Mr. Monaghan, the founder of Domino's Pizza and the school's principal benefactor, has announced plans to build a large Catholic university outside Naples, Fla., along with a residential community. (The ground-breaking ceremony for Ave Maria Town, as it will be called, was delayed indefinitely by the recent hurricane.) Will the law school move to Naples too, from Ann Arbor? The school's dean, Bernard Dobranski, acknowledges that the board is "open to consideration of the idea." He denies, though, that Mr. Rice is being persecuted for his views.
Mr. Monaghan certainly has every legal right to move the law school he pays for. But that doesn't mean it's a good idea. "We understood \[that\] the mission of the law school," says Terence McKeegan, a member of the school's alumni association, was "to create attorneys who were well versed in Catholic social teaching and the law, who would engage the world and not retreat from it." Ave Maria Town seems at odds with such a mission. "It sounds like this town and the university in Florida is going to be a self-contained little Catholic enclave."
A May 2004 speech by Mr. Monaghan, given at a conference on business ethics, would seem to confirm this speculation. "We'll own all commercial real estate," Mr. Monaghan declared, describing his vision. "That means we will be able to control what goes on there. You won't be able to buy a Playboy or Hustler magazine in Ave Maria Town. We're going to control the cable television that comes in the area. There is not going to be any pornographic television in Ave Maria Town. If you go to the drug store and you want to buy the pill or the condoms or contraception, you won't be able to get that in Ave Maria Town."
"Right off, I'm not going to get their respect, they'll say: 'This kid could be my grandson,'" Sessions said of the City Council. "But it's not about bossing them around, it will be about cooperating with them."
Dear Mr. Williams:
Thank you for sharing your views with me. I, too, am concerned about the federal budget, taxes, and the state of our economy.
Hurricane Katrina was one of the worst natural disasters in our nation’s history. Along with the entire country, I mourn for those whose lives were lost and pray for the millions who will be dealing with the effects of this tragedy for years to come. Hundreds of thousands have lost everything they owned, and about one million people were displaced. Hurricane Katrina also caused extensive economic damage to the Gulf Coast region.
In response to this devastation, I supported the $62.3 billion in emergency supplemental aid Congress provided to assist the victims of the hurricane and to rebuild the region. As the nation continues to focus on helping these communities, it is important that we make fiscally responsible decisions. The American people must be assured that the many billons of dollars being spent on recovery activities are spent in a cost-effective manner for the purpose of rebuilding communities and restoring hope to the people of the Gulf Coast. At the same time, we must ensure any budget cuts that are made to finance this essential disaster relief do not come at the expense of those most in need of government assistance.
Our nation continues to fall deeper into a deficit ditch; the U.S. national debt reached $8 trillion in 2005. Forty-four percent of this national debt is held by foreign investors. If these investors ever decide, for economic or political reasons, to stop financing our debt, our markets could be severely impacted. This can provide other countries with greater leverage during trade or other negotiations with us. Furthermore, in the fiscal year that just ended, we spent over $350 billion to pay the interest on our national debt. That is 14% of the federal government's spending last year. That is money that doesn’t go toward important infrastructure improvements, homeland security or other priorities like healthcare, education or environmental protection. We simply cannot afford to continue building up this massive debt.
The Senate version of the reconciliation spending bill (S.1932), which is currently being considered by the full Senate, would cut funding for Medicaid, Medicare, low-income housing grants and other important programs. These cuts, along with the revenue that could be generated as a result of a shortsighted decision to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska, are projected to reduce the deficit by $39.1 billion over the next five years. However, at the same time, both houses of Congress are working on separate versions of a tax reconciliation bill to extend $70 billion worth of tax cuts benefiting largely the wealthiest Americans. Instead of improving our fiscal situation, these reconciliation bills exacerbate the problem. It simply does not make sense to say we need to cut $39.1 billion out of vital programs to reduce the deficit while at the same time increasing the deficit with $70 billion in tax cuts. This budget continues an irresponsible and inequitable tax policy that adds to our deficit and recklessly spends what is left of the Social Security surplus.
Major bipartisan efforts will be needed to make true progress on the long-term fiscal problems we face. I will continue to fight for fair and fiscally responsible policies that help generate jobs and economic security from which all Americans can benefit. Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this important matter.