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   Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - March 14, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa                                People's verdict 4-1: Tapej-wipe deliberate Editorial Page tlmrxlay. Match 14, 1974 problem T3EMEMBER the old story .Lv about the leaky roof? The householder wouldn't fix the leak in the rain because he'd get wet. And there was no need to fix it when it wasn't raining because it didn't leak. Well, that story has a parallel in legislative halls. For two years the legislature has been confronted with a delicate problem that has to do with paying daily expense money to members not in attendance due to extended poor health. No one wants to pick on any in- dividual in times of illness. And, just as with the leak, there's no pressing need to correct the problem when nobody is absent due to illness. But the fact is that the legisla- ture should move to remedy the situation when all of its members are healthy and in attendance so the problem is settled for the fu- ture. Fortunately, Senator Andersen of Sioux City has introduced a bill Which .would enable the legisla- ture to come to grips with this this year while all members are on the job and healthy. His bill would require each legislator to file a claim, not of- tener than once a month, setting out How many days he or she was ifi.attendance'.and the per expense he or she is entitled to receive. Under the present law the state has: no alternative than'to pay each, legislator a day in ex- penses'.fpr five days a week while the legislature is in a total of week. .Polk, county legislators get half that on grounds they-live at home and have less expense. The expense allowances will.be raised to and a week starting next January. That makes it even more important -that the legislature act now.to cut tliem off for those not in attendance in the future through some plan like that sug- gested by Andersen. The need for such a plan grew out of two cases of extended ill- ness, both of which resulted in death, involving two legislators in the last two years. In one case a state representa- tive missed the entire 1972 session but received expenses totaling as if he had been in atten- dance daily. In the other case the state paid in expenses to a senator who missed the entire 1S73 session due to illness. In each case the individuals in- volved questioned whether they were entitled to the money. But the state had no alternative but to pay it. As Senator Andersen points out, each legislator is entitled to receive mileage from the state for one-round trip per week between his' home arid the state capitol while the legislature is. in session. But to qualify each legislator must file a claim for the mileage, cer- tifying that the trip was made. Thei'e is no valid reason why a legislator shouldn't similarly have to file a claim to qualify for the daily expenses to which he is en- titled. Isn't It the Truth? By Curl 'When our primitive.ancestors went in to dinner they ate with their fingers and, '.with belly full, walked boldly to the council cave. When they tallied the day's bag after a hunt they could count the take on both their fingers and their toes. In this computer age, man doesn't have to count, and instead of stuffing his face with his fingers he eats'.with a fork. When he walks he walks on his toes tiptoeing in the wilds of a fearful Civilization. "Tile purpose of all civilization is to convert man, a beast of prey, into a litme animal.'' W.Nietzuhe InterOceon Press Svndlcote-- By Louis Harris rMV Harris Survey BY 67-16 percent, a majority of the American people sides with the finding of the electronic experts calle'l in by Judge Sirica that the IS minutes missing from (lie Watergate tapes "were erased deliberately and.were not just a mistake." By 55-21 percent, a smaller majority agrees with the statement that "the 18 minutes missing from the tape of the conversation between President Nixon and U.K. llaldcmaii were deliberately erased because they would have proved President Nixon's involvement in the cover-up." As a result, a plurality (47-42 percent) disagrees with the plea that "people should give President Nixon the benefit of the doubt in the Watergate tapes con- troversy." Part of the reason for this lack of public charity toward the President can be found in the 54-21 percent majority that is willing to believe "the two missing tapes were ordered de- stroyed because they would have proven President Nixon knew about the Water- Kate The bottom line on the public's judg- ment about the President and the tapes can be found in its response to this question asked of a nationwide cross- section of households in mid- Pebriiiirv: Louis Harris "How would yoo rate President Nixon on hii handling of the WaiCfgota tapci ex- cellent, pretty good, only fair, or Positive (12} Excellent Pretty good Negative (811 Only (aii Poor Not sure 5 7 II 70 7 The 81-12 percent negative rating given President Nixon on his handling of the tapes controversy cuts across every key group in the adult population. Politically significant is the roster of groups in the population who give him low marks on the tapes issue: 74 percent of the South, 71 percent of rural residents, 72 percent of those 50 years of age and over, 83 percent of the skilled labor group, 82 percent of business People's forum Gas-price posting To the Editor During the.days of plentiful, fuel, every station in town posted its prices in large letters for all the world to see. Then came the 'so-called shortage. The prices went up and the signs came down. I have no quatiel with the station operators and their right to a reasonable, profit. I do object to the oil companies' unreasonable profits and to not knowing, from one day to the next what the. price of gasoline will be at any given station. It should be illegal not to post prices. The public should have the right to know the price one must, pay prior to driving into a station. H.D. Larson Route 1, Swisher Panama deal To the Editor: An article on your editorial page recently expressed a most unfortunate viewpoint on the Panama situation. It showed a total disregard fdr.facts con- cerning the establishment of the Canal Zone and the best interests of this nation. The Canal Zone established by tieaty with the Republic of Panama in 1903, the United Statesfpaying million for the land, use, occupation and control of a zone foi construction and operation of a canal between the Atlantic and Pacitic oceans All sovereign rights, powers and authority within the zone were granted to the U.S., to the entire exclusion of Panama's exercise of any power or authority. In addition, the U.S. purchased all land within the Canal Zone from its legal owners and. made settlements with all the squatters. It was a fair deal. Panama has no more claim on this land than France has on land within the city limits of Cedar Rapids which was part of the famous'Louisana purchase. Not only was complete settlement made executives. 86 percent of those who earn and over. 86 percent nf union workers, 66 percent of all Republicans, 89 percent of nil Cuvlholics, 76 percent of white Protestants, and 70 percent of those who voted fur him in 1972. Perhaps more Utan other develop- ill e lit in the Watergate episode, the question of the tapes has undone the basic credibility of this President. Fully three in every four now express doubts that they can ever accept his word again. And the prevailmi; judgment of the lar- gest segment of public opinion now holds that the Watergate staiir Hill plague Mr. N'ixon for the rest his days in office. The cross-sect if in was asked: "If President Nixon remains in office for the rest of his term, how serious a handicap in getting the job done do you think the doubts about his involvement in Watergate and about his integrity- will be a very serious handicap, only somewhat serious, or not serious at r Very serious handicap Only somewhat serious Not serious at all Not sure public 48 34 12 6 Significantly, -it must he pointed out that the numbei- of Americans who feel Watergate will "very seriously han- w'ith Panama iwt all of Colombia's claims also were.settled. We paid a much higher rate per acre for the land in the Canal Zone than, we paid to France for what is now Linn county. 11 has been .suggested that the Canal Zone be annexed, to the U.S. as the 51st state.. Rhode' would no longer, be the smallest. Paul D. Simpson Ml.'Vermin Why impeach? To the Why should Nixon be im- peached? Whyrshould he resign? What man could rep.teice him? President man of integrity and resolved not to resign, but to his constitutional respon- sibilities as President. He has played the leading role toward making peace1 in the world. He will not weaken under the hand of his enemies who" have made him a target of ridicule and dishonor. Where has cwir "society of true Chris- dicap" the President for the remainder of his term has not reached the 50 percent murk, although the current 48 percent is perilously close toit. Only 12 percent nationwide now believe Watergate can pass and be forgotten. Even among Republicans, no more than 25 percent think Watergate can be put behind the nation and Mr. Nixon can continue in office in a normal way. 'in' this present gray area in which Hit- nation has a President who obviously has lost the confidence of the people, but who has yet to be charged formally with an impeachable offense, the particulars of the Watergate tapes remain the gravest source of public doubt over President Nixon's credibility and integrity. The proof of thai emerged in yet another question: "If the Wateigole giand jury were to decide the President was negligent in the care he took of the Watergate tapes, which were known to be future legal evidence, do you feel congress should impeach the President or Should Should 'not Not sure 50 39 II 48 40 12 Cliicaoo Tribune New York Syndicate tians" gone? Where have'our morals gone? America, the greatest nation on earth, on principles and characteristics established by our forefathers, has become corrupt through the overindul- gence and extravagance of the people themselves. Politics, hate, greed, crime and sex dominate our today. When Richard Nixon was elected to the office, he was confronted with the Viet- nam war and all these sordid problems. He has bravely carried out the. tasks placed upon him, seeking his goal of peace. President Nixon broughLhome our prisoners of war and our soldiers from Vietnam. That has stopped tiie bombs and bloodshed.of a war we didn't need. Today, the President and Secretary of State Kissinger are engaged in working for peace in the Middle East, imderthe most difficult circumstances, in a land where hostility has always predominat- ed. in his great anticipation of peace, Richard Nixon has made visits to Europe, Russia and China with the urge to make friends throughout, the world May he achieve his goal as a peace maker, a virtue which .surpasses all the mistakes proclaimed against him Berniece McDonald WhabCheer Should congress cut personal income taxes? By Congressional Quarterly WASHINGTON -'Congress is being tempted by a quick and politically popular remedy for a sinking economy a tax cut. With .the warning signs of recession popping up every day, some Democrats in congress, on the advice of traditionally Democratic economists, already-.are'ad- vocating a reduction in income taxes.' -If the economy continues to slip, congress may find the idea irresistible; such legislation "would go through.very easily in this election predicts Sen.'William Proxmire President Nixon and his advisers op- pose cutting taxes, at least for now. In Nixon's view shared by Senator Prox- mire a reduction in taxes would pose too great a risk of further accelerating inflation. In' its first congressional test, tax cut legislation breezed through the senate on a vote. But the bill to which-it was attached as an amendment was side- tracked and never did .become law. Should congress cut taxes to stimulate the economy? The Arguments YES THE administration still sticks to its prediction of economic .recovery in the second half of 1974, the 'energy-short U.S. economy is heading :inlo recession, if it isn't already there. Despite obvious early warning signals, the administration in submitting the fis- cal 1975 budget message planned only a slight increase in the budget's stimula- tive effect on economic activity. In economist Arlhur M. Okun's view, "maintaining an unchanged budgetary impact from 1973 to 1974 is inappropriate fiscalpolicjvin effect providing the same treatment for a case of the chills in 1974 that was used 10 fight a fever" during the economic boom of 1973. Whilei the President insists he is prepared to step up federal spending if the economy turns out lo need boosting, the stimulus would be by the inertia of federal programs and the time lag in pumping extra funds into the economy. Because "only a few federal expendi- ture efforts can bo geared up rapidly enough to bolster private purchasing power within calendar year Okun concludes, "the appropriate fiscal sup- port to the economy must include promptly enacted tax reductions." Massachusetts Sen. Edward M. Ken- nedy contends a tax cut is "the classical economic remedy for a recession Once before, in the early 1960s, congress used a lax cut to pull the economy out of a tailspin." The result, he recalls, was "the longest sustained period of real economic growth and prosperity without inflation in our history." By cutting taxes now, "to gel more purchasing power into the hands of con- Kennedy concludes, "we can blunt the recession before it takes hold." If tax reductions were concentrated among low- and middle-income tax- payers, adds Sen. Walter F. Mondale it "not only helps those most in need, but also provides the greatest amount of stimulus to our lagging economy." While inflation 'continues lo be worrisome, the government can do lilllc to contain it (his year. What the govern- ment can culling to prevent a recession on top of Kennedy reasons. Cunyrt'ssionul OuartcTiv The Gazette's opinion First things first EVERYBODY loves.a tax cut, anytime. Particularly in; election years; office, holders tend to go on the assumption that everybody, also loves a tax cutter with a fine sense of timing. Or maybe the assumption is that everybody hates a tax-cut resister whose opponent is the one with fine timing. Be that as it may; tax cutting under any guise at times of high government spending is more a case of playing games than of doing any good for the economy. A tax cut now is not going to extricate the country from a recession, if that is what the country's in. A lax cut is not going to stop inflation. A tax cut is not going to change shortage-rooted high prices. A tax cut is not the magic key to instant prosperity. A tax cut is not even the magic key to zillions-of votes. Instead, if congress found a way to pare down per- sonal income taxes without paring down the federal budget simultaneously, a tax cut would only do more harm than good. It can fool some of the people, part of the time. But it will also worsen the national debt, put programs and expenditures already committed into a bind, and lead inescapably to tax INCREASES later. The games should wait. If congress wants to tinker with the taxing system soon, a better pJacc to start would be with something Minnesota's Senator Mondale pinpointed again a few days back: the fact that big-income earners still can pay minuscule taxes and get away with it. Some 402 Americans who made more than paid no in- come taxes at all in 1972, he reported, and uncounted others paid hardly any. The senate last month voted to increase the minimum that high-bracket earners have to pay no matter how their write-offs and deductions might manipulate a wipeout otherwise. This was attached to a bill that later went back to the finance committee and is still there, stuck. Among the people whom a "tax cut" always sounds so lovely to, a sense of justice in the U.S. taxing system can do the country much more good than any fleeting, ineffectual but bouutifully limed cut. Thai should be the No. 1 priority today. The Arguments FOR NOW at least, the administra- tion's budget policy is steering a proper course between.the hazards of a tnrcalencdv'recession and unacceptable inflation. JTo abandon that cautious stance prematurely would condemn the nation to inflation for years to come.. Federal Reserve Board Chairman Arthur F. Burns has cautioned congress that while some increases in government spending may be useful, "I would strongly advise against adoption of a generally stimulative fiscal policy, such as a broads-tax cut. Under twisting conditions, Burns con- lends, "it. iis not clear that a strong dose of fiscal stimulus is needed now, and vie surely lo proceed cautiously at a time whurt the price level is still soar- ing." Senator Proxmire. who is vico-chair- man of UIB Joint economic committee, concurs: "I'liniKUlnst a tux cut unless we can cut expenditures substantially. Inflation lias been so serious thai I jnsl don't I III ink it would he rlghl." Any hetneflt to consumers from 11 lax reduction-! "would hi; an I'rox- nilrc argtios, because "Iho extra or K in each worker's paycheck would bu oil- ten iipby'lnflulion." If the economy worsens, the adminis- tration has prepared a number of con- tingency spendingmeasures that would put money into areas hit hardest by the energy shortage. While a general'ia'x cut has not been flatly ruled out, Treasury Secretary George P. Sliullz believes that it "should be at Iho end of Ihc line." "We have great demands on the federal Shultz says. "We struggle each year to sec how we arc go- ing to make ends meet. So I think that we ought to be very' careful about further eroding our flow of income." One trouble witli cutting tuxes, adds EdKiir It. Fiedler, the assistant treasury secretary for economic policy, is thai it's difficult if not increase them again. "Given the trend nf Kovurniiieiit spen- people want, wlint cniwress approves and what wo are easy in cut luxes bill hard lo gel them hack up when you need Fiedler complains. "When It's linn; lit gut buck in ii more restrictive slniice on Iho economy, hard to get back" losl revenues tlinl could bu fueling Inflation. Cuiuiiuuiloniii HuiiHnrlY   

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