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'Whose Business Is It?' page 3
Presidential campaign will put a spotlight on which issues are, or aren't, anybody else's business

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RICHARD AMRHINE
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Date published: 7/18/2004

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If you want to improve education, spend money on public education. Don't subsidize private schools with the cockamamie rationalization that public schools, even with less money, will somehow strive to compete for good students. That's some kind of funny business.

Next, the war in Iraq. At the beginning, this was just President Bush's business because many Americans had doubts about Iraq's ties to terrorist activity in this country. But the president persuaded enough people to make it their business, and now, with its insatiable hunger for more American troops and taxpayer dollars, the war is everybody's business.

Nobody wants to see more American lives lost. But abandoning Iraq in the throes of anarchy would be even worse, though not by much, than the distortions and bad intelligence that led us to attack Iraq and depose Saddam Hussein in the first place.

Because President Bush is responsible for the war, the only way to resolve the Iraq issue without the political need to save face is to have a new president handle it, and that's everybody's business, too, on Nov. 2.

How about the environment? That's everyone's business--except, apparently, the Bush administration's.

At a cost of $1 billion a week, the war in Iraq has caused huge budget deficits and a lack of money for everything else. The only green priorities the administration has are those that mean breaks for Big Business. So-called increases in spending on some environmental programs result only from cuts to others. Ask those who have made it their business to clean up the Chesapeake Bay.

Well, that's all the time we have for today. But don't forget, as long as President Bush is in office, there will be many opportunities to play "Whose Business Is It?"


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