Cedar Rapids Gazette, January 24, 1974, Page 8

Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette January 24, 1974

Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - January 24, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 9 I 9    III!    I    AN ANI I £%he <&*dwft»t>itU $w**t President s word doubted on personal aeais Editorial Page Thursday, Jonuory 24, 1974 Good-life groundwork IN RESISTING ‘‘desecration’’ of tho historic battlefield at Get* tysburg by a real estate man’s proposed 307-foot observation tower, opponents have invoked a three-year-old amendment to the Pennsylvania constitution. It was passed to safeguard valued features of the state’s environment. As the case stands now enroute to federal involvement, Pennsylvania’s supreme court has disregarded this protection in clearing the project for action. But the preservation effort still lives, and the legal key to its validity holds interest everywhere. On this the 1971-passed constitutional amendment state . "The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania's public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people." People's forum Doubtful To the Editor: The administration’s energy tzar has announced that gasoline prices will advance from 8 to ll cents per gallon over the next two months, and in many stations this has happened already. Some newscasters have alleged that a tremendous amount of Mr. Nixon's campaign funds came from the major oil companies. If this is true, one is inclined to believe that the gasoline shortage is a well-planned contrivance to dupe the public, create larger profits for the oil companies and divert attention from the Watergate scandal The oil companies know, as we all do, that each year brings greater demands for petroleum end products. Yet in spite of this awareness, they proceeded to cut back their production many months before the Arabs imposed an embargo and before the shortage propaganda was circulated to the public. If the majors would disregard the embargo. uncap and activate the numerous idle wells, including those off-shore on the West Coast, and step up their refining operations, there would be no apparent need for all this shortage folderol. The embargo is responsible for a loss of only IO to 15 percent of our total requirement for raw petroleum. The reactivated wells should be productive enough to more than offset the percentage loss unused by the embargo. How anyone can possibly believe that the over-all economy can Ik* enhanced by skyrocketing the* price of gasoline, diesel and heating oils is beyond comprehension There is no doubt that this scheme will boost the economy of the oil companies, but try to imagine what it will do to the wage earners all over the nation who are losing their jobs. A widespread increase in unemployment is sure to cause untold unemployment problems and a sales decline in the* market place There are millions of salesmen, commuters and business people who depend entirely on automobiles as their only means of getting to and from their employment — not to mention the great loss of revenue to owners of motels and resort areas, because tourism and vacations will be a no-no. It will be most interesting to know how this beneficent portal-to-portal convenience can survive on an allotment Another I ie iv / M/ "Sure punches a boh in a fen spot, doesn t iff " In Iowa, though nothing quite like Pennsylvania’s “cash register in the skies" is casting shadows on the land just now, this has a timely ring. The “Iowa 2000” venture now beginning focuses on where we've been, on where we are and where we want to go regarding qualities of life remarkably akin to what the Pennsylvania amendment touches on. No parallel protection or concern for water, air and natural, historic, scenic or esthetic values of our habitat now graces Iowa’s own constitution as a guarantee of people’s rights. A spell-out patterned on the one in Pennsylvania would thus be apropos as part of Iowa 2000. Both to dramatize the better-life intent and give the program something tangible to build on, underpinning such as this could be most helpful. With a bicentennial approaching to enhance the timeliness of solid headway on the books by 1976, this year’s legislature faces shining opportunities to start it off. of only ten gallons of gasoline per week But perhaps these particular cars ha\e been updated in some manner to enable them to function on the abundance of hot air which exists in that area Richard Kberhart 4666 Bever avenue SE Cold enough To the Editor: There must be two or more sets of weather records kept here in Cedar Rapids. Last April's blitz was reported as one of the deepest snows on record But I remember March 25, 1931. It was a lot worse. Then on Saturday, Jan. 13, The Gazette reported 26 below at the airport as a new record. Maybe it’s a new one sim*e the* mid-'30s We had 31 below in early '30s, but I do not remember the exact year. I have a friend who remembers that day as well as I do and will verify my statement. We were both mail carriers. If you are out in 31-degree-below windy weather, you sure as hell remember it I also remember in ’20s or '30s we had two solid weeks in February when the weather did not get above zero Remember, some of you retired carriers? I have had enough snow and cold for this winter Emil A Rosen berger 1415 Ninth street \'W (Editor s note: As reported, the records for temperature or snow apply only to the specific calendar dates on which they oc cur ) Child support To tile Editor There was a piece in the Jan 16 paper almut whether a woman should still get alimony after sin* has remarried. I think the law had better start getting something done about these fathers who are out of the state What are these women sup|M*sc*d to do for overdue child support? Yes — they say take it to a lawyer. Who is to pay for this'* You’re right, the women Take it to the county attorney? That s free, but what can they do? They say their hands are tied tK*cuuse these lndiv iduals are out of state. In my case I have done both, and I have come up with nothing. Three years* back support is still owed You go to the state for help; they say the stepfathers are responsible I say why let these real fathers go? These are their children too I) Simmons 826 Tenth avenue SW Best' police To tin? Editor I think we have the best police force in the nation They think of all the people and they are fair. I’m glad I do not live somewhere else. Maxine Santee 1315 Fourth street NW By louis Harris The Harrt* Survey r)\ 56 26 percent, ii majority of the American people agrees with the charge that "President Nixon has not ln*on honest altout tho financing of Ins houses in San Clemente and Key Biscayne.” In addition, the President’s decision to release a full financial disclosure of his income and taxes appears more to have raised doubts than to have calmed doubts about his personal financial dealings. All in all, by 66-25 percent, the American people give Mr Nixon negative marks on his publication of Ins personal finances. Significantly, Republicans are critical of the President on his tax revelations by 52-38 percent, while those voters who cast their ballots for him in tile 1972 presidential election are also critical by 54-38 percent. Along with serious doubts about President Nixon’s integrity iii handling tin* disputed Watergate tapes, as reported earlier this week iii tin* Harris Survey, his actions in trying to explain his personal financial dealings now appear to have put him in worse trouble than ever with the American people The number who now feel Mr. Nixon is a “man of high integrity" has slipped to an all-time low of 37 percent of the public. Should congress limit oil \ industry profits? TOURING 1973. while American eon* Assumers and businesses started feeling the effects of the energy shortage, the oil industry chalked up its most impressive profit performance in years During July, August and September — tile months when the crisis became acute — oil company profits soured 63 percent alleve levels for the same period ill 1972 While economists and government officials generally accept the necessity of higher oil prices to curb use of short ;>e-troleum supplies, it would Im* both unfair and unnecessary for the oil companies to earn undue profits as a result As President Nixon noted in proposing un excise tax on crude oil price increases, “because of the abrupt nature of the present shortage, prices could temporarily exceed the price levels require! to increase supplies, and oil producers could reap unanticipated windfall' profits Nobody contends that the oil industry should In* denied normal profitability. What is at issue, as Democratic Rep John D Dinged of Michigan contends, is not the ordinary level of profits, but whether they should bo able to continue to double, redouble and double again their profits in the forthcoming years as they have been doing in the time of this crisis ’’ In a tune of national crisis “while everybody else is asked to tighten their belts, to conserve, give up driving, and other luxuries and necessities, the oil companies are making a killing," Dinged complains. Development of energy resources to overcome the shortage and provide for future needs will require tremendous investments in exploration, production and refinery construction But given the existing structure of the oil industry — dominated by eight giant companies that share most of the market — there is little incentive for them to use their profits for that purpose. As Sen George McGovern <D*S I) ) has pointed out. during the energy crisis "big oil’s best interest lies in preserving a seller’s market and maintaining shortages “Since the natural interest of the oil companies is not in using those profits for productive purposes," McGovern contends, without government action “we will see higher retained earnings, From Jan 7 to III a cross-sect ion of Hill households nationwide was asked let me read you some statement* about President Nixon * (fleming information about Six income and the taxes be box paid For each, tell me if you tend to agree or disagree (read statement*) Agree Dix agree Not sin e lf ix wrong for President Nixon to bove paid lex* taxex than a perxon with an income of $8,000 a year, when be ix paid a salary ond expense account totaling $250,-OOO a yeoi 75 15 IO President Nixon has fail ed to provide moral leadership for the rest of the country by taking advantage of legal fox loopholes    64 I resent President Nixon becoming a millionaire at a time when the American people have hod a hard time molting ends meet 23 13 50 Al In releasing personal financial information, President Nixon showed he really feels he hos not been guilty of any wrongdoing The tax breaks the President took were oil legal and proper 46 29 41 45 13 26 Louis Harris I'his series af questions reveals tin* basic set of public opinion on Mr Nixon’s disclosure of his finances • By a narrow margin, 46 41 percent, most people believe that Iii releasing all of Ins financial data, Mr. Nixon showed he feels he has not been guilty of any w rongdoing." • However, bv a lopsided 75-15 percent, the public ft*eis the President was “wrong to have paid less taxes than a person with an income of $8,(MMI a year, when he is paid a salary and expense aeeount totaling $250,666 a year." All of this adds up to a ringing criticism of the President — not for committing illegal financial acts, but rather for financial behavior not befitting a man whom the country should look to as its leader in the White House The root of the doubts and suspicions about the President’s personal finances stems from the way iii which he bought his houses in Key Biscayne and San Clemente and in the salt's of some of the land he made in his California resider By Congressional Quarterly WASHINGTON    - With the complaints of constituents still ringing in their ears, members of congress are returning here for their second session ready to clamp down on the oil industry’s burgeoning profits There are a number of alternatives to choose among, including President Nixon’s proposed excise tax on crude oil price increases and a straight excess profits tax on oil company earnings not list'd to develop new supplies The administration is relying on price increases to curb use and encourage production of petroleum products. And while congress is willing for the time be- dividends. and perhaps new mergers and investments outside the energy field That is why we need the measure . . . which would require the fuel companies to make productive kinds of investments — or see their inflated profits taxed at a high rate" to finance government efforts to solve the energy crisis. Conof essioooi O'‘arter tv DEFORE ITS impressive 1973 profit performance, the oil industry had been a relatively low-profit business compared to other industries As measured by rate of return on investment. the oil companies together over the past five years were Indow the national average* Even in 1973, according to commerce The Gazette's Opinion Shoot to kill shortage EVERYBODY’S prime objective in the fuel shortage being coped with now should be to get it over with as fast as possible. The less disruptive this cart be to systems and institutions in the* thick of the struggle, the better and more durable the end results are apt to be On that premist1 one essential in the answer is that new investment capital for added fuel and energy production flow amply into new facilities for that production. Naturally, the institution geared to handle this both hest and fastest — insofar as gasoline-related fuels are concerned — is America’s strong oil industry. It is in the public interest, and the oil industry’s as well, to see that ample profits during slmrtage-times go into new-production channels as investment capital: Thereby the shortages eventually will cease. It s not in anybody’s interest that when the going gets tough either (a) the oil industry’s profit-hunger leads it NOT to pump sufficient money into new production, or (b) the government abandons faith in supply-and-demand forces of free-enterprise capitalism and starts ordering the proper flow by force or unfree means. Consequently, in whatever action congress feels compelled to launch concerning oil shortages and profits, several principles should guide it; Any profit-scissoring that congress dm*s should not In* so severe as to eliminate incentives for the needed plow back into new production The watchdog work on profits should include, if anything, provisions swing to it that thi* gravy does not go for other purposes at the expense of wiping out the shortage* A dominating sense of fairness to the public (Up consumers), to the industry and to the* market .system in which everybody has a stake* shenjld lead tei something workable that does the job feir all cr Tile* public uhs asked dire* lh about ,ll|S Do you IMI    "»    N,,,on    b*#" hone** or no! about the tmonrrng of hit hoax*** in Son Clemente and Key Bi*, n*"1" ’    ! ,»t„i ut.ain 26 56 18 Benn honest Not l>e«n honest Not sure Tims, tilt' financial disclosures bv the* President haw cast awn hinger shadows tm his Integrity The* creiss-Heettoii was asked When all of the investigation* and coxes hove finished, do you think Prudent Nixon will Im. found to hove vrolated the law, ox wax true of Vice president Agnew, or don t yon thus* this will happen? tun Ii Nnv n Ort /J Will be found to have ..JI    47    44    39 violated law Will not happen    37 Not un.    22    23 The number    af Americans    who    think Mr Nixon will ultimately be found to have violated the law still is below 56 percent, but it has    risen    from    39-47 percent since last October By contrast, the* number who think lie will la* found to Im* innocent has gout* up only from 36-37 percent Richard Nixon is now in deep trouble (MI Ins credibility with the American people*, and his own decision to release his financial statements and taxes has made things worse rather than better for him. even though the people think Mr Nixon believes himself to Ik* innocent Chicot*) Tripoli* New York New* Syndicate mg to go along with that strategy, it seems determined to make sure that higher prices are not translated into unreasonable profits for the oil industry But the industry is re*sisting such restrictions, contending that better profits are needed to finance stepped-up exploration and production efforts Should congress ini|>ose a temporary limit on oil industry profits during the energy crisis? The following arguments come from thieve involved in the debate Profits of the Big Eight 3ITO QUARTER SAUS ANO RRORTS Wrr tan* Ov»*r ham I9TJ 4-rrl.l, 0*o«ge ♦ *4W»> (•WM $ 6 ft 18 35 5 ft <8 81 Mea-1 I WU 7*> 64 ’♦•etc 3 03.' 40 Kl/ 4 48 (WW I V?1 TO 'Mf 4 Co* ♦ 2 027 I * 72ft (Set) t ATR 4 ’8 83 ft S* or. so. d I". I 345 5 20 ’4/ I V UCO I '*ft 5 Id mumm ■ ■ 'n-ex ■mmm mm ' department statistics, the industry’s 13 2 percent rate of return ranked below these others on an equity or an investment Ikisis in 1973’s first nine months: 16 5 percent for appliances, 17.5 percent for the automotive industry, almost 211 percent in drugs. As Sen Jennings Randolph (D W Va ) has noted, “only the nation s railroads, with a rate of return of 6 I percent, had a lower return on equity than the petroleum industry ’’ Rather than a windfall from the energy crisis, those 1973 profits reflected a general business upsurge that benefited other industries as well. No matter why those profits increased, however, the oil companies need them to finance stepped up exploration and exploitation of energy resources Republican Sen Paul I Kanmn of Arizona told the senate during debate on energy legislation that the funds needed to develop new energy resources “can (Mime only from profits. If we place legislation into effect that discourages industry from going forward with exploration    we are defeating the whole purpose    of having more energy available for the American people and at lower cost." By limiting profits, Kalium contended congress would In* “taking away (Im* very incentives that they need to go forward with their investments "In addition to extra l ash, iK*tter profits would help the oil industry attract the outside investments and loans it will nc*c*d to come up with the nearly Sl&O-billion required to meet energy n«*eds by I9K6 Itll company leaders have made clear that their profits would go toward such productive investments “It makes sense." Sen Dewey F Bartlett (K-Okla ) maintains, that thew companies would continue to invest in that Industry which they know best, especially when tin* opjxortunity for a reasonable rate of return is Improved Higher prices of conventional fuels will encourage producers not only to increase their output of thew fuels but also to use other techniques as they become commercial — Ruch as degasifieation arid liquefaction of coals and extracting of oil from nhale and tai sands — and further to undertake research of geothermal, solar, nuclear fusion and other sources of energy '* f »M.tf(*X\*f)(Mll Quarterly ;

  • Harris Survey
  • John D Dinged
  • Maxine Santee
  • Paul I Kanmn
  • Richard Nixon
  • Sen George Mcgovern
  • Sen Jennings Randolph

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Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Issue Date: January 24, 1974

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