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u-mt CAROLINA TIMES
SAT.. MARCH 6. 1982
AFRAID TO MLK IN DUCK NEIGHBORHOODS?
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TO DO IT BECAUSE
OUR OLD PEOPLE
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Whose Welfare is at Stake
States Involved in Scam
By Charles E. Belle
' What's all this about record deficit
spending plans amidst high interest rates
,' whilst welfare is to be shifted to the starv
ing states. Considering that the Com
mander in Chief of the U.S. military is
making, like a cavalry captain charging
straight ahead, just who is the White
House helping to get out of fiscal trouble.
The states have no money. Twenty-nine .
states and District of Columbia had to
raise taxes last year. ;
The number of . unemployed workers
; receiving an unemployment check is cur
; rently around 16.9 million. Unemploy-
mcnt benefits average only $100 a week
; nationally. Not enough for rent and car
; payments for people once employed hence
'bogged down with grocery and sundry
.bills. '. '
I Big bucks are going into the military
i budget, even at the expense of economic
(growth for the country. Conservative
estimates of the fiscal 1983 and beyond
Reagan military mind-budgets demand
$100 billion in deficit financing each year.
This amount of money will be borrwoed
from investors who might otherwise loan
these funds for job producing business
developments. Instead, the U.S. Treasury
under the Reagan Administration shall ;
take , -these funds and move to bloat
America's military arsenal. . .
The Pentagon and President believe in
the record $216 billion defense fiscal
budget which' by the way wrangles $30
million to build unchemical devices. Ac
tually about $123 million is being spent in
cluding the maintenance of the pre-1969
weapons stockpile and the $30 million to
acquire new weapons. In this fiscal year
ending September 30, 1982, President
Reagan's present budget includes $532
million for chemical warfare.
' Well, where were we, oh yes, welfare.
When the military part of the budget is up
18 per cent over last year and your Presi-1
Ami i rnnsiderine cuttine back On snen- '
ding, it is a sure shot that welfare needs a ;
Hncer Ironic As in whose? Welfare is;
deemed delivering needed services to the
; needy. Nowhere or way do weapons
manufacturers make the list. Lest you
consider profits a part of a welfare pro
gram. President Reagan has quickly plac-.
ed the $700 billion budget of the $3.
trillion Gross National Product (GNP) in i
the position to push profits for military ,
arms manufacturers in front of general
services to the people by the government.
The intended Republican results of a
Reagan budget was to be a smaller federal
government with a much reduced role in
domestic policy. Instead," it is merely a
shift from needed government services
oriented budget to a big military build up
budget. Or whose welfare is imnyway?
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The New Federalism and Black America
Is Forerunner of Progress
: While we support the constitutionally protected right to protest
for redress of wrongs, we also believe that protesters must offer
solutions as well as reveal problems.
The recent student boycott at NCCU is a good case in point.
Student Government Association president, Curtis Massey,
was quoted in these pages last week saying that his goal is to have
Central's administration, faculty and students understaand that
"... .we need each other".
In no area is that more true than in the case of money. Mr.
Massey says the university should give students who are delin
quent in paying their college bills a "second warning" before for
cing them to pay by not allowing them to take final exams.
But we believe that Mr. Massey and other student leaders can
better serve the university and their constituents by developing a
project ;io ,'encourage students to pay their bills promptly,
vlteci on me university, im ucyuuu mc vaiuc wi mvu wmnwu
Let us explain. -.
University;chancellor, Dr. Albert Whiting, told The Carolina
Times last week that students provide about 1 1 or 12 per cent of
the school's $31 million annual operating budget. About 45 per
cent of that budget comes from the state. But the state has a hard
and fast rule that it will only give NCCU the entire state alloca
tion if the university has collected all the money students owe the
school. ;, ,
The figures are startling!
The state's portion of the budget is about $13.9 million, while
students contribute about $3.7 million. Now if the tuition and
other student bills are running a 20 per cent deficit, then ihe
university loses about $744,000 from students and about $2.7
million from the state. The total deficit is more than $3 million,
which completely wipes up the value of students' contribution lo
the budget" via tuition.
And so we conclude that student government Naders MUST in
sist that students pay their bills on time because that's the only
way the school can operate with a balanced budget. Only a
balanced budget will give students allthey've paid for, and all
they need from a college experience.
Which brings lo mind a truism from Frederick Douglass who
said: "While it is not certain in life that you will gel all that you
pay for, you can be certain that you will pay for all that you gel."
And so, if students want more consideration from university
administration, then they must pay for it by paying their bills
when i Key are due, or as soon as possible, thereafter, because it is
unrealistic to expect to discuss student progress when student ir
rcspoasibility is putting the school in the hole.
In the" State of the Union message
which he delivered on January 26, Presi
dent Ronald Reagan outlined the broad
details of a policy he refers to as the "New
Federalism". This sweeping proposal
would result in a masive transfer to the
states of important federal responsibilities
in such areas as Aid to Families with
Dependent Children and food stamps.
Other programs which would be turned
back to the states would include highway
construction, mass transportation, and
education. In exchange, the Federal
Government would assume all costs of
Medicaid. If put into effect the "New
Federalism" would reverse a fifty-yearlong
trend -which made programs for the
needy a national responsibility.
While some political leaders have
greered the Reagan proposal with guarded
optimism, organized labor and the black
community have been vocal in pointing
out the inequities which would result if
Reagan's proposal is implemented.
What is there in the Reagan plan which
elicits such widespread protest among
blacks and organized labor? For black
. Americans, it is the fundamental pereep-
ItonihaL historically many st ate'govcrn-V
; men1s.wtt .ria
Indeed, the i very call for "slates
rights" is perceived by blacks as a code
word for racism and bigotry. Civil rights
historically have been extended through
(he intervention of federal courts and
federal agencies. The spectre of returning
broad powers to the states conjures up im
ages of the Bull Connorscs, Orvillc
i ass use SS sb Sis j
Faubuses, and George Wallaces, obstruc
ting racial justice.
Yet for blacks there is more than the
lesson of history which is at the root of
unease over the "New Federalism".
Blacks and their allies in the labor move
ment are aware that there are severe
economic inequities between the states. A
transfer of responsibilities to the states
would serve to exacerbate these already
substantial inequities of wealth.
Moreover, it would heighten the inequali
ty of working people in the less pro
sperous regions and localities. One indica
tion of this regional inequality, which is
of particular concern to civil rights ad
vocates, is the fact that while black
workers outside the South earn 99 per
cent of the wage white workers, in the
South itself black workers earnings are
only 78 per cent of white workers wages.
Such a regional discrepancy is the product
.of many factors; discrimination, lack of
education and lack opportunity for on-the-job
training among them.
Yet President Reagan's plan would re
quire southern states to assume the full
burden of educating and training blacks
. to enable them to attain an equal standing
witlytr iworktrss n ..,
! i&ii 'wltioHteewra1e a disproportionate1
burden upon a region which has
' economically lagged behind other areas of
the country and has demonstrated a
historical resistance to taking the kinds of
steps which would eliminate racial ine
quality. Blacks and other workers arc concerned
that the transfer of increased lax burdens
A. Philip Randolph Institute
to the states would refuel competition to
see who could maintain the lowest level of
taxation and so attract corporate invest
ment. In essence, states which substantial
ly reduce programs for the poor and
needy would be rewarded through the
relocation of corporations seeking even
higher after-tax profits. Such a
"negative" competition would be
disastrous and would further undermine
the social cohesiveness which is the
hallmark of a healthy society.
Ultimately the "New Federalism" is
not suited to the complexities of a modern
technological society. Japan, West Ger
many, and Sweden, countries whose rate
of productivity in the last decade has out
paced that of the U.S., have established a
cooperative relationship between the
federal government, labor, and industry.
These economies have achieved substan
tial growth in part directly because of na
tional government involvement.
Despite the strong arguments against,
one need not be surprised that President
Reagan chose 1982 to introduce his "New
Federalism" concept. As one Administra
tion aide told Time, Magazine: "The
whole idea was to come up with
vSP'PSthing that does not require us to res
pond and defend the ecbnbntlcprogram.
So we're changing the subject."-
The Reagan "New Federalism" pro
posal clearly is nothing more than a
smokescreen designed to obscure the
failures of the Administration's supply
side economic prescriptions.1 We have
come a long way, indeed: from "Voodoo
economics" to "Voodoo civics."
To Be Equal
The Forgotten Majority
. zs. XX :.:
By John E. Jacob
Executive Director National Urban League
s r is s s s g ;
iiil a 1. Sill;
Oh Yes, There Are Issues
For Durham Voters
Two weeks ago, incumbcnl candidates for the Durham County
Commission essentially said that, there arc no issues in the coming
"lections, and challengers arc merely crying "wolf."
The current deafening silence on the campaign trail seems to
bear them out. But we assure you that there are issues in this race,
and Durham ''.'County citizens, inside and outside the city limits
will serve their future well to begin asking candidates some hard
-question about these issues. :
Sewage Treatment Will the alternative on-site treatment
' projects currently under study serve county needs for the long
Solid Waste As the county continues to grow, will landfills
serve us well, or must we begin now studying new ways of gelling
rid of our trash?
Balanced Growth What is the impact of having a county
with most of its industry in the southern end, while hiuch of the
residential development is to the north? '
' Land Use Why doesn't Durham have a current land use
plan? - , . ,
These are but a few of the issues facing this and future County
Commissions. But the time to discuss these issues is now. Our
future depends on it.
My hat is orr to Vicki Williams, an In
diana factory worker who qualifies as an
example ol that middle American
everyone ialk.i about and few understand.
Ms. Williams wrote an article published
in Newsweek Magazine (January 18,
1 982) that not only told some home truths
but pulled the rug out from under alTlucnl
media thinkers who pretend to be so
knowledgeable about ihe feelings of the
Ms. Williams tilled her article "The
view From $204 a Week," I hat sum being
her iakehome pay after taxes and other
deduct ions. So she is part of the vast
group of average people many think are
so fed up wiih laxes they want lo end
Not true. Ms Wiliams says. "What the
people up there' don't understand is thai
I identify with beneficiaries of those pro
grams. . .' .'There bui for the grace of God
go I. " ,
She continues: "So far I have never had
l u rely on welfare, free' lunches or
Medicaid, but I very well Alight someday.
. . .People like me, who live only a hair
breath from economic disaster, are glad
those programs are oui there, though we
pray we'll never have lo use litem."
Ms. Williams is not alone, about half
Ihe population js in i he same boat. Thev
work and earn modest (ineomes thai don'V
go far enough and all it lakes is a plant
closing or a bout of illness lo drop them
'into poverty. Ms. Williams reports her
husband is out of work and Im unemploy
ment awipciisai ion luis run out.
If.her's was currently a iwo-eamer
family the "experts" would label them
comfortably middle class. If she loses her
job. her family would plunge right into
. Most Americans in that position are on
ly too aware of their situation. They are
not fooled by the rhetoric about social
programs. They know thai all it lakes is
for (he breaks lo go ihe wrong way. and
then they will find themselves needing'
food stamps, or oilier help to survive.
What we call "social programs" are
really a form of social insurance, a com
pact among all Americans not lo lei
anyone drop below some minimum level
jof sustenance and to help all lo get the aid
tliey heed to make ii on their own.
Sure, people do resent high taxes. And
many do pin the reason for high taxes on
social programs costs. Some even give
way to racism and blame poor minorities
for everything, including high taxes and
. social spending.
But most understand high taxes are not
caused by the relatively small portion of
the budget devoted to social spending..
Working people pay high laxes because
defense spending is booming and because
revenues are lost through tax loopholes
for ihe affluent.
And they aren't taken in by attempts to
depict social programs as havens for
cheaters. Here again. Ms. Williams is
right on target. She writes:
"I know about the cheaters. There are
always cheaters. They are a part of life as
surely as death and taxes. Certainly, if
they are caught, they should be punished
and denied aid, but I know we'll always
support some cheaters along with the 'tru
ly needy.' If we have to give a free lunch
to one child whose parents could afford to
pay in order lo give free lunches Iodine
children who gcmiinclv deserve them, so
be it." " .
She is right . Cheating is hardly confin
ed to social programs. We see it in the
swollen defense. budget, in cost overruns,
in ripoffs in both the public and private
. If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who propose '
to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation are men who want
crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without
thunder and lightning. They want the oceans majestic waves
without the awful roar of its waters, Frederick Douglass
sectors. It is wrong lo subject social pro
grams lo standards not applied elsewhere.
Docs Ms. Williams actually. speak for
the forgotten majority of working
Americans? I think so. Poll after poll
demonstrates that majorities favor pro
grams aiding the poor, the elderly and the
handicapped, and keeping health and
education programs, even if it means
Even at the height of the orgy of budget
culling, most Americans were suspicious
of the drastic social program cuts. Now
with the numbers in need mounting, with
the' economy deep in recession, and with
yet another round of callous cuts coming
up, the forgotten majority musi speak
louder in behalf of its own interests in
keeping the social compact intaci;
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