News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Letters

December 2, 2012

READERS’ FORUM: Dec. 2, 2012

Start now to

reduce debt


As I read today’s (Nov. 27) issue of the Tribune-Star my attention was drawn to Cecil Bohanon’s column regarding taxation and deficits. Back in February 2010 I sent a letter that you published discussing a similar issue. Since that letter we have increased the debt by more than two and one half trillion dollars.

It seems nonsensical to me that any proposals that are being forwarded are focused on revenue and not spending. As Mr. Bohanon points out, if we increase all the taxes on the purported “rich” and we receive the income that is proposed, which is extremely unlikely, the revenue generated amounts to approximately $110 billion, or less than 10 percent of the current deficit.

Absolutely nothing that is being proposed provides any reduction in the now $17 trillion debt that is ballooning over our children and grandchildren. This amounts to more than $325,000 per person in this country. As I stated then and continue to say, we need every editorial board at every newspaper to make this an issue as we are going to fail economically and fail as a nation if we do not address this very soon.

Just to place a bit more emphasis on the topic, I read in today’s Wall Street Journal that the unfunded liabilities of Medicare are $43 trillion and Social Security are $20 trillion currently. These must be paid by more deficits or disavowed unless dramatic changes occur to these programs.

The authors of the column regarding these programs are Chris Cox, former chair of the House Republican Policy Committee, and Bill Archer, former chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. I believe they have adequate credentials to speak with authority.

I know the pain of addressing this will be great for all concerned but to do nothing brings pain and destruction to this nation. My one proposal is to have the federal government start now with a systematic process to sell some of the federal lands and use 100 percent of the proceeds to apply to the national debt.

— Raymond E Broshar

Terre Haute


Time to remember

remarkable victory


The date was Dec. 10, 1962, and a team from a small college in Terre Haute — recently Indiana State Teachers College but not yet Indiana State University — was headed for Madison, Wis.

The Indiana State College basketball team was going to play the mighty Badgers of the Big Ten Conference.

The pundits yawned and ridiculed, “Why bother?” After all, ISTC had been playing the likes of Oscar Robertson and the Cincinnati Bearcats for years and had nothing but “L’s” to show for their effort.

Make no mistake, Wisconsin was powerful. It was ranked seventh in the nation. They had every player back and the team was expected to again challenge the Ohio State Buckeyes for the Big Ten Title.

And, of course, the game was being played in Madison.

It was obvious that a school that competed in an all Indiana conference (ICC) could not compete with the Big Ten.

Everyone knew the tall, talented Badgers would dominate the boards. How could the Sycamores, a team whose tallest player measured 6 feet 5 inches and had two pint-sized guards at 5 feet 8 inches tall, hope to stay in the game?

Besides, unlike the national recruiting program at the University of Wisconsin, all of State’s players came from Indiana and Illinois. Two local products were Steve Newton from Terre Haute Gerstmeyer and Wayne Allison from Hutsonville, Ill.

Still, many local fans did turn on their radios to listen to the play-by-play.

Not surprisingly the Badgers turned out to be as good as their lofty rating. For the game, Wisconsin would shoot 49 percent from the field and miss only two free throws. By halftime the Badgers had a comfortable 12-point lead and had extended the margin to 19 with 12 minutes to go.

As the game progressed, all across the Valley, one could hear the clicks of radios being turned off. The Sycamores had proved the sages right.

State was simply too small and too intimidated to compete with its formidable hosts. Oh, well, it was good exposure and experience for Coach Duane Kleuh’s Statesmen. They could return to Terre Haute and prepare to play in the friendlier confines of their new Arena and the Indiana Collegiate Conference.

Suddenly the Blue and White reeled off 12 straight points.

Was there a chance the writings of the critics had been premature? That the pessimists had spoken too soon? That fair-weather fans had given up too early?

One minute to go! Now 25 seconds. The Wisconsin lead had been sliced to one. Sycamore ball. Time out.

There was no need for brilliant strategy. The ball would be in the hands of Johnny Robbins. He had already scored 16 points in the second half.

The game resumed. The diminutive 5-foot-8inch Robbins had the ball. The clock ticked down. Robbins shoots … alas this time there would be no Bobby Plump moment.

Wait! A scramble, a loose ball. Steve Newton tips the ball to Robbins — less than five seconds to go — again Johnny Robbins lets it fly, and this time … nothing but net.

Indiana State College 87, University of Wisconsin 86.

The small-town Sycamores from Terre Haute had upset the nationally ranked Badgers. The Milan Miracle lives on.

Robbins’ shot might not have been the shot heard round the world; but Indiana State College and Terre Haute were headlined on every sports page across the nation and the victory reverberated throughout the Valley.

There was pandemonium on the ISC campus. Students with riotous excitement headed toward the airport to salute their conquering heroes.

Fifty years have passed. It’s time to celebrate the victory with a reunion of those players and coaches. And like that team of a half century ago, fans will see outstanding local talent.

— Bill Youman

Terre Haute


Rekindling the

work incentive


On Nov. 14, an article by Don Phillips, titled “America is in a Dangerous Spiral,” got my attention. Don’s article correctly stated that a large sector of society is now dependent on federal and state government to support them. I assume Don was referring to the so called “entitlements” such as welfare and unemployment benefits. I have some “reservations” about Medicaid, but I don’t consider Social Security and Medicare entitlements. Medicare, however, does need some alterations.

There is no doubt that welfare and unemployment benefits do encourage people not to work and abuse the system. But there are some who earnestly want to get off of both programs. So what is the solution to help people get off welfare and purge the system of those who just want a free ride?

The contributing factors of government dependency can be traced back to the federal government and both political parties. Somewhere around 1960, companies began moving their business to Mexico so they could get cheap labor and avoid paying taxes.

It started a trend that continues to this day of moving companies to foreign countries. Millions of middle-class workers saw their standard of living erode, and the cycle of dependency began. Those in the manufacturing sector were the hardest hit in the loss of jobs.

Another contributing factor of dependency began in 1980 when Reagan gave birth to “trickle-down economics.” In the next 40 years the wealth of the upper class grew by 240 percent, while the income of the middle class flat-lined. This created the biggest income/wealth disparity since the 1920s. These factors I’ve listed are documented history and not just my opinion.

But back to the solution. No human being has ever accomplished anything without having the opportunity, incentive and an alternative to change a situation. The key to all three of the above is a good-paying job that will allow people to be self-sufficient. We must bring back the lost manufacturing jobs and educate workers to fill them. We must stop giving tax breaks to companies going overseas, and give those tax breaks to companies here in America.

People do not have the incentive to work and do the right thing when they see their paycheck taxed somewhere between 25 and 30 percent, while those with “investments” pay 10 to 15 percent. Should they “play by the rules” when oil companies make billions in profits and get millions in subsidies? To whom should they be responsible and held accountable, when Wall Street and the financial industry cheat and get rewarded with a bailout?

No rational or fair-minded person resents or begrudges those with wealth for living “the good life.” But when those rational and fair-minded people are denied the opportunity to live the good life, dependency on the government is the result.

In taking a close look at this last election, the results were a “protest” about the lack of opportunity and the disparity between the social classes. Somewhere in the Bible it says, it you don’t plant and harvest, or more to the point, if you don’t work, you shouldn’t eat. Everyone should be required to work and be responsible for themselves. But when there isn’t any work, you still have to eat.

— Ron Hastings

Clinton


Achievements

mount at HCMS


Everyone is buzzing about a great start to another school year at Honey Creek Middle School. In just a few short months, there has been a lot going on and many accomplishments have been made by our students and staff.

During the fall sport season, our students participated superbly in volleyball, tennis and cross country. Dave Hoffa coached our cross country teams through an excellent season. Our varsity volleyball team, coached by Lisa Davis, and our JV volleyball team, coached by Holly Hyland, both won county championships. Also, our boys tennis team, coached by Bob Fischer, completed an undefeated season by winning the county championship.

Many other students have participated in activities besides athletics. On Nov. 8 and 9, Honey Creek Middle School students performed a school play called “Grimm University.” The play was directed and organized by Myla Stoffers. Cast members included Cadence Altvater, Abby Worthington, Nathan Schludecker, Jacob Knopp, Marissa Caldwell, Mikey Fields, Mikayla Weaver, Saayeh Siahmakoun, Maddie Rice, Konner Meek, Jeremy Ramsook, Caleb Hamblen, Zac Dressler, Polet Horsley, Addison McCullough, Kirsten Davis, Sarah Rozmin, Emma Olsen, Alex Fuller, Brittany Ely, Dana Henderson, Alex Kusiak, Hailey Tanner, Audrey Noel, Allison Knopp, Lauren Rader and Ugo Ndife.

We are also very proud of our spelling “Bees” at Honey Creek. The Spell Bowl team, coached by Debra Petty, took first place in Class 1 at the local Spell Bowl competition and finished third in Class 1 at the state competition Nov. 10 at Purdue. Those participating were Amit Chakrabarti, Kristen Ferguson, Leona Gibson, Lexi Hardesty, Harleen Kaur, Sue Kim, Rai Kitley, Katie Lawrence, Julie Lee, Maria Martinez, Harshil Patel, Rutvi Shah, Caaveh Siahmakoun, Saayeh Siahmakoun, Ravnit Singh and Brandon Tieu.

Honey Creek Middle School also showcased its musical talents this fall with our sixth-grade band, choir and orchestra concert on Oct. 18. The Honey Creek Middle School Show Choir also performed on Oct. 22. All students performed amazingly and were guided under the direction of Steve Humphrey in band, Dan Tryon in choir and Dana Williamson in orchestra. A lot of time and hard work were put into these performances, and our students did a wonderful job.

We are so proud of all our students and staff. Keep up the great work, Bees.

— Mark Schimmel

Assistant Principal

Honey Creek Middle School

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