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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - February 5, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Ctnltir &t*pifU GhytHt Editorial Page Tuesday, February 5, 1974 ftt&^ •vHr^--,^inrii TTTPTTWiT'iin-jrTir imi win*! rimn nr mr- «i^yiMi HEW wields meat-ax Idling time A LARM KI) BV overpayment of many welfare program clients in Iowa, the federal government has told the state to shape up or lose some $1 million in welfare program allotments this year. All other states have drawn similar warnings. This classically meat-ax approach hints that welfare misspending is attributable mainly' to careless social workers and dishonest welfare program clients. It also implies that the best way to solve tile funding mess is to penalize all programs and participants no matter what their incidence of mismanagement and cheating. Both assumptions are far off target. Certainly, a small minority of welfare recipients is known to cheat. Likewise, understaffed state social services are hard pressed to weed out the dishonest few. But welfare program snafus stem principally from the U.S. health, education and welfare (UKW) department’s nightmarish set of rules. Jodie T. Allen, a senior analyst at the Urban Institute, contends that large numbers of ineligibles are on the welfare rolls not because they are cheating but because there is no systematic means of removing recipients from the rolls once they become ineligible. Wrote Mrs. Allen in the Washington Post: “One state agency recounts the story of a welfare recipient who obtained a job, called the welfare office persistently over a period of several months requesting termination of benefits, and finally marched into Display the goods AN ASSISTANT special prosecutor in the Watergate case told a federal district court judge last week that there is no basis for reports that John Dean, former counsel to President Nixon, lied under oath before the senate Watergate committee last year. That was after Senate Republican Leader Hugh Scott of Pennsylvania announced he had seen White House transcripts containing evidence that Dean didn’t tell the truth. The assistant prosecutor’s statement to the court didn’t faze Senator Scott. “I’m not backtracking one inch,’’ he told the Associated Press, as he continued to challenge Dean’s credibility. This presents an atmosphere of cloudy circumstances that probably could be clarified if Senator Scott could prevail on the White House to bring to court the evidence he says w ill show Dean is a liar. After all, the good senator is far enough advanced in years to recall the days when a colloquial, but appropriate, expression helped to bring these standoffs to a head. Inasmuch as President Nixon only last Wednesday renewed his promise to cooperate with the Watergate investigation — within the scope of his interpretation of “cooperate” — the kicker could In* mi i rec ted to the senator, with intensity: “Put up or shut up.” Isn t it the truth? By Cor) Riblet, |r The five-eent postage stamp, the one with the likeness of George Washington on its face, is in short supply because there is so little call for a stamp of such low denomination in these times of high postage rates Now it appears that inflation is doing something even more damaging to another commonplace portrait of the father of our country, forcing us to squeeze the dollar bill until his tongue comes out "Inflatixm in repudiation. '' —( alvia (tnt!iii#e ■ in I.MV OU JLI J . 4*    ■    -    » the office with ll uncashed checks in hand and demanded that the case be closed.” Other welfare clients no longer qualified for aid can be pardoned for not exhibiting similar valor. How to extricate the country from the welfare morass? The Nixon admninistration has been toying for several years with a Family Assistance Plan which would simply provide a guaranteed minimum income for all indigent families. While praiseworthy in principle, such a system probably would discourage many welfare recipients from seeking jobs. A better solution would be for congress to push through simpler welfare regulations covering help for the aged, blind and disabled, then tighten rules in the aid category where most misspending occurs, Aid to Families with Dependent Children. A bill now in house-senate conference would require states and localities to force irresponsible fathers of children on public welfare to support their offspring. Though the effort required in locating negligent fathers and bringing action would not be cheap, the child support law should 1h‘ passed. Revamping welfare machinery may take more time than the congress feels like investing in this storm-tossed election year, but the dilemma of the states and their welfare clients is too great to allow postponement. HEW’S present tactic, wielding the indiscriminate meat-ax. serves no one. Brezhnev educates Castro Hokum from Havana By William F. Buckley, jr. FROM ALL accounts. Castro put on a great show for Brezhnev in Havana. And of course he should have. it being the (rough) estimate that the Sov iet Union has pumped about $4 billion into Cuba during the past dozen years, not counting the missiles Accordingly Castro, who has rather shrewdly played the Moscow-Peking rift. occasionally fluttering his eyelashes to the Fast, put on the dog and instructed several hundred thousand of his subjects to come forward and cheer for Brezhnev What Brezhnev then did was interesting One has to remember that a communist leader need not say anything. Brezhnev made the headlines by saying something a little different from boilerplate communist-talk He said the communists do not believe in exporting their revolution by aggressive action iii other countries because the socialist camp desires “lasting peace.” Uncharacteristic Granted, this is the rhetoric of detente. One yawns on hearing it at state department dinners or from the lawn in San Clemente. But to hear it said in Cuba, indeed in front of a huge picture of Che Guevara, who went to Bolivia to export revolution and certainly died thinking he was a good communist, must have been a little deflating for Castro Not inconceivably, of course, the entire thing had been carefully chum (graphed, with the view to saying the things needed to get Cuba back into a conventional relationship with the Organization of American States, the better to export a revolution that hasn’t gone well under tile generalship of the Che Guevara types who have strutted about the hemisphere with hand grenades in their mouths. But Brezhnev was not above a little brinkmanship He cited the recent achievements of detente Thee are three, said Brezhnev. The first was the strategic arms limitation pact reached with the United States. And well might he cite SALT I. It confirmed Soviet strategic superiority, eliminated the costly ABM program, and left the Soviet Union free to MIRV its missiles bv use of a developing technology iindis-cussed when SALT was ratified Then he cited the “settlement” of the war in Vietnam. Translated, this means getting the United States out of Vietnam. Th«‘ war in Vietnam continues. Casualties (if we are permitted to count yellow men as casualties) are at an uninterrupted rate. When last heard from, the North Vietnamese had taken over territory American soldiers fought and died to hold for the South William F. Buckley, jr. And finally, he cited “a Middle Fast agreement.” Of course there hasn’t l>een a Middle East agreement. What there was was an aggressive war in the Middle Fast, fueled by the Soviet Union, then a nuclear alert, an oil embargo, a rise in oil which has undone everything the West tried to do over two decades for the lesser-developed countries, and has atomized the Atlantic Alliance ‘You lt like it’ Not hurl for detente. Brezhnev was telling Castro why don't you try it? Castro will, and will play along. Mr Castro concluded the ceremonies by saying that there is little doubt that one day “the red flags of internationalism will line the path to liberty and fraternity of all the peoples of the world ” Spanish baroque for We will bury you W<«hin«ton S*or Syndn ate Two tanks in every tent’ and prices up Rhetoric aside: Here a slump, there the stuff of war By James Reston WASHINGTON - The political and economic consequences of the energy crisis at home are obvious — unemployment now at 4 7 million and going up; prices and inflation increasing — but the long-range consequences in the world at large are even more disturbing. For example, in their anxiety to ease the energy crisis, the major nations are now trading guns for ga^, and easing the world into another arms crisis Before long, we may see an easing of the oil embargo. But after ifs over, as one observer put it. the Middle Fast is likely to Ik* bristling with modern weajsins: “Two tanks in every tent.” Iran is now getting modern planes from the United States France and Britain an* bidding against each other for new plane and tank contrada with the Arab states Military supplies keep moving too, of course, from Moscow to Egypt and from Washington to Israel. It was hoped that the cease-fire in the Middle Fast and the separation of the Egyptian and Israeli armies might lead to an agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union to keep the military balance in that part of the world about where it is But the arms curve is not leveling off, it is steadily rising The pressures of the fuel shortage have proved to Im* stronger than th** efforts to produce a more cooperative political world order The poor nations have been hit harder than the rich, but everywhere national interests are taking precedence over the movements to create a more united Europe, a stronger partnership between the United States. Europe and Japan, and a more generous policy by the rich nations toward the poor Meanwhile, the success of the oil embargo in producing spectacular profits for the oil static is just beginning to have its effects on other countries producing basic raw materials required by the advanced countries. Here again, tin* trend is for the producers to combine in limiting production and raising prices While this hurts Europe and Japan more than it d(H*s the United States, even Washington is beginning to worry about the corning scramble in the commodity markets of the world A few figures will illustrate the problem. By 1985, U S. officials estimate that this country will tx* relying on imports for about half of all its essential raw materials. Already, we are getting IOO jxreent of our natural rubber and coffee from abroad, 93 percent of our manganese; 92 percent of our cobalt and graphite; 91 percent of our chromium: HI percent of our aluminum: and over 50 Another "The next joker who says, Till it up, Sheik,' yeti a aneared wmdihield! percent of our platinum, tin. nickel, antimony. bismuth, mercury and zinc The spectacular rise in fuel prices alone has not only contributed to serious economic and political problems iii Britain and Japan, but has greatly complicated the world monetary crisis There is little evidence that the world oil conference in Washington this month will produce any effective remedies Against this background, Washington has had some difficulty in agreeing with President Nixon's view of the state of ‘he Union or the state of the world in his latest report to the nation Ile took as his basis the state of affairs five years ago, and emphasize! that we now bud peace in Vietnam and with all other nations, and a Id percent rise in tin- purchasing power ut wage-earners in tile last five years Also he took justifiable pride iii tin* progress he and Secretary of State Kissinger had made in improving contacts with China and the Soviet Union But tile economic world has been transformed in the lust two years, and even his own economic advisers took a less rosy view of the future than the President iii ins State of the Union address While Nixon was saying that “there will Im* no recession iii the I lilted States of America,” his economic report a couple of days later sugg<*sted that the recession may very well have begun In their report to the congress, the three members of Nixon’s Council of Economic Advisers predicted that “1974 will is- a year of little output growth and considerable inflation, Gut that iii both respects the second half of the year should is* better than tile first ” Even tile President took a more cautious attitude in his economic rejxrrt than iii ills political address “Compared with our parents and grandparents," tie said. People's forum Muffed it To the Editor Although half of the 1975 price of a gallon of gasoline went for direct and hidden taxes, that gallon cost less than a gallon jug of distilled water. A gallon of milk or orange juice cost about three tunes as much, and a gallon of beer cost five times as much Most of the other half of the retail price of gasoline goes for wages, salaries, exploration, research, equipment and construction Oil industry profits have little effect on the retail prices of petroleum products, but they create employment and increase tin* supply of petroleum products. For almost 211 years some of us have been predicting the energy crisis, and the oil companies have been pointing out that mistaken federal policies were discouraging production and encouraging consumption of gas and oil Since 19(i9 consumption has exceeded American production. Where were the supposedly smart newscasters of the network monopolies from 1954 to 1972, and why don’t they give the people the whole truth now? And where were the leaders of congress the last 20 years and individual members of congress the last five years9 The current hypocritical harangues of many members of congress must be nauseating to those who gave the people the facts. When some loud mouth member of congress tries to throw up a smoke-screen in an attempt to cover up the fact that he failed to protect the people, just ask him to quote one single word on the inevitable energy crisis that he uttered at any time during the 1982-72 period We need a congress that will not louse up the problems of scarcity of water and critical minerals and chemicals just as it loused up energy problems. It is time to remove those who have sacrificed the general welfare on the altar of selfish and frequently dishonest politics. Ross Young 1052 Daniels street NE Imprisonment To the Editor; Recently you printed a letter about conditions in the Linn county jail, apparently from a very short-sighted writer who should spend a month where I am now That is in maximum security treatment unit cellhouse 20 at the Fort Madison penitentiary. A better label would bo maximum security horror unit Last night a man was tear-gassed, beaten and thrown in isolation. Due to the smallness of this cell-block, if one man gets gassed we all get it Also last night a man had two epileptic seizures. It took 20 minutes each time to get a nurse to him. How long does it take for a man to choke to death if he swallows his tongue? The letter writer asked why inmates in jail should complain of ailments. Has she ever ix*en in a jail? It doesn't take long to become ill in one. and when you do. chances are it might tx* a week before you s»*e a nurse Lock yourself in a bathroom (if it’s 9 by 5 feet), stay there 24 hours a day except to take a shower one or two times a week, and see how you like to eat in the same room with your toilet. The writer also mentioned honest, upright policemen. Apparently she never heard of Watergate, the Chicago police shakedown scandal and other such items. Docs a blue uniform mean you commit no sin? My uniform is blue Has she heard of the 12-year-old boy who was shot iii the back of the head while handcuffed in a “we are enormously rich. We have protections against the ebbs and flows of economic life that they never expia ted and barely imagined But I cannot assure the American people of an easy time ” Underneath these public remarks on the state of the nation, there is going on here iii private a basic dispute over how tile I luted States should face these new challenges riot only from the other advanced countries but from the producers of raw materials On the oiM* hand, Nixon is being urged to take a more protectionist view of (he crisis, to make the country “independent’’ of all foreign oil producers by a massive program to develop old and product* new sources of energy, and to strike much stiffer bargains iii trading abroad. At the same time, he is also being urged to avoid protectionism whit Ii might lead lo even greater disarray in the monetary, trade and commodity markets, and lead eventually to a worldwide depression All this, plus a new arms race to boot, scarcely adds up to a picture of temporary inconveniences anti a generation of peace and prosperity It does add up to a Fug range crisis for whit Ii neither the executive nor the congress is prepared Nfs* Vtit lf Time-    i'    m police car because he wouldn’t tell his name? Talk a tx ait US obeying the law' While people scream because we wish to have a few of our rights, Nixon and his cohorts are ripping them off at tin* supermarket, gas station anti anywhere else they go . . . The Watergaters, who seek to destroy the institution of elections in our society, seem to get only six months to throe or four years in prison If we steal a car or write a bogus check, we get ll) years or more I! would seem that someone's sense of values is a lilt It* askew Robert Dasckc Fort Madison Shameful To the Editor Shame I say shame to anyone who chooses to call himself a “legislator" and would wish to decimate and kill our beautiful and lovely little bird, Du* mourning dove When* iii our Iowa countryside is this lovely bird so numerous to deserve to be ruthlessly hunted down9 Dr is the person in such desperate need of getting some meat — any meat — to his table? If that Im* Hie case then why not come here to Cedar Rapids and pick up a few of the hundreds of pigeons roosting under our bridges? Certainly their numbers arc much more abundant thun this beautiful, harmless, little mourning dove with his haunting but always so sweet-to-hear call. Mike IL Sindelar 1213 Third street SW Power sources To the Editor It appears that a few people dislike nuclear power; a few do not believe we have a fuel problem with regard to energy. It even appears that a few people* think we should use coal as a fuel source in greater amounts than those used today; they overlook that with a greater use of coal comes more stripnnning, a surge in particulate pollution and further dependency on fossil fuels which will run out and become more expensive. People arc afraid of nuclear plants but are not afraid of the radiation which comes from nature and is emitted in greater amounts than the radiation from nuclear plants*. A few think a nuclear plant can explode. Others know a nuclear plant cannot explode because: (1) There is not enough uranium to reach a critical mass which would cause an explosion. (2) Plants are built to withstand even an airplane collision. It is funny how people arc worried about high radiation levels from nuclear plants but fail to realize that standards are tightened so that new plants release practically no radiation It would in* nice if this were 1993 instead of 1974. for then we will have fusion and hydrogen as fuels. On tin* other hand, it may not Im* so nice in 1995 because bv that time, there will be a copper shortage — and to transport electricity now we use copper. We also an* afraid of nuclear |x»wer us a transitory fuel until we get our energy from fusion or solar or hydrogen sources. Philip Monde! Gage hull. Coe college Low blow To the Editor. You do print some very gixxl and interesting letters in your column. But the one titled “Taped out” in your Jan. 29 edition certainly exhibited very poor taste. I enjoy good humor, but this was so cheap it wus not deserving of the paper and ink for the printing in this time of shortage. (Editor’s note: 23 words, 14 inches.) Certainly neither the office of the presidency nor the one who happens to Im* holding the office at any time should be subjected to such a cheap form of humor — not by a country boasting such intellect as America As I read arui listen, sometimes I wonder about that intellect Mrs K R Balderston Route 2. Central City Great one To the Editor: I am not calling myself a politician, arid at age 13 I don t follow the news thai closely But I do realize that President Richard M Nixon is one of the greatest Presidents iii the history of America Has any other President visited China9 No Mr. Nixon also stopped the Vietnamese war I realize that hr* was supposedly involved iii the Watergate episode, and that many men un* still missing from the war. but thai is no reason to cull Mr. Nixon a “jackass” or make such rude cracks about him and the Watergate affair Iii my opinion, President Nixon is still a great man und President, and Mill has fur to go. I Molandcr •IIH Thirtieth street NW ;

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