Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

The Daily Gazette
Swarthmore College
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Volume 9, Number 57

Interested in writing for Swat’s only daily newspaper? Join the Daily Gazette! Email the staff
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1) Increase in competition sparks increase in advertising efforts during Student Council elections

2) CBO Director Holtz-Eakin speaks on fiscal agenda

3) World news roundup

4) Campus events


1) Upcoming contests


Today: Partly cloudy. High of 57.
This Thanksgiving will be my first spent away from home..

Tonight: Showers. Low of 51.
And I suppose I was a bit sad about that, until I got to thinking…

Tomorrow: Showers. High of 62.
This will also be my first Thanksgiving not stuck watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Freedom!


Lunch: Stromboli, french fries, eggplant casserole, mixed vegetables, asparagus, potato leek, chicken barley, Asian chicken salad bar, rice krispy treats

Dinner: “Love animals? Love the environment? Love your body? Love good food? Come to Veg Night!”

Tonight is Veg Night, a Sharples takeover that offers great vegetarian and vegan food and desserts.

Sponsored by the Animal Rights Coalition.


1) Increase in competition sparks increase in advertising efforts during Student Council elections

by Greg Leiserson
Managing Editor

With 27 candidates competing for six seats, Swat’s current round of Student Council races features an increased number of candidates and more vigorous campaigning than other elections in recent years. Current Co-President Andrew Gisselquist ’05, who will be joined by either Tom Evnen ’07 or Matt Meltzer ’06 once the results are tallied, commented that he would give credit for “much of the increased interest [to] the recent presidential election and related” activities earlier this semester.

A fall election for Student Council hasn’t had such a large number of candidates since the Fall 2000 semester when 27 candidates declared. Interest hit bottom the following year when only eight candidates ran, six of whom had no opposition. In 2002 nine candidates declared while 14 did so last year.

In step with the increase in competition, candidates have engaged in more significant campaigning efforts with Emily Nolte ’07 going door-to-door in ML to talk with students, and an ad for Alex Ginsberg ’08 appearing on thefacebook.com. Ginsberg and Rasa Petrauskaite ’08, both candidates for the position of Campus Life Representative, plugged websites specifically designed for the campaign in their platforms. Petrauskaite’s website contains only her platform, while Ginsberg’s contains an expanded version of his platform and photos from the campaign posters he has distributed around campus.

Nolte said that while visiting ML she “had some really good conversations” with residents, many of whom would not otherwise have voted. By visiting ML, she believes a candidate “shows that [s/he] is really interested in being on Student Council” and working for the student body. With so many students so heavily involved in the national election with effects somewhat more removed, Nolte asks “why not [vote for student government] that really…does directly affect us?”

Ginsberg did not respond to a request for comment from the Gazette.

Gisselquist expressed hope that “all the campaigning will get more people to vote,” but warned that “whether the ads and websites will affect the outcome or whether Swatties will be turned off by such actions as much as they raise the profile of any individual is an open question.”

While it remains to be seen how overall turnout will compare with previous elections, it has influenced at least one student. Zach Wolfson ’06 said that the fact “that I voted at all is influenced by the posters.” He estimated that he’s voted in roughly half of previous council elections. While he hadn’t seen either Nolte’s canvassing effort or Ginsberg’s ad, he did mention sophomore Lizzy Vogel’s appropriation of the John Kerry sign hanging from the balcony of Upper Tarble. Future candidates can take at least one lesson from his comments: the ad campaign you run will affect your chances. Wolfson’s vote can be swayed by a good platform, and he is “more likely to vote for a candidate with an interesting poster.”

Voting concludes today in Sharples. Platforms of unlimited length from each of the candidates can be found on the Gazette’s website at http://www.sccs.swarthmore.edu/org/daily/archive/fall_2004/20041117.html#n1.


2) CBO Director Holtz-Eakin speaks on fiscal agenda

by Andrew Quinton
Gazette Reporter

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, notable for being the director of the Congressional Budget Office, for having been a Professor of Economics as Syracuse and Columbia, and for being the father of Colin Holtz-Eakin ’07, spoke about the current US economy and the challenges facing the incoming Congress last night in SCI 101.

Professor John Caskey introduced Dr. Holtz-Eakin, who proceeded to start his talk with a summary of the role and responsibility of the CBO. He explained that his organization is nonpartisan by tradition and by statute and was formed during the Nixon administration after Nixon refused to spend money that Congress had appropriated. Nowadays, the CBO puts out studies on all sorts of topics that are salient to the economic and policy decisions the government must make. Holtz-Eakin then listed off the important economic events of the last four years, which include several rounds of tax cuts, creating terrorism insurance, two wars, and the application of steel tariffs. “Not my fault,” he noted after mentioning the tariffs, proving that he is a true economist by denying any connection to a measure that gets in the way of free trade.

“We need more good economics in Washington,” said Holtz-Eakin to begin his outline of the current economic climate. First, he painted the Administration’s picture by describing the Administration’s official budget projections for the upcoming years. The White House expects the budget deficit to fall from its current $413 billion and 3.6% of GDP in 2004 to 2.5% by 2009 and then stabilize. If this happens, said Holtz-Eakin, the deficit will remain at a reasonable level and the economy will do just fine. But the administration’s projections ignore the large expenditure of the continuing occupation of Iraq and the loss of revenue that would occur if the Bush tax cuts are, as Bush hopes, made permanent. The administration has also made the modernization and expansion of our military a stated goal, and of course achieving those ends will not be done for free. So, things are not as good as the administration would have us believe, and the impending crises of Social Security and Medicare will only exacerbate our problems.

In five years, the baby boomer generation will hit retirement age, and spending on Social Security and Medicare as a percentage of GDP will skyrocket. The increasing costs of medical care only make the problem worse. No easy solution is in sight-Holtz-Eakin told the story of the time he asked his 25-man staff of health care experts what they would do to solve the problem of Medicare and received 25 different answers. He then related the impending government budget crisis to the crises faced by pension funds in the private sector that are failing, causing individuals to not receive the payouts that were supposed to support their retirement. Relating economics to public policy was a common theme in the talk. Holtz-Eakin described in detail how public works projects would quickly be pushed aside when Medicare and Social Security started eating up more of the budget.

Our administration is aware of the crisis, but it hopes that we will be able to “grow our way out of it”; if the economy grows fast enough, there will be more money available and all of our problems will be solved. While acknowledging that such growth is not statistically impossible, Holtz-Eakin cautioned the audience that it is not very likely.

Holtz-Eakin finished talk with a discussion of what he expects the incoming Congress to focus its discussions on. He sees the Social Security problem as one that will be highly politicized, but also thinks that the parties may arrive at a suitable solution. Political concerns will also influence the amount of money spent on Iraq and fixing the pension system. The chief problem facing the new Congress will be reconfiguring the social programs of last century, many of which arose in the New Deal era, to fit into the modern economic climate. Holtz-Eakin answered several audience questions after his talk, discussing the effects of the rapidly accumulating national debt, the idea of privatizing social security, the estate tax, and what we can learn from Europe.


3) World news roundup

* With more than 99% of the votes counted, Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych led liberal challenger Viktor Yuschenko by a margin of 49% to 47%, but Yuschenko called on supporters to stay in Kiev’s main square overnight, saying “[w]e will not leave this place until we win.” Representatives of four major cities in the country’s western region said they would recognize only Yuschenko. In addition, observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Council of Europe, the European Parliament and NATO all criticized the balloting. US Senator Richard Lugar, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and in the region to represent President Bush, denounced the results saying, “it is now apparent that a concerted and forceful program of election-day fraud and abuse was enacted with either the leadership or cooperation of governmental authorities.” Yuschenko has said that he will call for an emergency session of Parliament to make his case and hopefully obtain an annulment of the results in certain regions where he believes poll violations to have taken place. Bruce George, mission leader of the OSCE delegation told the Associated Press that “the abuse of state resources in favor of the prime minister continued, as well as an overwhelming media bias in his favor.”

* The political fallout continued in Washington on Monday as politicians exchanged barbs after House Speaker Dennis Hastert pulled the intelligence reform bill from the floor on Saturday. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter objected to the bill because it would transfer too much control over intelligence from the military to a new director of national intelligence. General Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has expressed much the same opinion as Hunter. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts said that the objections trivialized the matter and were simply evidence of politicians battling over turf. While the bill enjoyed significant Democratic support and has a fair chance of passing regardless of the Republican dissent, a spokesman for Hastert said that the Speaker did not want to split the party over the bill.

* President Bush stopped in Colombia on Monday on his way back to Washington from the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Chile. Meeting with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, Bush praised the progress the nation has made in battling the drug trade and said that he would ask Congress to renew the Plan Colombia aid package that is set to expire next year. Bush compared Colombia’s battle with the cocaine trade to the US fight against terrorism and said that there have been significant results, pointing to a decline in the number of acres used for drug cultivation and the number of murders.


4) Campus events

Mathematics and Statistics Colloquium
Science Center 199, 4:30 p.m.

Shaolin Kung Fu class
Upper Tarble, 8:00 p.m.

Tango class
Upper Tarble, 9:30 p.m.

Student Council meeting
Kohlberg 230, 10:30 p.m.


For the past 3 years, a few students have run a dinner in ML for those staying over the Thanksgiving break. It’s good times, good food, and good company, so if you’re here, we’d be glad to have you.

Interested? Email Elizabeth McDonald at eliza@sccs.swarthmore.edu and please mention if you’re vegetarian, vegan, or have any special dietary needs. If you’d like to help out, come down to the ML kitchen any time Thursday and join in the fun.

Please RSVP to let us get an estimate; come anyway if you forget. Just remember that not being home this Thanksgiving doesn’t mean you have to eat alone.



1) Upcoming contests

Men’s and Women’s Swimming at Ursinus, 6:00 p.m.
Women’s Basketball at McDaniel, 7:00 p.m.
Men’s Basketball at Drew, 8:00 p.m.


There are no contests scheduled for tomorrow.



“Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back into the same box.”
–Italian Proverb


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