Notable Quotables - 08/15/1994
Want Fewer Divorces? Then Raise Taxes
"One standard conservative
argument against antipoverty policies is their cost: taxes
burden the affluent and thus, by lowering work incentive, reduce
economic output. But if one goal of the policy is to bolster
monogamy, then making the affluent less so would help. Monogamy
is threatened not just by poverty in an absolute sense but also
by the relative wealth of the rich. This is what lures a young
woman to a wealthy married or formerly married man. It is also
what makes the man who attracts her feel too good for just one
wife. As for the economic consequences, the costs of soaking the
rich might well be outweighed by the benefits of, financial and
otherwise, of more stable marriages, fewer divorces, fewer
abused children and less loneliness and depression."
- New Republic Sr. Editor Robert Wright in Aug. 15 Time infidelity cover story.
Epidemic of Europe-Envy
"Those who argue for
universal coverage very often make the point that the U.S. is
practically alone in the industrialized world without it. Thirty
million people without health insurance in the U.S. - compare
that to Europe and Japan....In the great debate over universal
coverage, a good many Americans believe it comes down to choices
between haves and have-nots."
- Peter Jennings introducing July 26 American Agenda story on World News Tonight.
"Without health care reform
there is nothing to stop insurance discrimination. And anyone
can get sick. Anyone with a job can lose it - lose benefits;
lose protection....Without reform, only the richest will be
protected from a debilitating new kind of disease - a virulent
strain of worry about their health care, their security; worry
that is becoming epidemic."
- Beth Nissen's American Agenda, July 29 World News Tonight.
"Congress is about to begin
floor debates on whether all Americans have the right to
cradle-to-grave medical coverage. Health insurance is part of
the social safety net in every other major democracy. In the
United States - a country founded on the idea of limited
government - generations of health reformers have been thwarted
by the opposition of powerful interests and a deep suspicion of
- Knight-Ridder Washington reporter R.A. Zaldivar, August 7 Philadelphia Inquirer.
Die, You Yuppie Scum
"I'm sad to report that at
this very moment Harry and Louise, the yuppies who represent the
small insurance companies, are winning. I think they have
frightened people into thinking that any reform is going to hurt
- Margaret Carlson, Time columnist and former Dep. Wash. Bureau Chief, July 30 CNN Capital Gang.
"Percentage of Americans who cannot identify Harry and Louise: 85%"
- Time/CNN poll as reported in the August 15 issue of Time.
Clinton Just Wanted to Do Good
"What makes this sad, even
tragic, rather than merely sordid, is that Bill Clinton's
predicament owes itself directly to Bill Clinton's promise. The
President's problems did not come about because he was a cheap
political hack. They came about because he was not. For what has
happened to Clinton has happened because he wanted, more than
anything in life, to get to where he is today, and because he
wanted this, at least in part, in order to do good - and
because the great goal of doing good gave him license to indulge
in the everyday acts of minor corruption and compromise and
falsity that the business of politics demands. Bill Clinton was
perceptive enough to master politics - but not perceptive
enough to see what politics was doing to him."
- Reporter Michael Kelly in July 31 New York Times Magazine article on why public doesn't trust Clinton.
Nobody Here But Us Apolitical Riders
"Most of the riders saw
themselves as missionaries spreading the word about how the
current health care system had failed them. Some were
Republican, others Democrat; some were against abortion, others
supported abortion rights. Most said they were not political.
Their main focus was on assuring that every American be covered
by health insurance. In their view, the Health Security Express
was a nonpartisan effort to persuade Congress to pass
legislation that provides universal coverage."
- Washington Post Health section Editor Abigail Trafford on the Health Care Express, August 9.
Cut a Little to Spend a Lot
"By reading the fine print
of every bill to root out hidden tax breaks, colleagues say, he
has saved billions for taxpayers."
- Newsweek Senior Writer Jolie Soloman, August 1 profile of retiring Senator Howard Metzenbaum (D-Ohio). For 1993 the National Taxpayers Union gave him a grade a "F," the "Big Spender" category.
There Goes Dinner
"It's been called an
international crisis; every important fishing ground off every
inhabited continent has been destroyed or depleted."
- CBS News anchor Troy Roberts on Up to the Minute, August 3.
Racist Reagan Race Baiting
"In the wake of the
somewhat new hostilities bred in the Reagan '80s, how do you
assess the state of race relations in this country today?"
- NBC's Bryant Gumbel to National Urban League President Hugh Price, July 28 Today.
"The five minute rule has
been used for the Keating scandal hearings, for BCCI, for BNL.
The agreements to have the hearings be narrow were negotiated
with the Republican counsel, Robert Fiske. Everyone signed off
on this. This is a desperate attempt by the Republicans to make
a scandal out of something that isn't. They've overreached on
Whitewater and they're trying to recoup on their investment.
This hearing was a real dud."
- Newsweek's Eleanor Clift, July 30 McLaughlin Group.
"But Whitewater so far is a
parody of a political scandal, full of sound and fury,
signifying next to nothing. If it walks like a duck and talks
like a duck, it must be a...turkey."
- Newsweek Senior Editor Jonathan Alter, August 8 issue.
"While many Americans think
something improper took place, their appreciation of just how
much it went on has been blurred by White House accounts
designed to keep the story contradictory and confusing. But when
testimony and events uncovered by Senate investigators are
assembled into a running narrative, the story paints a complex
but disturbing portrait of a White House gripped by a culture of
- Time Washington reporter Michael Duffy, August 15 issue.
Image and Reality
"[The notion of the liberal
press] is such a crock....In all the years I've worked for
newspapers, and the total is 18 or 19 of 'em, I have never
worked for a liberal newspaper....There are some 1,700 daily
newspapers, and they're all run by Republicans! Why? Because
Republicans are the kind of people who own things. And I don't
know one of 'em who's gonna let some off-the-wall liberal run
- David Burgin, Editor of the Alameda Newspaper Group, owner of the Oakland Tribune, in a Berkeley Express interview cited in the July/August American Journalism Review.
"I'm kind of the house
lefty at the Wall Street Journal."
- Confession by Wall Street Journal Editor Al Hunt, on CNBC's Equal Time, August 1.
Brent Bozell III, Publisher;
- Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
- James Forbes, Andrew Gabron, Mark Honig, Steve Kaminski, Gesele Rey,
Clay Waters; Media Analysts
- Kathleen Ruff, Circulation Manager;
- Patrick Pitman, Stephanie Swafford; Interns