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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - October 11, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Fog still fuzzes the Ford battle scheme Editorial Page Ftidciy. Oclobor II. 1974 Proposed Amendments 1 Special-session method THE NEWS MEDIA have concentrated so intensely on covering candidates during this rather dull campaign that hardly anybody yet has paid attention to two proposed amendments of the slate constitution that are on the ballot also next month. Small wonder, then, that vot- ers picking up absentee ballots have raised a question about them, puzzled as to what's going on. This editorial will deal with the first proposed amendment, and the second (on distribution of fines) will be reviewed in later comments. The first proposal would authorize the legislature to call it- self into special session upon written request of two-thirds of the members of the house, and two-thirds of the members of the senate, to the presiding officer in each chamber. The proposal reads: "Section two (2) of Article three (III) of the Constitution of the Stale of Iowa, as amended by amendment number one (1) of the Amend- ments of 1968 to the Constitu- tion of the State of Iowa, is repealed and the following adopted in lieu thereof: "The General Assembly shall meet in session on the second Monday of January of each year. Upon the written request to the presiding of- ficer of each House of the General Assembly by two- thirds of the members of each House, the General Assembly shall convene in special ses- sion. The Governor of the state may convene the Gener- al Assembly by proclamation in the interim." At present, only the governor has the authority to call the leg- islature into special session. There have been times in Ihc past when some legislators felt a spe- cial session should be called to deal with a specific problem (although those times have been few since annual sessions started in 1970) but could not persuade the governor to issue a call. The purpose of this proposed amendment, then, is to the legislature to call itself into special session, conditioned on the required signatures. The governor would retain his power to call spe- cial sessions. The Iowa amending process requires adoption of the proposed amendment by majority'vote .of eacii chamber in two consecutive regular sessions of the legisla- ture. Then it must be ratified by a majority vote of the people at a statewide referendum before it can take effect. The house adopted this pro- posed amendment, 85 to in 1972 and the senate approved it. 38 to (I, that same year, during the 64th general assembly. The house approved it the second time in identical form, 88 to II. and (he senate followed suit, to 10. in 1974 during (he 65th general as- sembly. Based on the condition requir- ing signatures of two-thirds of the members of each house, which al- most always would necessitate a few signatures from minority party members, this is a good _ amendment and should be ratified by the people on Nov. 5. Whither Whipple? MRS. OLSON, TV's most familiar, if not most 'beloved, coffee salesperson, at last has received her walking papers from the Folgers people. The bulletin evoked littie surprise at first; the guess here was that the nosy Scandinavian gal had been arrested on a trespass rap. But it turns out prying had nothing to do with Mrs. Olson's departure. (If materializing suddenly in other people's kitch- ens were an indictable offense, the Man from Glad would be doing five to 20 in Sing-Sing.) What chased Mrs. Olson from the air waves was the insistence by women's libbers that the Folgers pitch reinforces male chauvinist beliefs specifically the one holding that to keep her mar- riage from foundering a house- wife had better (for starters) provide her husband with a tasty cup of coffee. With the Olson dismissal and the reason why now on the rec- ord, male libbers ought to enjoy similar leverage. An ideal nom- ination for extinction is Mr. Whipple, the supermarket jerk who has been fondling toilet (issue for as long as Mrs. Olson pushed coffee. Defenders of that insipid commercial of course would extol its effectiveness: ,lusl as no one in Hie world could forget that Mrs. Olson lugs around the Folgers, only blessed amnesia could erase the image of Whipple squeezing the Charmin. But no matter. If sexual ster- eotyping is sufficient grounds for ousting Olson, the same criteria could be used in wiping the screen free of Whipple. If men in general do nol resent (he Whipple character, grocery store em- ployes certainly must. Push-pull strategy just might succeed By William Safire WASHINGTON "I do not think the United Slates Is in a said President Kurd stoutly Illis week while looking ut a half year of declining real growth through rnsegiirden-cnlored glasses. Some economists lul-tutled: accord- ing In Ihe strict and simplistic definition nf a recession by the National liurean of Kconoinic Research, our last two quart- ers do reflect a recession. Moreover, un- employment is climbing, and sinking stock prices have made? bearish "Ca- lamity" .lancwuy look like a Delphic oracle. The President's news conference answer, however, was no offhand re- mark. His calculated policy is nol only to deny Ihe existence of the present recession but to steadfastly assert he will nol tolerate a recession in Ihe fu- ture. lie cannol recognize the recession of 1974-75 as a recession. If lie did, he would be forced to move strongly lo stimulate Ihe economy and thereby give up the fight against inflation. The strategy of his economic udvis- ers, which he has accepted, is tn deny recession for as long as possible, and when thai is no longer possible, lo disguise it and treat its worst mani- festations. But he cannot kill this reces- sion, because only this recession can kill or at least slow down Ibis inflation. How easy it is In cav.il at Ford's eco- nomic program for not being "bold" enough; many critics of an imperial presidency on the international front are advocates of an imperious President of the economic front al home. liul there is another kind uf courage in Ihe arena of political economy; When every armchair Keynes is proposing drastic remedies involving new controls, there is boldness in acting with re- straint. The reason we have inflation is lhat we have discovered how lo stimulate ourselves out nf recessions but have not discovered the substitute for a reces- sion's cure of Inflation. Ford's approach seems to recognize lhat unhappy fad. Instead of pulling forth an aggressive anti-inflation plan, lie has put forth a se- ries of ideas that will help us lo live with the downturn which alone can al- leviate inflation. The theme of Ihe program is to cushion tlie nonrecession's worst effects. Since housing is a disaster area, aid is applied so that it will neither boom nor bust. This is anti-recessionary and una- voidably Inflationary helping housing will drive lip prices of copper and other building materials bnl If the idea is to have as painless a recession as possi- ble, the idea makes sense. Similarly, some sensitivity is shown to the effects of a necessary slowdown on the man at the boltom of the econom- ic pyramid (and any evocation of an FDR phrase is a Kxlended unemployment benefits and little WPAs show human concern but do not signifi- cantly prime the pump, some soak-lhe- rich lax talk contributes to the impres- sion that Ihe govcrnmenl feels for Ihe working poor, who always' hear Ihe brunt of recessions. Of course, no sane political figure is going to say a kind word for recession, but Ihe universally avoided truth is lhat there is presently no other way to in- crease productivity in plants. In lurn impulse buyers into careful shoppers al supermarkets, and to seriously cut into Ihe rise in the cost of living. Most Americans hale In admit Illis: There must be a belter way toward rea- sonable price stability that does not put ns through recession's wringer every few years, or dues not butch up the system with periodic experiments with controls and the dictatorship of the professorial. Knlcr Mr. Kurd with the nonwringing wringer. He is a general who musl wage William Saf ire a war of tittrlllmi wearing Ihe expres- sion iif tin1 chaplain. His is a way worth trying; we liuve never1 Iriod it Just this way before ami may discover originalily in bland guise. Calls fur fiscal restrain! are hardly new. Admit restraint would be new indeed. In competition is [a- iniliar as well, but if Ford is serious about breaking up the cozy patterns in industries which have been regulated to heights nf inefficiency, and adopting the kind nf antitrust fervor last seen under Attorney General lingers, we might have a quid revolution In make conservative dreams cnme Irnc. Kurd's plea for voluntary action In cut waste and get together in ear pools will be dismissed as cornball claptrap by many critics, and the small-town buostcrism in pinning mi a Whip-lnfla- tion-Now WIN billion will turn off some opinion leaders. But the exhortations by a sincere man might just summon long- depressed patriotic spirits from the vasty deep. That would be the newest ele- ment of all. A common-sense, uudranialic plan lias been put forward. Its original idea is In ride with an unrecognized reces- sion, and nol la "tighten the screws ton lightly." The plan is daring in its sim- plicily. expanding credibility in a good cause. That is why, until the line cainnil and need no longer hold, we will hear Hie President saying in news confer ences to come: "Recession? Recession? recession'.'" A habit of labor in the peo- ple is as essential to the health and vigor of their minds and bodies as it is conducive lo the welfare of the state. Alexander Hamilton People's forum Farmers' price-role Why is it that the larmer is the only business man who lakes the price they give him'' When he goes to buy his fertilizer, seed and Ihey Icll Ihe fanner whal the price is: Ihey don'I ask him In sel their prices. A farmer knows what he has to have lo make a buck. Why can'l lie set his own prices0 I'm not a fanner, but I'll he glad to pay Ihc higher prices on food because I know the farmers just demand a fail- price. .lack Thompson llnl Sixteenth avenue SW Hard times To the Editor: After reading the front page of The Gazette. I was a little to find that biting on a bullet would ease nur Honest, sensible, but not 'war'-like enough By James Reston WASHINGTON President Ford has now defined the economic crisis nf the nation and proposed a catalog of remedies. The question now is whether Ihe solutions lie proposed.are equal lo Ihe crisis he defined, and Ihe fear here is (hat he didn't bite tlie build hut nibbled it. In these abnormal limes, and espe- cially a month before the off-year congressional elections, he put forward some unpopular and politically bold proposals, but the whole thrust nf his speech to tlie congress was that Ihe na- tion was in mortal danger, and he asked that we mutually pledge lo each other, not "our lives, nur fortunes, and our sa- cred bill uur comfort, our sup- port, and 5 percent of nur gas and oil. It would be hard to overemphasize the relief in Washington to find a Pres- ident stating, with the utmost sincerity, bis belief about what had lo be done in the interests nf the Republic. And for the first lime in years, to see a congress that accepts him at his word, without doubting his motives. Still, his proposals, honest and sensi- ble as they were, scarcely, measure lip to the spectacular menace and digger he put before the congress. Inflation was as bad as war, he suggested, while refusing to call for a declaration of war. "We have had enough early warnings." he said. The time to intercept (the enemy inflation) is almost gone." But he didn't intercept it. "I say lo yon with all Ford remarked in Ihe peroration of his speech, "Ihal inflation, our present pub- lic enemy, will unless it is whipped destroy our country, our homes, our liberties, our property, and finally our national pride as surely a.-, any well- armed wartime enemy." Maybe it was wrong to define the question in military terms, and even to regret the absence nf a Pearl Harbor tn wake ns up. But when he got down In his ID-point program of remedies, he was bold in his own framework as a conservative Republican leader, but scarcely bold in the framework nf the world problem he now has to handle. The inflation-recession problem is moving faster than he thought and Ihe outlook now is that he is going to have lo face 7 percent unemployment by mid- year of He made concessions, which must seem tn him as almost radi- cal, in offering public jobs to the unem- ployed and other breaks lo the poor. But again, Ills estimate is probably far short of the need. Fven most liberal economists agree lhat we don't need mondalory wage and price controls, but we do need much luughcr controls over pattern-setting nn- problcms (according tn our newly se- lected How the people of Ibis country can digest this kind of stuff is way beyond my reasoning. I don'l blame this administration completely, but it had one heck of a hit In do with the situation we are in now. We have been on the rocks for over 511 years, since1 my father was in World war I. and we are still making a big mess out of tilings. I'm a percent disabled vet from World war 11. .Just look at all of these sick and crippled young men out nf Vietnam who are slill going to have In make it in life. I went thai road and raised three kids, but I didn't think it would ever be so tough in all of our life- times. I sure hope these Vietnam vels don't have In bite a bullet the way Ford wants everyone to do. to raise Iheir kids. It should all be changed, but for my- self I've Iried tn figure it out like every other average person has and In no avail. I just couldn't come up with a le- gitimate answer. IJoyd Shreeves 1335 Third avenue SW James Reston ions mid businesses. Apparently Ihe President is convinced Ihal he should start with appeals to patrinlism, and voluntary controls that bark bnl don'l bite. Al least he has made a beginning. In his speech to the congress, he has told his colleagues in the executive branch, his old friends on Capitol Hill, and the American people whal he wants them lo do. It is early for him but late for the congress, which is yearning to campaign for next month's election. If nothing else, he has clarified the problem for Ihe average responsible family. lie has finally spelled nut what he thinks should be done. We are in trou- ble, he has said. Whatever the President nr Hie congress decide, we can't make it unless you save gas, oil, and money, and help the country in an awkward lime. This is typical of Gerald Ford. He sees the world crisis and suggests laws to deal with il, but basically he believes lhat appealing lo the American people for voluntary sacrifices will work or at least must lie tried before introducing compulsory legislation, and he may be right. He is slill in that transition period between being a partisan leader and a national leader, and the world economic crisis has come down on him before ho has had lime lo figure out the differ- ence. So he has proposed policies which he would obviously have opposed in his 25 years in the house of representatives. But he has slill not caught up with the radical national and world economic problem his advisers in Ihe cabinet are putting before him. His iiisliud. and il is the center of his life, is that first you must go to the people appeal lo them, organize them, give them a chance and only then, if they don't come through, pass laws lo compel whal Ihe country needs. Washington admires but doubts that Illis will meet tlie national crisis he de- fined in such dramatic hut it likes him and believes ill Ills sincerity, and his caution. At least he nibbled Ihe bullet and this is probably about as much as Ihe country is now prepared lo .swallow. N'.-w York Tinier Srrvicr Conned Tn Ihe Editor: II is obvious that the people in Cedar Rapids are very gullible when il comes lo city or local candidates. Before the election there was lalk about a civic center, about a better park system and about ridding ns uf eyesores on the Cedar river. The people were taken in by Ihese promises; thus we have nur present cily government Now. we hear practically nothing of these subjects. We have been foozled by fustian loo long. Tlie lime has come lo flagellate the feckless fourflushers of fakery. I ask lhat voters'study their candidates carefully in the future in order lo prevent further dishonesty and mistrust. Craig lllas Klv avenue SW Skin-by Pete the printer complains that infla- lion is causing him lo practiee eke-con- omy. Star Cartoonists aim a watery eye at the way things are going 'Triad a board yet to get some answers on the economy, 'Okay, that's for the down 'Now, bite on the that'll stop you wasting rill your on 'Sure understand inflation it moons the rest of the country will adjust to our 011 r on food! fo our nro-siyie.1 g:
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