Editor’s note: Looking Back reviews opinions published in The Spokesman-Review during this week in history.
Southern comfort, May 17, 1936: An S-R editorial pointed out how well the federal government was treating the former states of the Confederacy. It broke down how much government assistance the Southern states had received, noting that Uncle Sam covered 93.2 percent of direct “relief” to the states.
It noted: “So it was a lucky day for the southern states when Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox. If the curtain of futurity could have lifted in 1861 and the south could have foreseen this amazing capital, it is inconceivable that the southern states wouldn’t have seceded.”
Defense budget, May 12, 1956: An editorial lamented the growth in the defense budget.
It noted: “Keeping this country and its allies militarily strong is the best preventive of war yet discovered, as it must be done. One needs only to remember that in the last world war the defense budget was nearly twice as large as this year’s. So it is much cheaper to have a strong defense than to risk a war.
“It still is deplorable that in this age of advanced enlightenment about 60 percent of the national budget must be for defense, or 35 times as much as goes for medical research and 60 times as much for debt retirement.”
Crossover voting, May, 13, 1976: An editorial criticized the practice of crossover voting in the primary.
It said: “The whole purpose of primary elections is to permit each party to select the man best able to represent the party in the general election.”
It concluded: “In the general election the voter obviously has the right to cast his ballot for any candidate he may choose. But in the primaries, he does not necessarily have that right. When opposing teams prepare to meet each other in, say, the Super Bowl, the team captain is chosen by each team and not by members of the opposing team who might wish to participate in the election. The same reasoning ought to apply to the voting in primary elections.”
South Hill sprawl, May 9, 1996: Growth in southeast Spokane and in Moran Prairie in particular caught the attention of the editorial board.
It explained: “Last month, the City Council backed away from impact fees, which might have raised seed money to attract state and federal matching grants for street improvements.”
A study found that “enough land is zoned for residential use to accommodate another 14,000 dwelling units. That’s three times the number of units that already are pouring streams of cars from the prairie onto the South Hill’s narrow, winding arterials.”
It also said: “To make matters worse, most of Moran Prairie is outside the city limits. Development there brings new tax revenues to county government, not to city government for its streets, which county residents use.”
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