 1945, Adolf Hitler issued his so-called Nero Decree, ordenng the destruction of German facilities that could fall into Allied hands.
In 1976, Buckingham Palace announced the separation of Pnncess Margaret and her husband, the Earl of Snowdon, after 16 years of mamage.
In 1979, the U.S. House of Representatives began televising its day-to-day business.
In 1985, in a legislative victory for President Reagan, the Senate voted, 55-45, to authonze production of the MX missile.
In 1987, televangelist Jim Bakker resigned as chairman of his PTL ministry organization amid a sex
Republicans repeatedly have rejected Clinton’s spending proposal for not going far enough to trim expensive government benefit programs such as Medicare and providing too little in tax relief. Their own budget proposal, which Clinton vetoed, would have provided twice as much in tax breaks.
Clinton’s budget offers $100 billion in tax relief over seven years, which, when fully phased in, would provide a $500 tax credit for each child younger than 13, allow a deduction of up to $10,000 per family in college expenses and expand the use of Individual Retirement Accounts.
' To partially offset the tax relief, the president proposed $59 billion in loophole closings on corporations.
and money scandal involving Jessica Hahn, a former church secretary.
Ten years ago: Adlai E. Stevenson, winner of the Democratic nomination for governor in the Illinois primary, dissociated himself from the nominees for lieutenant governor and secretary of state, both of whom were followers of political extremist Lyndon Larouche. (Stevenson ended up running as an independent, losing to the incumbent, Gov. James R. Thompson.)
Five years ago: The Labor Department reported that consumer prices, benefiting from a big monthly decline in gasoline prices, had edged upward only two-tenths of a percentage point the previous month.
One year ago: Palestinian gunmen opened fire on a bus carrying Jewish settlers, killing two people. After a 21 -month hiatus, Michael Jordan returned to professional basketball with his former team, the Chicago Bulls.