In the days of better journalism (remember that you are listening to a fellow who started as a young reporter 70 years ago) a well-written news story customarily started with the five W’s—who, what, when, where and why (I’m not sure about “why,” but remember I’m searching my memory for what constituted the “five W’s” 70 years ago).
Today, it is not uncommon to encounter a journalist who believes in strolling into a story, giving you the “hard news” when he gets around to it. Two recent examples:
The World-Herald story started with details recounting how Nebraska Cornhusker head football coach Mike Riley was eating breakfast in an Omaha hotel dining room. Detail after detail about Coach Riley and his breakfast.
I wondered why Coach Riley was having breakfast in a hotel dining room. Has he not really decided to settle down in Lincoln, living in a house as other Cornhusker coaches have done?
Well into the story—entirely too far into the story—we read that Riley’s hotel dining room use was a temporary phenomenon while waiting for the remodeling of the house which he and his wife had purchased.
Then there was The World-Herald story which suggested the success and effort—led by Nebraska farmers and ranchers—to change state policy in a way that reduces property taxes.
The obvious next question: What will replace the lost revenue spending for schools and local government reduced by the very substantial amount which will be required to make any significant reduction in property taxes?
Far into the story—I lost count of the number of paragraphs—came the confirmation of what a knowledgeable reader would have suspected: Other taxes will be increased.
What other taxes? No details, just a statement that the Legislature would study the matter.
It seems to me the most likely answer is to increase state and local taxes—predictably sales and income taxes—to make up for the lost property tax revenue.
Why in the world did the writer of the news story take so long to deal with the reality that if you’re going to make any significant reduction in property taxes, you are simply going to have to find ways to replace all—or at least the great majority—or the great bulk of the revenue lost by property tax reduction?
* * *
Huskers Made The Iowa Game
Closer Than They Deserved
This week’s comment on Husker football:
The Iowa Game was one the Huskers should have lost and they did. Iowa is exceptionally strong this year and the Huskers (although they really had a better team than the numbers showed) would have had to have a quarterback who didn’t throw four interceptions to beat the Hawkeyes.
Can the Huskers, with a 5-7 record, still get a bowl bid? Yes, surprisingly to me. Perhaps a demonstration that there are too many bowls.
# # #