- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 23, 2000

No thanks

"Singer/actor Cher isn't interested in George W. Bush's proposed tax cut. 'I'm one of the 1 percent that George W. Bush wants to give the money to. What I want to say is: "Keep it, W. it's just not worth it," ' said Cher, one of a number of wealthy celebrities who publicized their views during the presidential campaign.

"Sharing that view was 'Chicago Hope' actress Christine Lahti, who declared, 'Education needs it. I don't need it.' Those messages delighted the three-year-old group Responsible Wealth, a national network of business executives, investors and affluent Americans who actively oppose public policies that favor the rich over working Americans.

"Members of the group were present at the White House when President Clinton vetoed a Republican-sponsored repeal of the estate tax. Said Responsible Wealth co-director Mike Lapham, an heir to an upstate New York paper mill fortune, 'Something is wrong when we can't fully fund Head Start, but we can give descendants of the wealthy an added head start.' "

John Nichols, writing on "The Beat," in the Dec. 4 issue of the Nation

Unfashionable children

"Are children going out of style? Most American women still say they want and expect to become mothers, and a majority of them surely will. Yet even now, the number who will not give birth is at an all-time high.

"The most recent fertility survey, conducted in 1998, found that among women who had reached the age of 40, 19 percent had not yet had a child… .

"At the same time, those who do become mothers are having smaller families. A generation ago, in 1970, among women aged 40, more than half 53.4 percent had had three or more children. For women of that age in 1995, only 27.8 had that many… .

"In 1960, at the peak of the baby boom, each 100 women averaged 365 children [in their lifetimes], greater than the current level in India. By 1976, America's fertility had plummeted to 174 per 100 women, about where Thailand's is today.

"But since then … America's fertility has been edging upward: last year it stood at 208, just short of the replacement rate. The chief cause has been the rising Hispanic population, whose rate of 298 means it now accounts for 25.3 percent of the nation's births. Americans of European ancestry, with a rate of 185, are contributing only 59.4 percent of new babies, although they account for 71.6 percent of the population.

"In fact, 1971 was the last year when white Americans had enough children to replace themselves."

Andrew Hacker, writing on "The Case Against Kids," in the Nov. 30 issue of the New York Review of Books

Inflammatory?

" 'This is a replay of Selma, Alabama, all over again,' Jesse Jackson said. Holocaust survivors have been disenfranchised, he lamented in front of any camera he could find.

"The fact that a few minorities and a passel of old Jewish ladies double-punched some ballots … was, to Jackson, an obvious extension of the 'blood of blacks and Jews' spilled in 1965. Blacks were 'discouraged' from voting in this election, Jackson asserted with the level of conviction only people untroubled by facts can muster.

"And yet New York Times reporter Lynette Holloway, even after cataloguing such statements, can write: 'Mr. Jackson has been careful not to be inflammatory, which may be one reason the Democratic National Committee has changed its mind about his involvement.'

"This raises the intriguing question of what could possibly pass for 'inflammatory' to either the New York Times or the Democratic National Committee. After all, one might think repeated and forthright declarations … that elderly Jews were 'targeted' for 'disenfranchisement' because of their status as Holocaust survivors isn't the most helpful course to take."

Jonah Goldberg, writing on "The Worst Democrat," in the Dec. 4 issue of National Review

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