Sneaking Suspicions
 
Archives-- November 16-29, 2003


This page includes posts from Nov. 16-29, 2003 in the usual reverse order. Each posting on the home page is perma-linked to these archive pages.

November 29, 2003
To Grandmother's House We Went

As it turns out, a 2003 Ford Focus ZX5 hatchback can easily handle the holiday travel needs of two adults, two teenage daughters, and a small dog--at least for a relatively short trip to grandmother's house for a day or two.

Rocky, our border collie mix, stares at the driver from his perch in the back of the car.

Rocky wasn't all that sure about this as we were about to get underway, but after a while he stopped staring at the driver and settled down just fine.

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving, too.

November 27, 2003
Being Polite at the Thanksgiving Table

Regular readers of this site know that on occasion I'll post recipes of dishes I enjoy making as much as I enjoy eating.

It's also true that I'm not a picky eater. I don't turn my nose up at what somebody's made the effort to prepare for a meal.

Part of the reason for this attitude is my upbringing. As children we were exposed to a wide variety of foods, including wild game as well as fish we'd caught ourselves. Our parents also taught us to be polite and eat whatever was offered whenever we were dinner guests at others' homes. We didn't have to go nuts about it-- just make sure we took at least a small serving.

That habit continues, and will be in evidence today.

For example, I don't particularly care for sweet potatoes (or yams, either). The traditional Thanksgiving dinner for our families, however, always includes a casserole filled with the orange tubers.

When the time comes, there'll be about a 1/4 to a 1/3 cup of the stuff on my plate, and it will be eaten.

I think eating what's offered is another way of showing thanks. No one has to prepare a banquet for you, after all. So why not smile, fill your plate, and enjoy the company?

And while you're at it, think about and thank your fellow citizens hard at work protecting and defending the rest of us from threats both foreign and domestic.

P.S. I understand that in millions of households today, sweet potatoes will be served with marshmallows. Much as I firmly support Delaware's marshmallow farmers, you still can't make me like sweet potatoes, even when the gooey white sweet cylinders are added to the mix.

November 26, 2003
50th Birthday

I have to give credit to the folks at AARP Membership Database Management Services, or whatever they call themselves.

Yesterday, just 24 hours before my fiftieth birthday today, they sent an e-mail inviting me to take advantage of one of the organization's presumably fine insurance products.

I declined.

On the other hand, I did appreciate the fact that their solicitation did not include any offers for patches, spray-on creams, web-cam viewing of wayward teen girls, or special-purpose drugs whose enhancement effects allegedly last an entire weekend.

November 25, 2003
Blue notes about transportation financing

The Philadelphia Inquirer ran a good story today by staff writers Robert Moran and Jennifer Moroz about the New Jersey Blue Ribbon Commission Report on the Garden State’s transportation financing problems:

New Jersey's gasoline tax should increase by 12.5 cents - effectively raising it above Pennsylvania's - to pay for new road and transit projects, a state commission recommended yesterday.

Gov. McGreevey's blue-ribbon commission also recommended raising the tax and NJ Transit fares regularly to reflect inflation.

Although McGreevey did not immediately endorse the increases, he said in a statement that "it is clear that we need to act quickly to replenish transportation funding."

As the newspaper piece points out, both Democrats and Republicans in the General Assembly are trying hard to avoid accepting sole responsibility for pushing for the new taxes. 

Apparently there’s a time-honored tradition in New Jersey of using lame-duck sessions to pass new tax increases, to help blunt any potential political fall-out in the next general election. 

Time and an abiding interest in re-election would appear to be the only things honored by this approach to legislating.

These kinds of recommendations don’t often produce Profiles in Courage among legislators.

I read the Blue Ribbon Report, and the financial reform proposals are fairly sweeping:

a. Increase the State Motor Fuels tax by 12.5 cents per gallon but potentially by up to 15 cents. The 12.5 cents is recommended with the expectation that the reauthorization of the federal transportation program will bring an additional $125 million a year to New Jersey, or the equivalent of 2.5 cents in the State motor fuels tax. In addition, the new revenue should be constitutionally dedicated to the TTF Authority (TTFA).

b. Increase the TTF capital program to a 50/50 pay-as-you-go bonding ratio over the life of the program.

c. Provide for inflationary protection by indexing the Motor Fuels tax.

d. Dedicate full yield from new Motor Fuels Tax (currently $49.5 million/penny).

e. Capture revenues generated from heavy truck fees, good driver surcharges and contributions from toll road authorities to the TTFA over the next 10 years.

Nonetheless, except for indexing the motor fuels tax, these proposals are similar to what’s already in place in other states. My clients at DelDOT, for example, pledge the net proceeds from a 23-cent gas tax to pay debt service on transportation revenue bonds, supplemented with other dedicated revenue streams such as the tolls collected at the Delaware/Maryland border on I-95. DelDOT also uses a 50/50 pay/go bonding ratio over the life of the six-year capital improvement program cycle, which helps keep the state’s transportation financial structure from becoming overwhelmed by debt service obligations, the problem now facing New Jersey. On the other hand, DelDOT uses its TTF to handle debt service first, then operating expenses, and then capital project costs, so it’s not quite the same scheme as this new commission suggests for New Jersey. 

The fuel tax indexing idea has been bandied about by transportation finance professionals for years. If enacted, the indexed tax increases would provide a steady stream of new income that would come close to keeping up with the ever-increasing costs of capital replacement and operating costs. Those costs tend to rise faster than fuel tax revenues in most years, so this idea wouldn’t necessarily eliminate the need for additional tax increases from other transportation-related sources. 

Nonetheless, tax indexing is also the one idea among the panel recommendations that will probably not survive the political infighting over how to fix the current crisis. If the two major political parties are mostly trying to figure out how to avoid taking full “credit” for fixing the problem, I can’t imagine that they would also leap at the chance to have all that credit directed their way in the future by enacting the indexing concept.

November 24, 2003
Not a lot of interest in a free market

David Nieporent made an appropriately pungent point about an NYT piece about the taxi industry:

How do you write a 40 paragraph, 2500 word article about changes to taxicab licensing in New York City entitled Finding the Intersection of Supply and Demand, and never once mention the possibility of actually letting supply and demand dictate the number of taxicabs in New York City, and the fares they charge?

In fairness to the reporter, one reason is that those who are in that particular transportation business don't really have a lot of interest in the free market.

At least, that's what I'm seeing right now in my work on the same issue.

House Bill 227, enacted last summer, created a new task force to

to study taxi medallion issues and to develop a "Taxi Medallion Plan"

for enactment by July 1, 2004. In addition, the law placed a moratorium on any new medallions or limousine certificates during the same period.

The task force includes legislators, DelDOT staffers, industry members, citizens, and yours truly.

The moratorium marks a significant change in Delaware's existing law concerning entry into the taxi/limousine market.

For many years the law put a high hurdle on those trying to break into the business, forcing the applicants to show that their presence wouldn't harm existing businesses. About 11 years ago, however, the Delaware General Assembly switched the burden of proof to those already in the business. This switch had the effect of opening the market.

The pendulum is now swinging the other way. Industry representatives are suggesting to the task force that any new medallions should be restricted geographically, that the state should "buy down" existing medallions, and take other steps to reduce the size of the total taxi/limousine fleet throughout the state.

Not exactly a full-bore capitalistic approach, is it?

And it's not too surprising, either.

November 24, 2003
Leave him some love

One of my daughters uses a pleasant greeting for those about to leave a message on her cell phone:

Leave me some love!

Right now, though, Gary Farber could use some of yours. Read about why by clicking here, and see if you can help.

November 23, 2003
Proof of a benevolent God

Opus returned to the comics pages today.

Thanks very much, Mr. Breathed.

Glad you're back.

I celebrated with a herring wallbanger.

November 23, 2003
Campaign everywhere if you want to be considered a national party

Dick Polman of the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote an interesting piece in today’s issue about some Democratic Party strategerizing to abandon any real effort to win electoral votes in the South and focus on winning in the rest of the country. 

Officially, Democrats declare that they will compete with President Bush everywhere in the nation. But, privately, there is serious concern that their nominee will lose every state of the Old Confederacy, with the possible exception of Florida - a scenario that seems especially likely if they choose Howard Dean, the antiwar Vermont Yankee who, as governor, signed a bill legalizing gay civil unions. 

Polman reports on some vaguely familiar arguments, about resource allocation and the best way to exploit potential weak spots in President Bush’s re-election efforts elsewhere, such as the Midwest. These debates are familiar because they sound a bit like something Republicans probably discussed during much of the first half of the 20th Century, when the “Solid South” consistently voted for Democrats. 

This is the Democratic Party we’re discussing, so of course there are folks who disagree with this suggestion. Polman obtained a good quote from the Mississippi Democratic chairman, Rickey Coles: 

"Ignoring the South is no way to build a national party. That just allows the party to wither on the vine. All this 'targeting,' all this whimpering and whining about 'limited resources,' obscures the fact that even if the nominee wins the presidency without the South, he wouldn't be a true national leader with a national constituency."

There’s another consideration that’s not discussed in Polman’s piece, but which I think the “don’t bother with the South” folks may not have fully considered. 

It’s a different part of the resource allocation issue, for both sides.  

After all, if you campaign in all places, you also force the other side to devote some of their resources to counter you. If Democrats don’t even try to win any state below the Mason-Dixon Line, it just makes it that much easier for the Bush re-election dollars to be re-directed outside the South. The altered flow of Republican staff and money will make the Democratic campaign effort elsewhere that much harder.

I’m not making this point because I so deeply desire any of the current crop of Democratic candidates to win in November 2004. I don't.

It just bothers me that some folks would think it’s a good idea for the Democrats to ignore what remains of their political base in such a huge, influential segment of the entire country.

November 23, 2003
The Quasi-Boys are back

It's nice to see that the Quasipundit boys, Will Vehrs and Tony Adragna, have returned from a blogging break. They're busy posting the kind of stuff that shows why they were featured on C-Span a while back--intelligent, reasonable, well-written opinions that make you think.

So go there already, and enjoy!

November 22, 2003
Response to John Dvorak

Anyone who attempts to be creative also risks failure.

In most creative endeavors, that risk is usually very high.

In this respect, writing a blog is no different than opening a new restaurant, starting a new business venture, or collaborating on a new kind of computer software.

Other creative information outlets such as newspapers and magazines are not immune to abandonment, as Rosie O’Donnell might now understand.

Compared to other opportunities to express oneself, the extremely low cost of blogging is probably the best explanation why so many tried it, even if they didn’t stick with it. That low entry cost also helps explain to some extent why many of them no longer exist.

If you haven’t made a serious investment of time and/or money, it’s always easier to simply stop when you no longer enjoy engaging in the activity.

For these reasons, I don’t see much cause for hand-wringing or snarky commentary about those who give up blogging, as expressed by folks such as John Dvorak in his recent commentary.

After all, Dvorak is simply noting that blogs have a failure rate that compares to other innovative enterprises, apparently without recognizing that’s all he’s really saying.

It would be far more remarkable if blogs didn’t.

Dvorak’s other point, about the “casual co-opting of the blog universe by Big Media,” is also a bit overwrought.

In the first place, I’m not troubled by the attempts by Big Media interests to see if there’s any profit to be had by sponsoring bloggers or providing their own blog-like sites. I see no harm from expanding opportunities and outlets for expression, even among those who are trying to make a living at it.

One of Dvorak’s statements about this aspect of blogging seemed pretty odd:

It's no coincidence that the most-read blogs are created by professional writers. They have essentially suckered thousands of newbies, mavens, and just plain folk into blogging, solely to get return links in the form of the blogrolls and citations. This is, in fact, a remarkably slick grassroots marketing scheme that is in many ways awesome, albeit insincere.

Exactly what is so insincere about it? I thought marketing is a key component of success in a capitalistic society. There doesn’t seem to be any real “suckering” going on as I see it. If one’s status as a professional writer is noted on the site, something usually found on the ones I read, it should be obvious that there’s a least a quiet little bit of selling going on by and through blogging, blogrolling, and cross-citations to other’s posts.

I should note that I’m somewhere in the middle between the full-time professional writer-bloggers and the complete amateurs. I practice law in an environment where my writing ability is a primary basis for how I earn my compensation. I’ve also been a weekly golf columnist for almost five years, with my own golf-related website since the summer of 1997.

The Cape Gazette doesn’t qualify as Big Media, but with a weekly circulation of 15-20,000 it’s not a church newsletter or personal diary, either.

At one point Dvorak refers to amateur bloggers as “hopeless,” a term that is needlessly cruel as well as inaccurate. Blogging, even for those who abandoned it for whatever reasons, gives its practitioners a place to publish their thoughts, cares, and concerns, in an environment where others have a chance to join in the conversation.

I don’t see the hopelessness.

I see hope.

November 20, 2003
New Census report on housing in the U.S.

A new Census Bureau report issued today reminded me of an old joke about where I live: 

What do a tornado and a Sussex County divorce have in common?

One way or the other, somebody’s gonna lose their mobile home.

As with most long-running gags, there’s an element of truth to it. Sussex County has about 138,000 residents, and its housing stock includes over 30,000 mobile homes set on leased land, along with a large number of manufactured homes on owner-occupied lots. 

All told, mobile homes make up 11.2 % of Delaware’s entire housing stock, which puts the state in 18th place among all states. That’s also close to the percentage of mobile home housing stock among the states that the Census puts in the South category (11.6%). 

The Census report discusses the increasing trend toward mobile home living, with the national inventory now constituting 7.6% of the U.S. total of 115.9 million housing units (105.5 occupied). Figure 8 and Table 4 show how the distribution of these homes is skewed, with the South the prime mobile home location. Over 56 per cent of all mobile homes in the country are in that one region. The county-by-county data in Figure 8 are especially startling. 

In a few respects, the Census report simply reflects other demographic indicators. The South and West are also experiencing a significant increase in retirement-age population, which is a significant component of mobile homeownership. In addition, in resort areas mobile homes are a common second home asset. 

For Sussex County, these two factors produce a double whammy. For decades mobile homes have dominated the county's resort housing landscape, especially surrounding the Inland Bays area. It’s now becoming a major retirement mecca for the Mid-Atlantic region, especially in the last decade.  

Several years ago I had a conversation with a local real estate agent about mobile home developments. He told me that among the local real estate business community, “golden shoeboxes” was the common slang term. 

Crude, but true.

November 19, 2003
Did all those ill-gotten gains absolutely positively have to be there overnight?

In one respect, this week’s decision by the Eleventh Circuit to uphold Raymond David Young’s multiple tax crime convictions appealed to my sense of irony.

But first, here’s a short primer on fuel taxes.

Like the states, the Federal government imposes an excise tax on each gallon of gasoline sold for on-the-road use. It’s currently set at 18.4 cents. 

If the gasoline is intended for off-road use, however, such as for boats or construction equipment, then no federal fuel tax is owed. Certain suppliers, including marinas, can avoid the hassle of paying the tax and going for repeated refunds by completing the proper paperwork to permit them to buy the fuel tax-free. 

As one can readily imagine, the temptation to screw around with this arrangement can be pretty impressive, and some folks will make the effort. 

Young obtained the special tax exemption certificate, allegedly for a marina on Marcos Island, Florida. He then sold thousands of gallons to a wide variety of non-boating users in the Southeast, including truck stops, convenience stores, and trucking companies. These were all taxable transactions, but of course no one bothered to volunteer to make these payments. 

The scam worked for a while, generating huge piles of cash for Young and his companions in crime. It also created the separate problem of cash management. Someone hit upon the bright idea of using Federal Express to ship the money from Texas to Young’s place in Florida. 

Perhaps the folks doing the shipping should have read the not-so-fine print:

As part of the contract, and on the reverse side of each and every Federal Express airbill utilized by defendants we find the following notice:

RIGHT TO INSPECT

We may, at our option, open and inspect your packages prior to or after you give them to us to deliver.

These airbills were placed in the front pouch of each of the large “Fed Ex Pak” envelopes used to ship the currency. Just above this pouch was a plainly visible warning, in all capital letters, which read: “DO NOT SEND CASH.”

Once the IRS learned about the scam, it contacted FedEx. The shipping company fully cooperated with the authorities, and turned over several packages for the IRS to x-ray. This lead to (a) the discovery of several bundles of cash, which resulted in (b) the granting of several search warrants, followed by (c) arrests and subsequent convictions. 

Young argued on appeal that the IRS violated his Fourth Amendment rights, but the circuit panel wouldn’t hear of it:

Federal Express told its customers two things: (1) do not ship cash, and (2) we may open and inspect your packages at our option. As a matter of law, this simply eliminates any expectation of privacy….

Being fully aware that the carrier might conduct, or consent to, a search of packages containing expressly prohibited material, defendants nevertheless chose to ship large amounts of cash with Federal Express.

Young assumed the risk that Federal Express might consent to a search. When Federal Express did consent, Young’s Fourth Amendment rights were not offended. [note omitted].

FedEx’s status as an incredibly successful shipping company makes it one of the larger fuel tax payers in the country, which to me adds a nicely pleasant twist to this case. 

Nonetheless, I wonder why these guys used FedEx. After all, was there any special reason why these ill-gotten gains absolutely, positively had to get to Florida overnight?

November 18, 2003
Chutzpah alert 

Unfortunately, sometimes there are reminders that some of my fellow members of the bar can be more than a bit cheeky. 

The Sixth Circuit today issued an opinion detailing an attorney’s illegal conduct that was fairly breathtaking in its audacity.

Fortunately, he didn’t get away with it. 

RE/MAX International was a plaintiff in a Federal antitrust suit in Ohio. In January 2000, an Ohio attorney named James Blaszak contacted a RE/MAX vice-president named Steed to discuss the case and how he might help them. 

He didn’t exactly make this offer out of the goodness of his heart:

Blaszak told Steed that he would be willing to testify in the case regarding information he possessed that he believed would be beneficial to RE/MAX. Blaszak demanded compensation in exchange for his testimony, including $500,000 from RE/MAX to set up a mortgage and title company, which Blaszak would then run, and a $5,000 monthly retainer for his legal services.

Tempting as the offer may have been, the real estate company did the smart thing. It contacted the FBI.  

The Feds then set up a sting operation, using an agent who passed himself off as the “can-do” guy for RE/MAX. 

The agent and Blaszak quickly came to terms, including a $50,000 down payment and a retainer agreement to make the rest of the payments toward the half-million total. On the other hand, Blaszak turned down an offer to make the same proffer of testimony to the defendants, on the theory that if both sides agreed, then neither could go to the authorities with the facts that they’d purchased his testimony. 

The antitrust case went to trial, but Blaszak didn’t testify. Instead, he was arrested and charged with the Federal crime of selling testimony in a civil case, under 18 U.S.C. Section 201(c) (3). 

Blaszak took a conditional plea that allowed him to appeal to the Sixth Circuit on constitutional grounds. He argued that as applied to what he did, the Federal statute violated his First and Fifth Amendment rights. 

The appellate panel was clearly offended by these arguments, as they were equally outraged by the facts of the crime. 

First, Section 201 (c)(3) didn’t affect Blaszak’s First Amendment protections, because the law wasn’t directed at limiting speech in any respect: 

[It] does nothing to prevent a witness from testifying; it simply prohibits a witness from demanding or accepting payment in exchange for that testimony. Section 201(c)(3) criminalizes compensation “for or because of” testimony, regardless of its content…. [Emphasis in original].

Second, there was no basis for accepting Blaszak’s Fifth Amendment argument that the statute didn’t give him fair warning that what he did was illegal: 

[A]lthough the standard is whether a person of common intelligence would understand his conduct to be prohibited, we find it simply incredible that a licensed attorney and member of the Ohio bar would claim that he believed it lawful to accept $500,000 in exchange for non-expert truthful testimony. Finally, we note that the defendant’s own actions belie his contentions in this regard. During his discussions with Bartholomew, the undercover agent, the defendant agreed that the payments needed to be made to appear “legitimate” and prepared a legal services contract as a cover for RE/MAX’s monthly payments to him. Tellingly, Blaszak and Bartholomew also discussed the fact that he could conceivably testify for both sides in the case and that neither side would then have any recourse because of the illicit nature of the payments. 

The record indicates that Blaszak received a probationary sentence and a $5,000 fine for this conviction.

Reading between the lines, I have the impression that this panel dearly wished it could have increased his punishment.

November 18, 2003
Fog Delays

This weather this time of year frequently produces thick fog in the mornings around here, resulting in school delays of up to two hours.

Neither the student nor the teacher in our house has any problem with that.

The non-student/non-teacher, on the other hand, must still leave at the normal time to go to work representing DelDOT.

Even so, driving in the fog has its moments, as shown in this picture I took this morning:

Fog-bound creek near Barratts Chapel, November 18, 2003

This is a small creek that leads to the Murderkill River, not far from Barratts Chapel, an historic Methodist Church in Kent County.

November 17, 2003
A lead on the holiday gift-buying rush

National Review columnist David Frum has a keen sense of market timing. 

In Frum’s blog post on NRO last Friday, he invited his readers to buy signed surplus copies of his books. For the astute purchasers, of course, this would gain them a two-week head start on the usual Black Friday madness. 

I’ve read one of the three he mentioned, and I highly recommend it:  How We Got Here: The 70s—the Decade That Brought You Modern Life.  

This Basic Books imprint presents a witty walk through a remarkable decade that in its own frequently weird ways helped create the conditions now facing us, especially in the domestic sphere. You don’t have to agree with every argument Frum makes to appreciate the fact that he wrote an accurate portrayal of the way things really were at the time. I often found myself laughing out loud, or frowning in regret. 

Here’s one of my own anecdotes that may help illustrate the point. While in law school at American University from 1975 to 1978, I worked as a store clerk at a drugstore.  I couldn’t obtain enough financial aid to comply with the law school’s rule prohibiting first-year full-time students from working, and I ended up working at MacArthur Drug all three years. 

Quite a few well-known Washingtonians were regular customers, including Justice Potter Stewart. 

One Saturday afternoon Stewart came into the store, wearing a tweed sportcoat and buying a few sundries. I asked him if he had just come from work at the Supreme Court. He laughed, and told me he had to leave chambers early because of all the noise from the demonstration outside. When I asked him which one, he said it was a large crowd of folks trying to have the recently-deceased Elvis Presley’s birthday declared a national holiday. 

Anyway, here’s the critical information for those interested:

Hardcovers are available for $27 (or $34 in Canadian funds); paperbacks for $16 (or $20 Canadian). We pay shipping. Please send checks or money orders to

David Frum
The American Enterprise Institute
1150 Seventeenth Street NW
Washington DC 20036

This is a public service announcement.

November 17, 2003
Update on the Music Industry

I wrote a post on September 3 about the closing of a Kemp Mill record store in Rehoboth Beach, as part of a bankruptcy-related shrinkage of the company’s retail outlets.

The crowds were far larger than normal. I suggested it was because the discount pricing overcame the prior sales resistance that probably caused the store’s financial problems in the first place:

I certainly don’t think I’m alone in deciding that $18 or so for a CD seems a bit steep, especially considering the quality of much of what passes for popular music lately. Knock the unit price down to $11 or so, however, and it’s much easier for me to decide to buy two or three of ‘em.

The industry continues to blame online and other forms of piracy, but seeing those Kemp Mill crowds readily parting with their cash for the bargain CD prices caused me to think there might be a better explanation.

Who have been the real pirates?

Kemp Mill closed a few weeks later, and the space lay vacant for a short while.

The store has opened up again, and thankfully with a crew that knew how to take a hint:

Music lovers wondering what Rehoboth would do after Kemp Mill Records left the west corner of First Street and Rehoboth Avenue need worry no more. Record and Tape Traders, a music institution in the city of Baltimore, recognized the potential market and took over the existing space. The store opened Nov. 7, and according to Manager Matt Wilcox, the company looks forward to meeting the demands of demanding music aficionados….

Wilcox said the pricing of Record and Tape Traders items will be relatively inexpensive. New releases will range from $11.99 to $15.99. Used items range from $5.99 to $9.99, on average.

The new store and its staff remind me a bit of the place run by John Cusack with the help of the “musical moron twins,” Jack Black and Todd Louiso, but without the smug, superior attitudes.

Somehow, I have a feeling these guys will make it.

November 16, 2003
Claude winner for College Budget Economics 101 story

Maybe I'm just a little bit sensitive, what with one daughter in college and a second one soon to follow in her footsteps.

Even so, the headline in today's News-Journal was far too familiar to keep from producing a wry grin:

Colleges seek more funds for 2005

I give this one two Claudes.

The story itself describes what parents of college students all over the country now recognize as only the first part of the annual college budget two-step:

Despite warnings from state officials about another tight fiscal year, Delaware's three public higher education institutions are asking Gov. Ruth Ann Minner to include more money in the fiscal year 2005 budget than they received this year.

The second step comes later, almost immediately after the state budget is adopted, as openly admitted in this story about a 6.2 per cent tuition increase adopted in July 2002:

University of Delaware President David P. Roselle said Friday the UD increase is needed to pay for employee raises and increases in health insurance fees.

Roselle added that the state government, facing a tight budget, was not able to give the school all the money it requested.

"The economy is lousy and the state has not been able to provide the level of help that we would have hoped for," Roselle said. The university sets the next academic year's tuition rates in early July, after the Delaware General Assembly approves its budget, he said.

College budget stories always remind me of the old Fram Oil Filter commercial--the one that says "you can pay me now, or you can pay me later."

Except in this case, the "or" always becomes "and".


   

Contact Information:

Fritz Schranck
P.O. Box 88
Nassau, DE  19969
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