States' rights

New members of the Texas Lege promise to uphold the old seedy standards

One of my favorite Parkerisms is, "If you took all the fools out of the Lege, it wouldn't be a representative body anymore."

Good on you, Carl, and thanks to you for all the ways you have made life both fairer and safer for Texans.

A joint survey by Harvard's School of Public Policy and the Kaiser Family Foundation asked folks to list the largest federal expense today. Thirty percent said military spending, 27 percent said foreign aid, 19 percent said welfare, and 15 percent said Social Security.

Here are the correct answers: Social Security accounts for 22 percent of total federal spending, the Pentagon for 19 percent, foreign aid well under 2 percent and (brace yourself) welfare is just over 1 percent.

Do you find this doesn't accord with your impression of how costly welfare is in this country? Well, maybe you had better take a look at your sources of information.

Who all has been blowin' in your ear, and what is their agenda? How come they want you all flustered about something that's not only not a crisis but not that big a problem either? Maybe they don't want you looking at something else--say, the savings and loan scandal or the percentage of taxes now paid by corporations.

Think that could be?

Molly Ivins is a columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Copyright 1994 Creators Syndicate, Inc.

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