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Israel Talks Government With Students

Whitman class hears congressman's views on Egypt, education and deficit.

Students got a lesson from an expert Friday when U.S. Rep. Steve Israel went to Whitman High School to discuss politics and world affairs.

The Huntington Democrat told members of an advanced-placement government class that the ultimate role of government was to determine "who gets what when."

In addition to listing some of the accomplishments of the last congressional term, such as repeal of the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy barring openly gays and lesbians from service in the military, ratification of an arms control treaty and extension of tax cuts, Israel talked extensively about the crisis in Egypt and the deficit.

Noting that he had met with Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, he said that the current upheaval in Egypt could produce two radically different results: a government that develops into a true democracy with accountability to its citzens or one that takes a radical anti-American turn. He made no prediction as to which way Egypt would go.

He also drew a line between his views and those of Republicans on the deficit and general spending, saying that both parties wanted to reduce the deficit but that he believed subsidies to oil companies and big agribusinesses. His main interest, he said, was in supporting any idea that strengthened the middle class, reduced debt and created jobs.

Of particular importance, Israel said, was preparing students to compete in the global economy, saying he ranked supporting education second only to national security.

He took questions from the students ranging from Egypt to limits on lawsuits against doctors to health care. And he took a poke at former president George Bush, describing him as someone who he "fundamentally diasgreedwith but found him to be a nice guy" but who could discuss foreign affairs "for about 30 seconds."

Walt February 06, 2011 at 11:51 AM
Nothing like corrupting students to the socialist thinking of the Democrat Party. The should stay out of the lives of the People. It has become a dictating Big Brother. START signing was agreed to by the Soviets only after our gov't sold out Great Britian our former ally on the amount of Trident missiles they have. His interest is in reducing debt and creating jobs? Is he kidding or is he just a flat-out liar? The national debt has doubled to $14 trillion since his pal took office and they've cost jobs aside from the three dozen czars Obama created for his political cronies or incompetent ambassadors...aka Cynthia Stroum.
Walt February 06, 2011 at 02:02 PM
Oy,liberals.
Lisa February 08, 2011 at 12:28 AM
Steve told members the ultimate role of government was to determine "who gets what when." - WRONG! It's actually to protect the rights of each individual. But then again let's not forget were talking to a liberal.
Constance Allison February 08, 2011 at 03:53 AM
I think that's what he's saying; he's not talking about handing out cookies but who gets what and when, which includes but is not limited to individual rights as well as those of the society as a whole. Because the latter matters too.

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