Letter to the Editor

Looking for good solution to fall from the sky

Sunday, June 8, 2003

To the editor:

Ancient Greek drama featured a convention called deus ex machina, which means "god from a machine." At the conclusion of particularly complicated plots, a god character would be lowered with a pulley to solve all unresolved problems. Everybody went home happy.

Similarly, Republicans in the Missouri Legislature seem to be touting such an occurrence: an infusion of nearly $400 million in federal funding. Simply plug in some of these dollars, and they have graciously restored education funding to 2001 levels. According to state Sen. Peter Kinder, this might result in the loss of only about 800 teaching jobs. Combine this with the proposed 538 jobs cut from state social services and other agencies, and that only puts about 1,300 Missourians out of work.

Thank goodness none of those corporate tax loopholes will be closed. Let's keep those so that the rich can sail their tax-deductible yachts right through them. Republicans remind us that if we close those, Missourians might lose their jobs.

The political endgame reached by partisan bickering is maddening. Is raising taxes the answer? No. Is ridiculously slashing the budget and destroying vital services the answer? No. What is the answer? I'll keep looking for that god to drop in and send us home happy.