Cedar Rapids Gazette, January 4, 1974, Page 6

Cedar Rapids Gazette

January 04, 1974

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Issue date: Friday, January 4, 1974

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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - January 4, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Ithe (t^rlnr l\upulii Ohqe'He Editorial Page Friday, January 4 1974 The Fed should be audited Impeachment bad for nation? NonsenseBy James Reston QUESTION: Is there a governmental agency that enjoys so much independence it isn’t even subject to audit by the General Accounting Office (GAO) of the federal government? Answer: Yes, the Federal Reserve System, more commonly known as “the Fed.” Never in its 60-year history has the Fed been audited by GAO, even though it is the nation’s monetary policymaker. Moreover, up to now the Fed has successfully maneuvered to make certain that it won’t be audited in the immediate future. This was assured when the house rules committee blocked a bill introduced by 80-year-old Congressman Patman of Texas, last of the old-time populists and chairman of the house banking and currency committee. Patman’s bill would require the Fed to open its books once every three years to the highly-respected GAO, which audits virtually every other bureaucracy in Washington. Patman’s house committee approved the bill, 21 to 8. last Oct. 4. But it has been blocked in the powerful house rules committee since then, thanks largely to the backstage lobbying tactics of Arthur Burns, the Fed’s chairman. He had help from the American Bankers Assn., which represents nearly all of the nation’s 13.000 banks. The rules committee voted, 9 to 5, on Nov. 6 to postpone indefinitely a showdown on w hether or not to send the bill to the house floor. Four of the votes to postpone action were cast by congressmen whose financial disclosure statements show they have financial interests in banks. Patman has carried on a one- man fight to force his bill to the floor, saying “the scandal of allowing this agency (the Fed) to go unaudited is highlighted by the fact that it actually has within its open market portfolio in the New York Federal Reserve bank nearly 20 percent of the national debt.” “This,” Patman continued, “is in the form of $76 billion in bonds — government securities — which have been paid for with the government’s money. These bonds should be canceled and subtracted from the national debt as an obligation which has been paid for once. “The fact that the bonds are fully paid by government money has been admitted time after time when I have interviewed federal reserve officials. Yet, they refuse to cancel them and annually charge the taxpayers $4 billion in interest on these bonds. Without an audit we do not know how the federal reserve spends this largesse from the taxpayers. “We need H R 10265 — the audit bill — if the public interest and money is to be protected and if this agency is to be accountable to the people.” Mr. Patman is so right. It is absurd and ridiculous that any government agency can go unaudited by the GAO to the point where it almost has established a place for itself as the fourth branch of government without benefit of constitutional support. It is another chapter in the book of idiocies that cause people to lose faith in the government which, supposedly, is of, by and for them. Mr. Patman’s bill should bf sent to the floor for consideration by the entire house Rhodes’ legacy BY ALL historical accounts, financier-statesman Cecil John Rhodes was convinced that the English race is supremely qualified to govern the world. He also considered men most fit to assume the burden. Not surprisingly, his Anglophilic, male-chauvinistic bias became part of the package when he endowed a huge number of scholarships at Oxford university. So it has happened, 72 years later, that Ada Steinmetz, LaSalle college (Philadelphia) senior, has been denied a Rhodes scholarship. Before Miss Steinmetz or any other multi-talented womanBum rap for society hurdles the Rhodes legacy barrier, the British parliament must approve a change in eligibility requirements. From a quick review of Rhodes’ will, it appears that the action could be taken without fear of London bridge falling down or old C. J. Rhodes spinning in his South African grave. The intention of the Rhodes endowment was “to bring about the complete union of the English speaking races for the peace, enlightenment and uplift of humankind,” Rhodes’ sexist bias aside, it takes a sizable stretch of the imagination to read “men only” into that.By Don Oakley IN ONE of its last acts before adjourning for Christmas recess, the U. S. senate adopted a resolution calling for a day of national “humility, fasting and prayer." The resolution, introduced by Sen. Mark O. Hatfield (R-Ore), and modeled after a proclamation issued by Abraham Lincoln in the depths of the Civil war, calls on Americans “to humble ourselves before almighty God, to confess our national sins and to pray for clemency and forgiveness." Now this is all very well A little humility, fasting and prayer probably never hurt any people. Hut in his speech to his colleagues, Hatfield claimed that “we, as a people, through our own acquiescence to corruption and waste, have helped to create a moral abyss that produces a disdain for honesty and humility in high levels of national leadership." It is not clear how the people acquiesced to the corruption of Watergate when they did not know about it, or why they should beg forgiveness for something they were not involved in. As for disdain for honesty and humility in high levels of national leadership, that has not proceeded upward from the people but downward from too many of those charged with the responsibilities of leadership, not excluding the honorable members of congress As for waste, to a great extent that too has reflected a failure of leadership to lead, to inform and to set an example Hatfield s weirds — though certainly not his intent — smack of the universal human tendency to spread the blame when untoward things happen “My environment made me what I am," says the criminal “We only did what the other party has always done,” said the Watergate culprits. “Society is guilty,” says the sociologist And maybe it is, but the question is what society does about individual transgressions of morality lf by April Ik) congress has tieen unable to present to the people an honest verdict about Watergate with respect to the present administration, or if it shows itself to have been guided by considerations of polities rather than of right and wrong, if it has turned its back on its solemn responsibility to lead and if the people shrug and accept this — then Americans will have been guilty of acquiescence to corruption Then indeed should we humble ourselves. Newspaper enterprise A»»ocit»Oon AMONG MANY who long at tilt' beginning of the new year for a new government and a new spirit in America, there is still a reluctance to call for the resignation or impeachment of the President, something that holds them hack, probably some fear that somehow this would weaken tin* presidency and harm the nation There is something to this notion, but not much: The President is not the government The security and continuity of the Republic do not rest on any one man, not even on a Lincoln let alone a Nixon. The system is strong and resilient, and could not only survive Nixon’s departure but might even endure his presence for three more years Hut if he were to go quietly, the administration would remain in plait' with the congress and the courts, the market would probably jump up after a startled hiccup, and a grateful nation would rally around the new President as it did after the deaths of Roosevelt and Kennedy. The popular argument for tolerating three more years of Nixon is that his achievements in the field of foreign affairs, particularly with the Soviets and the Chinese, might be lost if he resigned, and that Vice-president Ford is not as experienced in the foreign arena as Nixon, which is obviously true Hut if the American people sometimes confuse the power of America with the personality or character of the President. Insights Jake time to deliberate, but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in Andrew Jackson foreign governments do not. The danger now is not that powerful foreign governments might try to take advantage of a new President, but that they might try to take advantage of a distrusted President presiding over a divided America. Also, in the next three years, the critical foreign questions are not likely to depend on Nixon’s personal relations with Brezhnev or Chou En-lai. but on United States relations with Western Europe, Japan, and the Middle East. where Nixon’s achievements in the last five years have not been spectacular. These are the coming areas. In strategic terms. the Middle East is the key. It is the fundamental political question in the world, for the oil-blockade, protected by Soviet power, threatens the industrial security of Europe. .Japan, and iii a more limited sense, of the United States Hut the American answer to these (Illestions depends more on a united na lion than on Nixon Already, the informing mind iii all these diplomatic tangles is not the President’s but Kissinger’s, and while all the courtesies of presidential power are respected, the foreign embassies iii Washington and their governments are more concerned about the internal unity of America than about anything else. Another popular argument against the resignation of tin' President is that it might set a bad precedent and hurt the institution of the presidency Hut why9 Nothing is likely to hurt the presidency more than tolerating a man who has been unfaithful to the spirit of the constitution, who has put a gang of twisters and moral cripples iii high office, and lost the trust of the people. This trust is the first article in the political contract and essential to thi* moral authority of the presidency. The question is not what Nixon’s mandate was in the last election, but what it is now Once a President has lost the confidence of the electorate, resignation is not a bad but a good precedent And if it were established by any party that a President could be called on by its leaders to resign, future Presidents might be more careful about fiddling with the freedom of the people After all, resignation or dismissal is what happens in all other American ins tit ut ions or parliamentary democracies when tim' Chief Executive falls They don’t ask whether he meant to fail, or hire burglars, or turn over his authority to dunderheads or crooks, but merely whether he presided over the disaster, and if so. they get themselves a new chief executive officer, coach, of pi line minister Maybe tine silliest argument against the resignation of Nixon is that it would hurt the Republican party Quite the opposite is the case Nothing could hurt it more than to keep him in place for three long years at the center of an endless controversy (Aer Watergate and all its related horrors This is a political nightmare, whereas the alternative gives the Democrats the shakes With Ford in the White House, backed by a Rockefeller or un,Elliot Richardson as vh e-president, all the intractable pnlu-y problems would of course remain, hut the poisonous atmosphere of the country would lie swept away, and the chances of a Republican victory in 1978 infinitely improved. In human terms, it is easy to understand the reluctance of the people to insist on resignation or impeachment. They have too many regrets It seems too cruel and humiliating, and would obviously be bad for Richard Nixon. Hut to argue that it would be bad for America iii Nixon’s last I.(MHI days is palpable nonsense. New York Timrf, Spryirp Big brothering hazardous, too A decade later, it’s still light-up time ‘What national sins?’By James J. Kilpatrick WASHINGTON — Ten years ago this month the U. S. surgeon general brought forth his report on smoking and health The report climaxed ten years of controversy over the relationship between cigarets and lung cancer, arid it precipitated a second decade of controversy on the same issue The story merits a backward look Iii truth, the controversy over smoking and health probably dates from the time that Columbus first saw the Indians {luffing their tabacas. Efforts to ban smoking can la* traced to the edicts of James I against the “sot weed.’’ From time immemorial, little boys have been warned against coffin nails The cigaret has had many lovers, hut very few friends Even so. it wasn’t until the mid-’50s that statistical evidence began to accumulate on the cigaret-cancer relationship By the time Dr Luther L Terry’s study commission went to work. some IO.(MMI professional papers were available From these papers — th** commission People s forumHarvesting To the Editor I read your recent editorial concerning trapping and several of the letters that followed My reaction is that there are many writers who have good intentions but few facts (including The Gazette) First, Iowa has modern conservation laws and many trained biologists who constantly monitor wildlife population Seasons are set accordingly, to harvest the surplus Any knowledgable person knows that a given amount of habitat will support only so many animals If trappers don’t harvest the surplus. Mothier Nature will, and who will claim that death by disease or starvation is more humanitarian than trapping9 Second, the trapper who is a true sportsman (and there are many) will use traps and make sets that kill instantly when at all possible If he should have a live animal in a trap, he dispatches hun quickly and humanely Trappers are people with feelings, too In addition to that, a foot in a trap is poor reward for his efforts My two teenaged boys, whom I have taught to trap, recently completed a successful season, harvesting 155 animals, HH percent of which were killed instantly by the trup I trust that any reader who might be offended by this never sets a mouse trap — or worse yet, uses mouse poison No doubt those people who are against the wearing of furs other than those of threatened species are also opposed to wearing garments of leather or eating meat True, most of these items come from domestic animals Hut who can say that it is more humane to feed and fatten an animal, gaming his confidence and giving him a feeling of security and one day hauling him away to tx* slaughtered, did no independent research of its own — came the conclusion that heavy smokers are more likely to die of lung cancer than nonsmokers Six additional reports have followed the first report of 1984. each of them identifying new perils and raising new warnings These cries of alarm have wrought considerable changes within the cigaret industry and within the advertising in dustry also Hack in 1983, the ten leading brands, headed by Pall Mall, included such nonfilter labels as Lucky Strike and Chesterfield. Now Pall Mall has slipped to third, behind Winston and Marlboros; sales of Camels have dropped in half. Luckies and Chesterfields have disappeared from the top ten. and some new brands, relatively low in tar and nicotine, have taken their place James J. Kilpatrick Cigaret advertising has vanished from radio and television; smokers are exhorted in public service announcements to “kick the habit" instead The anti-smoking campaign also has led to the ignored and familiar on every package and in every magazine ad “Warning: The surgeon general has determined that cigaret smoking is dangerous to your health ’’ The decade' has seen airlines divide their passenger compartment into sections for smokers and nonsmokers The man or woman who lights up in public has become acutely self-conscious of the offense that may Im' inflicted on others Yet these years of intensive effort have had little effect on the smoking habit Per capita consumption in 1983 amounted to 217 packs; last year it was 205 packs Over the decade, cigaret sales have increased from 524 billion to 583 billion Ironically, sales of cigars and pipe tobacco, thought to be less harmful, have significantly decreased in this period. Why has the typical smoker been so indifferent to the warnings and appeals? One answer may lie in the unconvinc ing nature of the evidence. After ten years, scientists have yet to identify what substance in the cigaret, if any, causes cancer They have yet to demonstrate how smoke or tar or nicotine converts a normal cell to a malignant cell The only major effort to prove that cigarets cause cancer in dogs produced a publicity splash four years ago, hut the experiment has run into professional criticism and has not been replicated The palpable fact remains, that most smokers die from causes apparently unrelated to smoking There may be lessons in all this, in terms of tile power of government to control the personal habits of people. Such a lesson should have been learned in the long. dark night of Prohibition The nation even now is receiving instruction in such areas of the- law as marijuana, homosexuality, auld pornography. criminal sanctions may have some suppressive effect, but on the whole, not much. So, too, with tobacco; Menr have smoked it for 5(H) years, and whole platoons of surgeons general are not likely to dissuade them now Woshino»f>n Stor Vvnrfico** than it is to harvest the surplus of fur-hearing animals by trapping9 Yes, I too am concerned about the welfare of all animals, but let’s not get tex) emotional Remember, without death there can not be life Max I) Grover Rowley One s enough To tile Editor Who needs a White House on the ledges overlooking the Pacific?    If the proposition to bequeath it develops, we will be taking care of Nixon and many like him at the expense of the middle (lass, the white-collar and blue-collar workers and the hard hats and their wives who are compelled to work for an income that is devoured by heavy taxes of numerous types We may have future Presidents from Alaska or Hawaii. Should we rebuild, modernize and secure such homes in these states too for Presidents to live in9 . . One White House should he enough That’s why we have one where it is We want a dedicated President, not a roving gypsy Our administrator is in quicksand, and he’s groping for whatever is available Instead of trying to Ix* conservative with the people’s money, he’s throwing it to the winds blowing in his own direction and the direction of a selected few It amazes me how well endowed financially some of the politicians are when leaving politics I give the news media a lot of credit arid take my hat off to them. They cannot all tx' wrong I hope they dig up and disclose all. It would make this country much better to live in when dirty politics is wiped out and honest hard-working people — black or white, men or women of all walks of live — take active part in government. We need a variety The educated attorneys running this vast household are too numerous. We nix'd changes to fulfill th** hopes of our people Variety is the spice of life, so let’s, preserve this life We have a beautiful America To quote the Readers Digest: “This, as citizens, we all inherit. This is ours, to love and live upon and use wisely down all the generations of the future " M Bartlett 1545 Ninth street Marlon ‘A drop on the road is worth two from the pump' rn ;

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