Cato Policy Report, May/June 1999
Vol. 21, No. 3
A collection of newspaper clips that speak for themselves
If only we could trust you
“We could give it all back to you and hope you spend it right,” [President] Clinton said of the budget surplus.
—Washington Post, Jan. 21, 1999
The number of Cubans and Haitians caught after landing on Florida beaches has risen dramatically over the past four months. . . .
“No one is leaving because they are oppressed people. They are leaving because of the economic opportunities in the United States,” said [Michael] Nicley [deputy chief of the U.S. Border Patrol].
—Washington Post, Feb. 10, 1999
At least contract rights are respected somewhere
Cuba made good early today on its threat to suspend most telephone links with the United States in retaliation for the withholding by five American telecom-munications firms of $19 million in payments owed to the state-controlled phone company [in Havana]. . . .
Today’s edition of Granma, the official newspaper of Cuba’s Communist Party, justified the disruption of service by saying that the American phone companies had brazenly violated an agreement with their Cuban counterparts.
—Washington Post, Feb. 26, 1999
Economic growth defined
For rural Pulaski County [Virginia], it was like a dream come true: Volvo . . . decided last year to expand its truckmak- ing plant here. . . .
But the owners of other businesses worry that the Volvo expansion could hurt them by luring away their best workers. .
“I’m sure they’ll take people from us,” said David B. Spangler, president and chief executive of Jefferson Mills, a textile plant that employs 320 people in the town of Pulaski. “They already have, and they’ll take my younger and better people. Any-body they take will start earning twice as much as we pay after we’ve trained them.”
—New York Times, Mar. 13, 1999
Or maybe they have no choice
Lorna Waugh, president of the Community School District 29 parents council, representing southeast Queens, said there was a wide range of opinion about vouchers. . . .
Ms. Waugh said she was not sure whether there was a consensus, pro or con, about vouchers but noted that many people had already made the decision about public versus private.
“We have 25,000 children [in the public schools], and there is no mass exodus,” she said. “I would assume they are satisfied, don’t know better or don’t care.”
—New York Times, Mar. 13, 1999
And it’s not like you could expect us to do anything about them locally
“Was [impeachment] really worth the time and effort, for something clearly partisan, for something that clearly did not have the public’s support? Why was it done?
“Meanwhile, our schools, our neighborhoods, all the other issues were just put on hold for a year. It leaves you angry.”
—Marc Morial, Mayor of New Orleans, in the New York Times, Feb. 14, 1999
Another such deal and we’ll all be working two jobs
Rep. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio), a staunch opponent of trade liberalization, jumped on the trade-deficit issue. “We must not allow China’s membership in the World Trade Organization,” he said. “These sweetheart trade deals will only further swell the trade deficit and eliminate more American jobs.”
The U.S. employment rate, at 4.4%, is still hovering around 28-year lows.
—Wall Street Journal, Mar. 19, 1999
But as long as we don’t have term limits . . .
“Like most new members I plan to rent for a while,” said [Rep. John] Larson. . . . “But if your seat in Congress is relatively safe, it may make sense to buy a place [in Washington].”
—Washington Post, Jan. 9, 1999
Get those people back on welfare
The nation’s food stamp rolls have dropped by one-third in four years, leading to a growing concern that the decline is caused partly by needy people’s hesitance to apply for benefits.
Federal officials had been particularly concerned with the situation in New York, where newly revamped welfare offices, now called job centers, were delaying food stamp applications and often directing applicants to private food pantries instead.
—New York Times, Feb. 25, 1999
This article originally appeared in the May/June 1999 edition of Cato Policy Report.