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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - January 20, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Editorial Page iX, Jonuoiy 20, 974 Arab oil pinch: a backhand boost for US. Iowa in healthy shape WHENEVER the governor of any state finds enough surplus money in the tiil to recommend repeal of a tax, without the need for another tax to replace lost revenue, that state is in excellent economic health temporarily at least. So it is with Iowa, according to c Governor Ray, in asking "the legislature to remove the 3 per- cent state sales tax from food and prescription drugs. If the legisla- ture follows through (and there is little doubt that it the million saving to taxpayers will be absorbed initially by tliat much of a conservatively estimated surplus of some ?150 million. The call for tax repeal was a surprise element the governor in- f jected into his speech at the last minute, after making certain there would be enough money on hand to afford it. It is a welcome surprise to all lowans, too, although there is reason to believe low-income families might have f been helped more through a I sales-tax refund route, even with i' its complications. I If that route had been followed, it might have opened the way for lifting some of the income tax burden from middle-income' f families in the to 000 bracket. This could follow from an equalizing of the standard deduc- tion allowable on state and federal income tax returns. But that's another story. In any case the governor deserves commendation for his action and for having the courage, in this election year, to lay down a whopping program for the legislature to enact in what is supposed to be the general as- sembly's short session. It would have been easy for (he f governor to call for tax repeal and for putting the rest of the money into a rainy-day fund. Instead 'he rightly took advantage of the op- portunity to recommend that the legislature use some more of the surplus to do certain things 43 more things to be exact that have been put off too long due to lack of funds in the past. These items include using million to raise salaries of public million to increase aid to dependent children; million to meet nonpayroll infla- tionary costs; million to increase Medicaid grants; million to eliminate, a year ahead of schedule, the 10 percent annual millage decrease from the school foundation plan to effect a property tax saving in 54 districts; million for long-overdue con- servation projects; million to finance expansion of educational television on a statewide basis; million for a research coal mine; approximately million Newcomers IN A TALK here recently, prophetess Jeane Dixon told a Collins Radio audience that it would "be surprised by the people who will move to Cedar Rapids" as the city's growth goes on. Now there's a speculative thought. Howard President cites Speer Nazi-praise startles By Rowland Evans and Robert Novak WASHINGTON One apparent sign of the heavy pressures on President Nixon came, to the astonish- ment of administration officials, at a high-level energy crisis meeting in the cabinet room just before Christmas when Mr. Nixon glowingly referred to Hitler Germany's sensational1 war production techniques during World war II. Turning to energy czar William E. Simon, the President said he wanted Simon lo cut corners, demolish red tape and ride roughshod over the bureaucracy to get his energy program moving. He then advised his audience to read Albert Speer's "Inside the Third particularly the description of how Speer as arms production boss had kept Ger- man war production at peak levels even during (he worst of the allied bombing of Germany. Some present felt the President was saying, in effect: I want Bill Simon to be my Albert Speer. The reaction of some of those listening to Mr. Nixon in the cabinet room that day bordered on shock. Worse than that, some of the President's official family felt that Ihe easy praise for convicted war criminal Speer's industrial mobilization of Nazi Germany was slightly ominous. An enduring rule In American politics NOVAK has long stigmatized praise for any as- pect of Hitler Germany in American political rhetoric. The fact that Mr. Nixon could so easily, and without self-con- sciousness, break that rule in the bosom of his official family was chilling. It was also indicative of the tremendous strain Mr. Nixon is now operating under. A footnote: In a far different political lapse in late November the President made an extraordinary mistake. Signing the Alaska pipeline bill, the President said the first pen should go "to the senior senator from Alaska, Mike Gravel. Democrat Gravel's colleague, Republican Ted Stevens, the senior senator from Alaska, was visibly upset but managed lo retrieve (he first pen from an embarrassed President. It was the kind of mistake rarely made by a President who prides himself on being maslcr of political mlnutla. Moll SyncJIccjtt for new buildings, and J3.5 million to cover federal fund losses in health sciences. The governor also made provisions to insure no loss of care or funding for old-age-assistance recipients adversely affected by the federal takeover of the old-age benefit program. Wisely, too, 'he honored the sound policy of put- ting aside some money for another day. His proposed budget would leave million in the treasury above expenses at the end of this biennium, June Creation of a new department of transportation, enactment of a 55- m.p.h. speed limit, adoption of a criminal code revision act and of a land use policy, are other worthwhile items among the governor's proposals. Finally, he came to grips with a subject weighing heavily on minds of lowans and all Americans today: How much trust and con- fidence can we place in our public officials today? lowans, he said, have one major overriding concern about their government at all levels: "If you were to say it is taxes, you would be wrong though, indeed, this is a big concern. The issues of energy, inflation, en- vironment, drug abuse, law en- forcement, education and human rights are all extremely impor- tant. But none of these, as much as they deserve our attention, can be said to be number one in the minds of our people. When it comes to government, the issue most concerning our people today involves the basic element of trust and confidence." He reminded legislators that the same constitution which requires the governor to deliver a condi- tion-of-the-state message contains an article dealing with the legislature that reads in part: "The doors of each house shall be open "There is much more than a literal meaning in this he concluded. "It tells us our forefathers understood straight- forwardness, sincerity and openness. Today these qualities are more needed than ever." Well said, Governor, well said. By Norman Cousins TT IS HARD to imagine a more favora- We development in the long run for Hie American economy than (he MIWKX crisis. Without realizing it, the Arabs have provided a prodigious boost lo Ihe U. S. economic position, both at home and in the world. So far, the American people have viewed the oil shortage largely in lorms of their difficulties in selling from one place lo another, or in heating their homes, or in the reduced supply of the various forms of merchandise. This is understandable; people tend lo judge events by the way their own lives are af- fected. But the prospects of the American economy, far from being weakened by the energy crisis, have been greatly improved. Perhaps the best way to un- derstand this paradox is to examine America's economic position in rela- tionship lo Japan. For the past decade, Japan has been knocking Ihe stuffings oul of the United Slates in the sale of industrial merchan- dise, synthetic fibers and commodity chemicals in the international marketplace. In country after country, Japan has been able to outsell us in au- tomobiles, TV sets, phonographs, cal- culators, computers, business machines and all sorts of sophisticated electronics equipment. Japan has become something of a People's forum Backs UN. To the Editor: A letter published last Dec. 29 alleged that the U. N. was conceived and has been controlled by communists, and lhat, therefore, "responsible" Americans should want the U. S. to get out. The letter contained nine paragraphs of quotations or assertions. The general na- ture of the argument was that because someone who approved or supported the U. N. was a communist, this proves the U. N. itself conceived and dominated by communists. For example, Ihe writer quoted Earl Browder, a prominent American communist, as saying: "The American communists worked energe- tically and tirelessly lo lay the foundation for Ihe U. N., which we were sure would come into existence." The implication is that because Earl Browder and his tiny band of American communists supported the establishment of the U. N. it was in fact established for that reason rather than because political leaders of both parties and their consti- tuents also strongly supported and worked for its establishment. A further implication is that if the leaders and populace of this country did support the U. N., it was somehow because they were duped by the communist conspiracy. The space requirements of your letters column do not permit refutation of this sort of argument in any detail, but for one quick shot: The United States senate ra- tified the U. N. charter with but one or two dissenting votes. The senate was not made up of people who were either Influenced by or unaware of communist aims. The contention of communist domina- tion of the U.N. is demonslrably false. The fact is that Russia and the com- munist bloc were reluctantly dragged in- to the U. N. and worked for years to avoid its actions and sabotage its effectiveness. Russia tried to do away with the office of the secretary-general and vetoed well over a hundred Security Council resolu- tions before the U. S. 'cast its first veto but a few years ago. These actions speak louder than words as evidence of "whose side" the U. N. has been on to dale. The letter writer made one point that cannot be denied: There are communist nations in the U. N. and there are com- munists among its employes in the secretariat. In an assemblage of the na- tions of the world as now exist this is inevitable. But why should it because for our abandoning the U. N. and converting it into a communisl tool, rather than working harder than we have lo continue its role as an effective spokesman for the principles we embrace rather than those we disavow? W. R. Shutlleworlh, secretary Iowa Division, United Nations Assn. 2403 Indian Hill road SE Fire System To Ihe Editor: After a recent trailer house fire east of Iowa City, a Idler appeared In Tho Gazelle condemning Ihe Iowa City fire department for not responding to Ihe fire. Our Johnson County Mutual Aid Assn. Is one of the best In Iowa. It Includes two departments just outside our county (West Branch and Each fire department has a territory which Is covered by taxation to pay for the ex- pense of fire equipment for (heir protec- tion. Our mutual aid system Is set up so that If any department needs help In Us home town, It can call all of the other fire deportments and get fire Irucks, lankcrs, manpower, clc., as Ihe local fire chief forcing-house for Industrial production. Government policy has favored manufacturing in every particular, all the way from taxation lo comparatively lenient antipoUuttou regulations. Several years ago, for example, when a reces- sion threatened the Japanese economy, iron and steel companies were allowed to fix prices and operate as cartels. Japanese wages, as Is well-known, are far under V. S. wage scales. Kven when we give Japanese industry high marks for expertise, initiative and drive, Ihe fact remains lhat its low labor costs are a powerful factor in its ability to undercut the United States not just in Ihe world market but inside the United Stales it- self. Meanwhile, Japan has been pursuing a chain-reaction effect in Ihe economic sector. Not only has she been disadvan- lafiing Ihe economies of other countries by her pricing policies, but she has been using her accumulated capital lo acquire vast landhoUlings abroad, as in Canada, and to obtain important positions in the stock ownership of foreign companies. The result is that Japan is able lo com- bine political leverage along with her economic power. One of the principal reasons for Ihe U. S. decision lo devalue the dollar was to reduce Japan's competitive advantage. In Ihe past year, devaluation has been working. The Japanese yen has stopped soaring in relationship lo the dollar. America has been increasing its share of the world market. Our adverse balance- Norman Cousins of-trade trend al long last has been shift- Ing favorably. The world oil shortage could not have hit Japan at a worse timo from its own standpoint. Instead of being able to meet peak orders for merchandise from all over Ihe world, Japan has been forced lo cut back sharply in Industrial production. The fact that Japan knuckled under to Arab threats and changed its foreign policy in order to get off the Arab blacklist has not solved Japan's economic problem. The sharp hike in (he price of Arab oil slill applies to Japan. Its oil hill will be billion in 1974 compared lo billion last year. Recently, the Japanese government, confronted with low oil reserves, put through a 15 percent cut in oil and elec- tricity. Little wonder that Japanese money traders have been rushing lo exchange yen for dollars. What has happened to Japan is also happening, although to a lesser extent, to West Germany and oilier industrial na- llons They have hit far harder by the Arab embargo and Hie price hike than Ihe United States. Looking beyond Ihe emergency phase of (he present rcuinMiiic i-i isis, tile United Stales is in far boiler position In strengthen Us long-term economic pros- pects'llian Japan or Us oilier principal competitors. When Ihe new small cars come off Ihe Ddroit assembly lines, fur example, they will bo allraclively priced alongside Iho dwindling imports from Japan and West Germany, holh of which will either have lo put Ilirongh sharp Increases in price or add lo Ihe serious strain in Ihi'ir economies. Another effect nf the Arab oil squeeze will be a more competitive situation for Japan than so far II has had In sustain inside the United Slates. Up lo now, Japan has been taking billions nf dollars oul of Iho American economy. It will still be a powerful factor in the U. S. market but will no longer have such strong ad- vantages against American manufac- turers. The improved position of the United Slates with respect lo Japan will also lie (rue lo varying degrees in our competi- tive'relationship with Iho nations of Wes- tern Europe. The Arabs didn't intend it to work out this way, but (hey may well have saved (he United Stales from a major depres- sion. Los AnoclM Syndicate One small step for the planet, giant, step for lo.wa deems necessary. This is set up on a contract written years ago and signed by all parties concerned. Iowa City has been a great asset to bur association and will continue to be in the future. Iowa City is not supposed to cover rural fires. The main reason in the past has been the water-carrying capacity on Iowa City trucks. They pump off of city fire hydrants. The county association has never expected them to handle our fires in the rural areas. If there was a call when life was in- City or any other fire department with the shortest distance would go, whether it be rural or city. Iowa City has responded twice in the last year to rural areas for car accidents because life was involved as well as fire, and has gone to Coralville on mutual aid calls, just as other departments have gone to Iowa City on these calls. At present the Johnson county sheriff's office handles some of the fire calls. If a call is made to Iowa City for a rural area, it takes about five seconds to report it to Johnson county and the proper depart- ment is notified. All fire radio systems of Johnson county use the same radio band and base station for rural areas, handled by Johnson county. Iowa City is on the same band We feel that the recent letter in The Gazelle is unjustified because the person did not realize how our mutual aid sys- tem works. As for the Johnson Counly Mutual Aid Assn., we would like to thank the Iowa City fire department for the help and leadership it has displayed in our county association. Russell D. Slade, President Johnson Counly Mutual Aid Assn., Coralville Car pools? To the Editor: As a public service in keeping with the spirit of energy conservation, I suggest that The Gazette could do its part by having a no-cost column listing car-pool rides wanted and rides available in the Cedar Rapids area. Dan R. SchinUz Hiawatha Someone waiting, unseen Incredibly, man reaches out By Marquis Childs VIEW, Calif. For an escapee from Ihe muddied, muddled, quarrelsome almosphere of Washington It is an adventure lo come here to NASA's Ames research center. The journey Into space being directed from the center is thrilling evidence of America's scientific and technological leadership. It is a strength which, if sus- tained, can Iransccnd Ihe political frail- tics and foibles of Ihe moment. The spacecraft Pioneer 10 has been traveling for 21 months. Passing within miles of Ihe planet Jupiter only one minute off schedule, Pioneer sent back a mass of data about lhat huge ball of ro- tating gas with its radiation belt at least a hundred times greater than the Van Allen belt around the carlli. While this was Pioneer's primary goal, it is traveling on In space with four more years of communication from a distance calculated to be close lo two billion miles. Two years from now Pioneer will be passing Saturn, which Is twice as far from Ihe earth as Jupller. Nor !H that Ihe end of the journey. Al one stage Pioneer will be passing I'lulii, farthcsl-onl of Ihe planets In Iho solar system. Then for anyone Interested In far-out statistics for pioneer IrnvcllnR at 10 miles per second, It Is 8 million light years to Taurus. Project manager Charles Hall reports this in all serious- ness. In the frictionless almosphere of outer space Pioneer can continue, if not with Its own nuclear power (hen with Interplanetary pulls, ad infinilum. Parl of NASA's mission under Iho charier Is lo explore the potential of In- lelligcnt beings living on other planets The project science-director, John II Wolfe, believes lhat, in the galaxy of Ihe Milky Way with its millions of stars be- ings far superior lo earthlings may'live with techniques of communication capa- ble of spanning Ihe light years of inlcr- slollar space. A distinguished physicist In the complex field of plasma physics, Wolfe believes strongly in NASA's role In searching out other life. In this time nf tight money and demands for federal help from every side, the skeptics ask: Why spend millions on this fanciful bit? Wolfe has an answer. One of his specialties Is llm study of solar winds, lie sees this an a vast laboratory related lo thermonuclear fusion and thereby advancing llm day when Iho stuff In a hydrogen explosion can bo controlled. That will release unlimited slorcs of energy, Whclhcr It comes In 10 years or 100 years Is anyone's guess, according lo Wolfe. Aside from any practical contribution, Pioneer is a great scientific achievement. It is the only spacecraft, except possibly for highly experimental military sa- tellites, known to run on nuclear power. Four radioisotope thermoelectric generators developed by Hie Atomic Energy Commission provided 140 walls al Jupiter and should provide more than walls five years after launch. Pioneer II, with a different approach lo Jupiter, will be launched in April. Already on the drawing boards is Viking, designed to land on Mars and equipped lo scoop up Martian soil, analyze It and send the results back lo earth, giving clues as lo whether life al any level can exist. Beyond that Is a manned landing on Mars or perhaps on one of (ho satellites of Jupller Ganymede or Cnlllsto where there is a solid base. The scientific brains lhal have gone Into Hie Pioneer project arc one of America's grcalest resources. They un- (lerwrllo Ihe Icchnologlcal-scientlflc lend lhat Is perhaps this country's greatest asscl. Tho momentum must bo main- tained If our rivals Iho Russians, (ho (icrimms, Iho Japanese are mil lo overtake nnd pass us by. UnllMl Pxilun
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