Speak Out 1/28/03

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

NO ONE wants to pay taxes. It's our hard-earned money, and we deserve all of it. Or do we? As much as I need the money dished out to taxes, I hate to think about what the world would be like without taxes. Crime rates would increase dramatically, road repairs and the recreational facilities we enjoy using would not exist as we know them and social services and mental-health services would not be available. Yes, there are many people who take advantage of the welfare system and other government-funded services, but there are more people in need than there are taking advantage. There just aren't enough jobs available for everyone to work. Taxes are a necessary evil used to protect this great land.

They were good kids

TO THE person who asked if all young people were senseless, I have an answer: No. Most of us have sense and use it. I am a 17-year-old. I was not at the bonfire party. I know many people who were. Many are good kids who work and go to school. They were just trying to have fun. Yes, someone was stupid, and that resulted in several people being injured. Are we all like that? No. Most of the kids at the party had no clue it was going to happen.

Dog chooses fresh air

THIS IS a rebuttal to the person who commented about dogs riding in the back of pickups. My yellow lab prefers to ride in the back of my truck. Given a choice, he always chooses the bed of the truck so he can put his snout in the wind.

Hours, not students

EACH UNIVERSITY course has a number of credit hours assigned to it. The credit hours have a dollar value. Let's say there are 8,301 students enrolled. Each student takes one credit hour, and each credit hour cost $100. This will equal $830,100. If 5,000 students are enrolled and take 10 credit hours, the university will receive $5 million. This means it is important to have a greater number of credit hours at the university, not student enrollment.

Not relevant

THE ANONYMOUS guest column on taxes was interesting but only in a philosophical sense. In the real world, it's not theoretical economic models that matter but the political economy. Thus, the column was irrelevant to our concerns or the tough political decisions about the economy that have to be made.

Rein in spending

THE QUESTION is not whether President Bush's tax-cut proposal is fair. It's whether it's a good idea at all. If Bush's so-called stimulus package is enacted and government spending is not reined in, the United States will suffer stagflation so severe it would make Japan's economic collapse seem like a boom.

Allow for recovery

SOME PEOPLE have been wondering why there have been so many children sick and absent from school. Parents have been keeping children home until they seem to be feeling better. They send them to school the next day. This is perfect breeding ground for what is left of the virus. This just opens the child up for a few more days sick. Parents trying to avoid one more day of missed school make the child miss two or more.


TALK ABOUT a waste of taxpayer money. The city gives money to the downtown Old Town Cape project so it can help with developing downtown with restaurants and stores. Then the city sends the police to patrol downtown looking for drunken drivers. Anyone thinking about going to a downtown restaurant and having a meal and maybe a couple of glasses of wine or a couple of beers is scared away by the constant merry-go-round of police.

Military limits

WHY IS it that the people who complained about President Clinton's supposed overuse of military solutions and attempts to turn the United States into the world's police are the same people who are cheerleading the Bush doctrine that apparently wants us to send the military anywhere we even think a country might disagree with the expansion of our interests? Seems to me that the Bush administration is out-Clintoning Clinton when it comes to stretching our military to the limits.

Peace and patriotism

PEACE IS patriotic. Just because someone doesn't agree with a war doesn't make him a traitor. We should never enjoy killing others.

Sending a message

DEMOCRACY INCLUDES voting for our government officials and speaking our voice. The government has not asked the people of America if we want to go to war with Iraq. The thousands who gathered in Washington, D.C., and around the United States let the government know there is a growing population that does not want Bush's war.

Walk the walk

IF YOU'RE going to talk the talk, then you should walk the walk. Many Southeast Missourian editorials and reprinted pieces advocate a military solution to the problems with Iraq. Yet the Southeast Missourian argues against reinstatement of the draft for very dubious reasons. Far too many who favor a military response against Iraq want the fighting to be done by anyone other than their children.

No political agenda

JON RUST'S column about Martin Luther King Jr. was among the most eloquent to appear in print, in part because he didn't attempt to hijack King's legacy for any particular political agenda.

Feeling the cuts

IF GOV. Bob Holden is going to cut the budget and not spend as much on educational programs, then the educators better think long and hard before they start asking for money from us. We are not money trees. We are all feeling the cuts. It is about time that school administrators feel the same cuts as well.

Implied approval?

AFTER SEEING news coverage about discounted medicine through a Canadian Internet company, I visited its Web site. Much to my surprise, directly under the mission statement was a picture of the company president along with President Bush and the first lady. Is this an implied approval from our White House that it's OK to go to another country to get discounted prescriptions? Companies should not be allowed to use such pictures to advertise without written permission.

Secondhand smoke

IN RESPONSE to the person who found it ironic that people who complain about tobacco smoke but have no problem polluting the air with smoke from a fireplace: There's a big difference between having a smoker two feet from you in a restaurant and having a chimney send smoke up 30 feet above your head. An estimated 5,000 people die each year from secondhand smoke. How many people have died from secondhand fireplace smoke?

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