New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 20, 1996, New Braunfels, Texas
I Herald-Zeitung □ Wednesday, March 20, 1996
To talk with Managing jitor Doug Loveday )out the Opinion age, call 625-9144, cf. 21
Z e i t ti n gOpinion
“Books may be burned and cities sacked, but truth, like the yearning for freedom, lives in the hearts of humble men and
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, U.S. president, 1938
Americans reject high taxes
Watch the media
Time after time, the media has failed to cover campaigns adequately
In 1960 John F. Kennedy asserted there was a "missile gap" between the United States and Soviet Union , to the Soviet advantage. It was not true, but that was never reported by the media, and the claim helped get Kennedy elected.
In 1964 Lyndon Johnson campaigned as the peace candidate in Vietnam. He was secretly planning an escalation of the war. Again, the press failed to report it.
In 1972 Richard Nixon permitted his national security advisor, Henry Kissinger to announce that "peace is at hand" in Vietnam, after negotiations had broken off. The press did not do its job again.
In 1980 Ronald Reagan promised to cut income taxes, increase defense spending and balance the federal budget, all at the same time. It sounded impossible, and it was, but the press never explained that simple fact, which was obvious to economists.
In 1988 George Bush managed to make convicted murderer Willie Horton a household name in an effort to depict Michael Dukakis as soft on crime. It was a phony issue. The law that allowed Horton to go free was actually passed by Dukakis' Republican predecessor and had already been repealed by Dukakis when the infamous "Willie Horton" TV ads were aired. But the press did not expose this sham issue.
In 1992 Bill Clinton made the economy the centerpiece of his drive, blaming Bush for its poor performance. But Clinton never produced a detailed economic plan of his own, a point almost totally overlooked by the press.
This time around, argues James McCartney, a Georgetown University professor and Washington journalist, the press should do three things to make sure it does not get hoodwinked again.
One: Candidates must be given the air time on television to present their views in depth. And it is not enough to just let them talk. They must be subjected to intense questioning before a national audience by seasoned, informed reporters.
Two: The press must do a far better job in examining the character of candidates. The major failures of the last 36 years involved Lyndon Johnson in 1964 and Richard Nixon in 1968 and 1972. Evidence of their character weaknesses was abundant, but unreported.
Three: The press must pay far more attention to the public record of candidates. McCartney argues that "all this temporizing, the compromising. All these traits were obvious in Arkansas when (Bill Clinton) was governor ... Instead of lifting the sheets to look for a Gennifer Flowers, the press should have been examining his record."
If the nation's media learn their lessons from past failures in covering campaigns, the 1996 campaign could be different, and voters could make their choices based on solid information, instead of misinformation spread by campaign "spin doctors."
(Today's editorial was written by Herald Zeduag Cdy Editor Roger Croteau, who borrowed liberally from the article ''Hoodwinked" by James McCartney in the March 1996 issue of American Journalism Review.)
Editor and Publisher...........................................................David Sullens
General Manager/Advertising Director..................... Cheryl Duvall
Managing Editor...........................................................Doug Loveday
Retail Advertising Drector..............................................Jack Osteen
Accounting Manager.............................................. Mary Lee Hall
Circulation Director...................................................Carol Ann Avery
Pressroom Foreman...................................................Billy Parnell
City Editor.....................................................................Roger Croteau
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If there’s one thing that all Americans understand, it’s taxes. From the patriots who rebelled against King George’s Stamp Act to today’s families and small businesses fed up with the high taxes from Washington, Americans have understood • that high taxes threaten free-tj dom, destroy prosperity, and deny opportunity. TTiat’s why a recent poll commissioned by “Readers Digest” about taxes should come as no surprise. Americans are ready for another tea party.
A record 68 percent of Americans believe that their taxes are “too high.” They understand that big government takes more from families than ever before, and that Americans must work longer and harder to pay Uncle Sam. Americans will not be duped by rhetoric about the “end of the era of big government” from liberals trying to hide the largest
tax increase in history in 1993.1 reject their philosophy, which I call taxism — a belief that higher taxes are the answer to all questions.
The “Digest” found that Americans across the board — from every education level, income, political affiliation and religion — believe that the maximum taxes that anyone should pay — regardless of income — is 25 percent of earnings. That includes all local, state and federal taxes. C. Everett Ladd, the researcher who conducted the poll, told the “Digest,” “America is probably the only country in the world where there are no significant differences by party or class in the ‘ideal’ fair tax.” This broad consensus should cut through the class warfare smoke screen many big-govemment liberals use to pit taxpayer against taxpayer, and permit government to pick more pockets.
Ladd also said that it’s clear people have thought about this issue and their responses indicate an opinion that is rock solid and national. “This consensus is the single most extraordinary finding in the history of domestic-policy polling in the United States,” Ladd
Many “taxists” seem completely mystified by Americans’ views on taxes. The same folks who passed the largest tax increase in history often cite European nations with far higher tax rates to argue that our taxes are too low! ‘Taxism” runs contrary to the “change” the American people have demanded in recent elections. It also ignores who Americans rebelled against and why.
As he watched the election returns on 1994, ABC News anchorman Peter Jennings explained the results by saying that the American people were throwing a “temper tantrum.” ‘Taxists,” whether in the media or in government, fail to understand the message that Americans have been sending consistently to government for more than two centuries: Don’t Tread on Me — and lay off my wallet.
(Republican Congressman Lamar Smith represents the 21st District in Texas.)
U.S. cocaine use stabilizing, but heroin is cheap, plentiful
WASHINGTON (AP) — Use of powdered and crack cocaine appears to be stabilizing in this country, but more young people are turning to heroin as a strain pure enough to inhale is becoming readily available, a White House study suggests.
Barry R. McCaffrey, the Clinton .administration’s new director of drug control policy, said Friday the number of cocaine users appears to have dropped by about 30 percent over the past three years although the amount used in this country remains near 300 tons a year.
“The message is getting through that this is a threat to your life,” the retired Army general told his first news conference since being sworn in last week.
“I think there’s room for optimism,” McCaffrey said, citing some recent favorable trends and significant longterm developments since the 1970s.
Releasing a quarterly study of U.S. drug use, McCaffrey said overall drug abuse remains too high and is damaging the quality of American life.
The quarterly “pulse check’’ study, based on interviews with drug researchers, law officers and drug
Today in history
treatment workers, said, “The use of both (powdered) cocaine and crack has stabilized in most areas.” But it added that in some areas of the West, cocaine users are switching to methamphetamines.
With most methamphetamine being smuggled in by Mexican drug gangs, administration officials said Friday that the Defense Department is negotiating with Mexico on details of a plan to train Mexican soldiers for antidrug missions.
And the White House announced it is setting up a high-level group to plan “coordinated and urgent” action with Mexico against drug traffickers. The U.S. group, headed by McCaffrey, will travel to Mexico City on March 26 for a two-day meeting.
Ll. Col. Ame Owens, a Pentagon spokesman, confirmed a Mexican newspaper report that discussions on anti drug cooperation are under way. Owens said details of how the U.S. and Mexican armies would work together are yet to be worked out.
But another defense official, speak
ing on condition of anonymity, said the Pentagon wants to train a few hundred Mexican soldiers in the United States.
At his news conference, McCaffrey cited some bad news on drug use.
“We’re finding that heroin is coming back,” he said. “Part of it is because the purity and availability of heroin have increased.” The number of heroin users is not yet alarming, he added, but the availability of the drug is.
The emergence of highly pure heroin that can be inhaled instead of injected has boosted the drug’s popularity among the young, the survey found. While most heroin users are over age 30, the study said more than two-thirds of the areas checked reported a rise in younger users “because the ability to inhale the drug has made it more attractive and its use more acceptable than in the past, when injection was the only route of administration.”
The survey also found that marijuana use “remains prevalent” and the supply plentiful.
From a long-term perspective.
McCaffrey found some encouraging trends.
Ninety million Americans tried drugs in the 1970s, but the “overwhelming majority stopped on their own because they found them dangerous.”
“We’ve gone, since 1979, from 22 million regular drug users to around 12 million. We’ve dropped cocaine use enormously in that period. We have largely stopped glamorizing alcohol abuse, drunk driving and drug abuse in our society,” McCaffrey said.
On the other hand, he said, “The problem is we still have 3 million or more chronic addicts, and they are threatening the quality of life in a large part of America. They are causing enormous amounts of crime. They are using more drugs than ever — over 300 tons a year of cocaine in this country.”
McCaffrey added that "we’ve got a drug problem among young people at increasingly younger ages. Down through fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders, we see a slippage in their understanding of the threat that drugs pose.”
By The Associated Press
Today is Wednesday, March 20, the 80th day of 1996. There are 286 days left in the year. Spring arrives at 3:03 a.m. EST.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On March 20,18%, U.S. Marines landed in Nicaragua to protect U.S. citizens in the wake of a revolution.
On this date:
In 1413, England’s King Henry IV died; he was succeeded by Henry V.
In 1727, physicist, mathematician and astronomer Sir Isaac Newton died in London.
In 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte entered Paris, beginning his "Hundred Days” rule.
bi 1816, the U.S. Supreme Court, in its Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee ruling,
affirmed its right to review state court decisions.
In 1828, Norwegian poet-dramatist Henrik Ibsen was bom.
In 1833, the United States and Siam (now Thailand) concluded a commercial treaty in Bangkok.
In 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s influential novel about slavery, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” was first published.
In 1956, union workers ended a 156-day strike at Westinghouse Electric Corp.
In 1969, John Lennon married Yoko Ono in Gibraltar.
In 1976, newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst was convicted of armed robbery for her part in a San Francisco bank holdup.
In 1981, former girls’ school headmistress Jean Harris was sentenced in White Plains, N.Y., to 15 years to life in prison for slaying “Scarsdale Diet”
author Dr. Herman Tamower. (Harris ended up serving almost 12 years.)
Ten years ago: The U.S. House of Representatives narrowly defeated President Reagan’s plan to send SKX) million in aid to the Nicaraguan Contras. Jacques Chirac became premier of France. The New York City Council approved a gay rights bill.
Five years ago: A U.S. jet fighter shot down an Iraqi warplane in the first air attack since the Gulf War cease-fire. April Glaspie, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Saddam Hussein had lied to her by denying he would invade Kuwait.
One year ago: In Tokyo, 12 people were killed, more than 5,500 others sickened when packages containing
the poisonous gas sarin leaked on five separate subway trains. Commentator Pat Buchanan formally launched his presidential campaign in New Hampshire.
Today’s Birthdays: Producer-direc-tor-comedian Carl Reiner is 74. Actor Jack Kruschen is 74. Former Nixon White House aide John Elirlichman is 71. Children’s TV host Fred Rogers is 68. Actor Hal Linden is 65. Singer Jerry Reed is 59. The former prime minister of Canada, Brian Mulroney is 57. Hockey Hall-of-Famer Bobby Orr is 48. Actor William Hurt is 46. Movie director Spike Lee is 39. Actress Holly Hunter is 38.
Thought for Today: “In the republic of mediocrity, genius is dangerous.” — Robert G. Ingersoll, American lawyer and politician (1833-1899).