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Cedar Rapids Gazette: Wednesday, October 2, 1974 - Page 7

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   Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - October 2, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa                                Bad habit: Presidents always from politics Editorial Page October 2, 1974 Linn leads the losers AS MIGHT have been prediet- a-d, 92 Iowa counties that re- ceived overpayments in state funds to replace revenue lost through repeal of the moneys and credits tax are taking their time in refunding money that does not belong to them. Meanwhile, the remaining seven counties, all of which were underpaid by the state, are stand- ing by until they receive the mon- ey due them, unable to use it ei- ther to reduce taxes or to place at interest. This comes about because the 1973 legislature, in its wisdom, set Dec. 31, 1976, as the deadline for the 92 counties to refund overpay- ments to the state and Jan. 31, 1977, as the deadline for the state to parcel this money to the seven counties entitled to it. Probably the legislature wouldn't have acted at all except that Michael Carr, the Delaware county attorney at the time, asked for an attorney general's opinion how the underpaid counties could get their money from the overpaid counties. Attorney General Turner held that legislation would be neces- sary to require overpaid counties to refund the amount of over- payments to the state for redis- tribution to underpaid counties. State Rep. Hennessey of Ryan took it from there, introducing the necessary legislation in 1973. But neither he nor Stale Sen. Kennedy of Dubuque, who helped with the bill in the senate, could get the legislature to pass it without agreeing to deadlines three years away. Thus, those of the 92 counties that chose to wait until the dead- line arrives will have use of mon- ey that is not theirs to meet their needs while the seven underpaid counties the money belongs to must sit and twiddle their thumbs. Where is the fairness in that kind of unorthodox ar- rangement? So far, only 16 over- paid countied have refunded a to- tal of which the stale has use of until it makes redistribu- tion. The unequal distribution of stale funds came about due to miscalculations by various county auditors in 1965 when five mills of the six-mill state moneys and credits tax were repealed. When the last mill was repealed later, valuations were frozen at the 1965 level. Then stale distribution checks from 1967 to 1973 were based on miscalculations of what was due each county. Overpayments ranged from to Fremont county to to Polk county. Underpayments range from duo Adams county to due Linn county, and they total At 5 percent interest and that's on the conservative side in today's market the underpaid counties could have realized more than a year if that money had been invested in their behalf. Or they could have used it to reduce taxes. But due to the delayed dead- lines insisted on by the legisla- ture, those seven counties (Clay, Delaware, Franklin, O'Brien and Tama, in addition to Linn and Ad- ams) won't get their money until January, 1977. It makes one wonder where the legislature would have set the deadlines if the situation had been reversed, with seven counties ow- ing the 92 counties nearly half a million dollars. Art-show eyewash TTiMBARRASSED, seemingly, at PJ showing what the watching world took to be the cultural weight of a band of apes in the smashup of an unapproved ab- stract-art show earlier this month, the Russian government has softened up a bit. Officials at a level higher than the local head- knock and bulldoze brigade al- lowed an offbeat show to go ahead last weekend, undisrupted. Nearly all the artists showing works were nonmembers of the official Union of Artists. Most of their paintings failed to qualify in the only category of art that Sovi- et cultural authorities recognize as valid: "socialist realism." The show was the first in modern his- tory permitting works to be viewed publicly without first being submitted to the state for approval. That much, at least, marks Way with words By Theodore M. Bernstein A CONNECTICUT editor writes to ask about what he calls the "confusion between (his and next." A reporter writ- ing on, let's say, Monday, Aug. 2fi, will talk about an event scheduled for "this Wednesday" nr "this and the edilor wants to know whether it shouldn't be "next Wednesday" or "next autumn." The adjective this has as one of ils meanings close in time, so it is just as proper to write, "I am going to have pizza for dinner Ihit as it is to write, "I had ham and eggs for breakfast morning." In writing toward the end of August about autumn il might he am- biguous to say "next it might not be clear whether you meant Ihe one about to begin or next year's. Writing autumn" would nail it down. The same goes for "this Wednes- day. The use of next would not be headway. Signs of some concern for what the world thinks bespeak encouragement. Willingness to bend a bit toward freedom does too. But a number of the Moscow show's exhibitors, themselves, refused to take all this as proof of any durable new tolerance on1 the Soviet government's part for cultural nonconformity. A vision of restrictive consequences overhung the scene for some. Good reasons for concern on that account, of course, persist. Artistic freedom, both for artists and for patrons of the arts, does not exist in any real sense where people who would like to show some art must get permission from the government before they can. Longer steps than any scon so' far will have to come before the1 world buys the picture being of- fered up now. improper, but it might not always he clear. Tho -ics words. A question that arises from time to time is whether a word like is always singular. II is singular most of Ihe time, bill not always. When an -ics word refers to a subject, a sci- ence, a profession or a system it is construed as a singular: "World was his life study." But when such a word refers to practical activities nr qualities it is sometimes construed as a plural: n'cs keep Ihe senalor busy from morning till night." Two more examples: "Statis- tics is a principal course al (he business "Stafisfics prove nothing in Ibis instance." Word oddities. So Odobor is upon us. Bui why October when the root of the word is octo, meaning eight? October is the name of Hie eighth month al least it was the eighth month in the ancient Roman calendar. In that calendar the year began with the month of March. In Ihe (ircgnrian calendar Ihe month was changed to the lentil month, but Ihe Octo-name remained unchanged. Similar Ihings happened In September, No- vember and December By William F. Buckley, jr. IT US EVERYWHERE said thai with the withdrawal of Sen. Edward Ken- nedy from the presidential race. Ihe Wa- tergate drama has come to a complete cycle, crushing with the same juggernaut that impaled Richard Nixon, the Democrats' principal contender for the presidency, Edward Kennedy. The explanation is by now shopworn. You cannot, we are told, remove the Republican Nixon for his failure, among iilher things, to come clean about his misbehavior and then elect the Demo- crat Kennedy notwithstanding his fail- ure, among other things, to come clean about his misbehavior. Richard Nixon's public declaration to the effect thai he deeply regrels his mistaken judgments greatly annoyed people who wanted him to appear in sackcloth and ashes, regretting the day (hat he was born. In fact, politicians use euphemisms, wherever possible. When Edward Kennedy renounced the race for the presidency, he talked not about Cbappaquiddick, but about his obliga- tions to his family. 1 don't doubl that he feels quite sincerely his obligations lo his family. But then I don't doubt, either, that Richard Nixon feels quite sincerely his regret at his mistaken judgments. After all, when you attempt to obstrucl juslicc People's forum and fail In do so, among other things, you have been mistaken in your judg- ment. I wish (hat we would take the op- portunity al this point to reflect less on Ihe need of an American President to have been born without sin, pro in parlu, and post portum, as the theologi- ans say, as to be born with oulstaud- ing qualifications to serve as President of the United States. The question arises: How come Richard Nixon was considered the top Republican in the country, and how come Edward Kennedy was consi- dered the lop Democrat in the country? II is easier lo answer the second question than the first. Senator Kennedy is the surviving brother of a publicly illustrious breed, and the martyr's blood one longs to avenge, runs only in his veins. That in itself would substantially account for his popularity, and you then add, of course, his good looks and his youth. I hear it said, incidentally, that he has developed into a fine public speaker. But his popularity was secure before that happened. In the case of Richard Nixon, he got to where he got by a combination of extraordinary luck (the need of Dwight Eisenhower to capture the California del- egation in and dogged and intel- ligent perseverance: ten million town hall appearances for local candidates William F. Buckley, jr. over a period of 211 years. But Mr. Nixon never distinguished himself as a man of extraordinary gifts, or capacity. If his dealings with the Watergate prosecutors, and with Internal Revenue, and with Bebe Rebozo, were as chaste as those of Snow White with the Seven Dwarfs, would he therefore have- loomed as :i man more august than he is seen now to be? Isn't it clear that his short- comings, (hose that greatly matter, were of an extra-venal character? Here is the trouble with the presi- dency. People are laughed at for merely mentioning as a possible President someone who is not heavily steeped in a ritual which tends rallier lo vulgarize than to ennoble. It is safe nowadays to say, for in- stance, lhat you think Senalor Jackson should be President But it is ludicrous To the Editor: A reader.wanted information on the consumer protection in the uniform con- sumer credit code (Forum, Sept. Before citing some examples, let me assure him that those who voted against the bill were voting against the interests of both consumers and the small busi- ness man. Sears, Roebuck will survive regardless, bill my small hardware business in Anamosa can't exist without credit sales. For years I was able lo sell power mowers or refrigeralors, for example, on credit and sell the conlracl lo a lend- ing institution. However, during that pe- riod of a year or so between the su- preme court decision (holding Iowa's usury law applied lo revolving relail credit) and passage of Ihe uniform con- sumer credit code, I lost many sales because I couldn't sell the contracts. You see, like most small business men, 1 don't have the money lo finance credit transactions the way Sears nr Penney's can. If the stale wauled Ihe small retailers to be killed off, defeat of the new uniform commercial credit code would be as good as any way to do it. Even with rolurn to the old rate of 18 percent, Iowa's rates are still lower lhan stales'. The temporary rale of 9 percent didn't help the buyer, either. If he need- ed a refrigerator bad enough, or other necessity, he was forced to go lo a small loan company and pay 36 percent. What good is a low inleresl rale to Ihe con- sumer if he needs credit and can't get it? The new law has mitre protection for the consumer, such as letting him cancel service type contracts (i.e. dance sludios, outlawing numerous debt practices; prohibiting balloon payments refinanced at higher interest rates; permitting court authority to re- vise an unconscionable contracl; outlaw- ing "flipping" (consolidation nf loans at higher inleresl allowing com- pensation for job firing due to garnish- ment, to name a few. Those who supported the bill showed they were really interested in both the consumer and (he small, independent business man. Henry Furino Anamosa 'Union' money To Ihe Edilor: I became a little irritated as I read these letters condemning .John Culver for accepting money for his campaign from "organized labor" or "unions" from "outside the slate." First it seems most hypocritical as one compares Culver and Stanley contributions. Secondly, this "dirty" union money is voluntarily collecled. one and two dollars at a lime from union members in Iowa. It is then sent to the Interna- tional Union office (outside the and is finally returned lo the endorsed candidate, the amounl based on several factors. It does not seem to me immoral for ii candidate to accept money from thousands of people, which is what "organized labor" contributions are. to sav that you think Frank Stanlon should he President. Why? This has no- thing to do with any question of sharing or not sharing Jackson's or Stanlon s views on public policy. Hut a wall lifts up, as impenetrable as Berlin's, between the two categories of men. Stanton's executive experience is far greater than Jackson's. Ills general attraction lo lefl domcslic policies Is about (he same. His views on all matters are .very well known, inasmuch as he has given almost as many speeches as Jack- son His position on foreign policy is not very different. He is neither much more or much less effective than Jackson as a public speaker. Surely this is a direction we should consciously turn to: increasing the list of Americans who should be considered for the presidency. The mere mention of someone as a possible President has the effect of getting his name thought about But il should be more than that. Com- mittees should examine men from dif- ferenl professions. They should be written about, listened lu. And the old mold should be de- stroyed, the one thai says you have go( to stick to a governor or a senalor or a congressman, however obscure. Wat- ergate should liberate us from something more lhan merely Ihe lack of candor. Woshlnglon Star Syndicate People who belong lo unions, and Iheir families, are the largest single group in Iowa and in this country; ac- tually, about 50 percent nationwide. Isn't a candidate elected to represent the people? Is il wrong for a working man or woman lo donale one or two dollars, when the employers are donat- ing thousands? I think not. Robert Carson 803 Fifth avenue SW Easy street To the Edilor: II appears to me that the best way to beat inflation on a personal basis is t.) be elected President and subsequently impeached. August Gureno 928 Third street SE Helpful TII the Edilor: I agree completely with Duanc Els- berry's letter of September 26 saying thai helping people is Tom Riley's way of life. I recall several years ago when a young black from Cedar Rapids was in jail in Wapcllo. He had defended him- self from an attack by two drunks on a train and WHS arrested for slabbing one. Several other lawyers turned down his mother's appeal for help before she went to Tom Riley. He look the ease de- spile Ihc political consequences to his career. Nut only did Senator Riley prove his client's innocence hut the rail- road to pay damages for letting the drunks become allusive. As a legislator Senator Riley has con- sistently fought discrimination against' minorities, women and school children. We need more persons like him in gov- ernment. Stanley Winistorfer Koole street SW Prosecution 't care less By William Safire WASHINGTON Last year, after learning that I was aiming the 17 government officials and newsmen il- legally wiretapped, I called Al Haig to find out if President Nixon had known about Ibe lap on my line. "Absolutely said Maig. "The President was shocked to learn about it jUSt MOW." Tin.' general was lying, il seems. In testimony released last week as part of the senate foreign relations committee's whitewash of the Kissinger-llaig role in wiretapping. Senator Fulbright asked: "So is it correct to conclude that the President personally requested that each of these individuals be Our next NATO commander replied artfully: Three or four weeks ago the President signed a letter suggesting that he approved them, and, therefore, I believe that he did." Then llaig added a curious thought about Nixon's approval of each of these invasions of privacy: "Now, how formal- ly that was done, whether it was done by- Mr. Ehrlichman or Mr. llaldemiin in Ins behalf, or Dr. Kissinger running il by him, I can't say." Consider those words, because they reveal a conception of a plural ['resident thai is at the root of so much of the Watergate agony. When I recently rem- onstrated with Haii; for lying In me year about whether the President he replied in the same vein: "You know, Hill, 'the President' is more than one man." The idea of a hydra-headed Presi- dent, with accountability diffused and blame unfixable, is the Kissinger-llaig defense against hearing responsibility for their active sponsorship of an illegal While House spying operation. They were just "following orders" from a President who in their eyes was sometimes ,1. Kdgar Hoover, sometimes John Mikhell, and once in a while the individual who had been elected to the job. Spying nil liis colleagues was neces- sary, Kissinger explained over the sound of Senator Case's sympathetic, clucking, to show the fierceness of bis own loyally after all, Henry had long experience in Washington under Democrats: "I was a friend of both .lack and Roberl Ken- nedy In IIIII7 I conducted negotiations with the North Vietnamese for Harriman and Kalmihach. I saw a great deal nf Robert Kennedy before his assassination and, of course, I was a consiiltaiil to the President then." This decade-long record of lop level Washington experience was suddenly Safiro forgotten by Kissinger when asked lo '.....v''r was known explain Ilis remark to Director Hoover erate. thai Henry and his friends "would de- strov whoever did this" leaking between the Kissinger-llaig defense and the lesli- "I was new in he "f the living FBI men is absolute: explained. I might have had a Somebody is committing consistent tendency to show him that 1 was alerl to perjury, and nobody in government is the danger of security." interested in finding out who's lying. Dead men tell no tales, Kissinger and Haig have decided, and as expect- ed they have tried to place the largest portion of guill about Ihe wiretaps at the doorstep of the FBI. In several cases, mine included, tin; orders of wiretap were requested by Deputy FBI Director William Sullivan, who said lie received surveillance re- quests from Al Haig. llouver would then get written from Ihe at- torney general and the laps went on. But Kissinger and llaig now claim the FBI documents lie. swearing they .knew nothing about certain of the taps which were attributed to (hem. Whom does that leave holding Ihe bag? .1. Kdgar Hoover who was deep- sixed by the grim reaper a while back, and William Sullivan, who insists thai llaig did indeed make Ihe wiretap re- quests ho now denies. If we iire to believe the Kissinger- H.'iig who-mc'.'-dcfense, we must believe Ihiit Ihe Federal Bureau of Investigation was run with no concern for professional- ism, with embarrassing activities lefl lightly covered by slories that conh! readily be disavowed. .That was not Un- The senate foreign relations com- mittee investigation was a joke. Senator Scott even railed that the protests of Ihe people who were trapped was "a disgust- ing performance." The committee re- coiled from the due thai Kissinger dropped about yet another FBI program of wiretapping, not yet revealed. The special prosecution force does not find illegal wiretapping ideologically satisfying and hits dropped it. The last I heard from was a mes- sage relayed to me by Al llaig a few months ago to "tell your man Safire to lay off." llaig said he lohl the special prosecutor 1 was not his man. Which is enough. Al llaig has boasled to colleagues in San Clcmonto of a offer in the private sec- tor from the Ifockcfollors il. The post held with honor by als Kiscnbower, C.ruonlher Kidgewav and Norslad should not good soldier who n, mis day thai 'Ihe ['resident' ,s man   

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