Ryan Hume:Measure 28 Mad Libs: budget cuts everywhere

So things are pretty tight everywhere right now. In fact, you may be aware of our state’s severe budget deficit, but you may not know that even lowly opinion columnists, who work for and are thereby paid by state institutions, such as myself, are affected by these cuts as well. On average, I write a column of 900 words a week and produce 15 columns per term; at three terms a year, I would write an average of 40,500 words. Now let’s say I’ve had to cut my words by 11 percent each column. After an annual average of 45 columns, assuming next year we still have three terms, I would have cut 4,455 words. Ninety-nine words a week is a lot to take out of a column, I’m sure my editor would agree.

You can basically bury your adjectives and adverbs, not to mention your therefores. Therefore, how does one approach such severe setbacks to artistic expression while still informing the student body, while subsequently keeping their attention through novel, yet entertaining devices? Mad Libs.

The answer to all of life’s problems …

Everything is so (adj.)________________. I think that I have been complaining about the mass marketing of elections and (noun)________________ for about as long as I’ve been able to (verb)________________ concepts of mass marketing and (noun)________________, but alas here we are with a (adj.)________________ election at hand.

Measure 28 has quietly become the issue that could decide the (noun)________________ of Oregon, and there isn’t an ad in sight. Oh, the irony of a (adj.)________________ situation within the real world. It’s not a lack of people who would like to sway your opinion with (adj.)________________ facts and (adj.)________________ statistical research, it’s just that they have no money to do so. Everyone is in a crunch, and they are all (adj.)________________.

Labor unions would like you to vote yes for Measure 28, while republicans would urge you to vote no on a measure that would save Oregon’s public schools and other institutions. Although each side of this debate wants your vote, an anticlimax has pervaded this election: neither (noun)________________ has been willing to spend the money to advertise their view until their opponent does so. While anyone who has seen the mess our economy is in should vote yes on Measure 28, I believe that both sides of the debate believe people will vote with their (noun)_________________ on this one.

On one hand, it would seem easy to count on citizens to save state programs, institutions and schools. On the other, we are asking a population that has been devastated by the highest unemployment rate in the country to give away more money to desperately improve a situation that is indeed in much direr straits than a quick fix could ever accomplish. Measure 28 doesn’t even get our heads above water; in fact it may only prolong the drowning experience. As of Kulongoski’s inaugural speech Monday morning, it would seem that the Oregon Health Plan is already dead.

Since September, when PSU faced a severe budget shortage of $7.6 million, we have accumulated an additional cut of $1.7 million with a possible $5.6 million cut on the horizon, if Measure 28 fails. This means quite a few of our (adj.)________________ professors may not return next year, since tenure seems to be a reward of the past. Many (adj.)________________ classes might not even exist on the Fall 2003 Bulletin (which, I might add, now costs (numerical value)_____________ dollar). Tuition increases may make state campuses affordable to only a few select (noun)________________.

These setbacks would surely make our lives more (adj.)________________, but beyond debates of legality, it is frightening to see so many programs and institutions become dilapidated at the hands of recession.

I begin to wonder how this all began. For it is not only Oregon that is finding it (adj.)________________ to keep the books straight, but many states are cutting corners in search of a balanced budget.

Would we be in this situation if Bush hadn’t enacted a (adj.)________________ economic stimulus package?

And as I (verb)________________ this thought, I wonder what situation we will be in as the near future approaches a $6 billion tax cut on the national horizon? Is that extra (numerical value)________________ really worth all the trouble?