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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - March 14, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa People’s verdict 4-1: Tape-wipe deliberate Editorial Page Thursday, March 14 19 74 Delicate allowance problem Remember the old story 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 individual iii 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 legislature should move to remedy the situation when all of its members are healthy and in attendance so the problem is settled for the future. Fortunately, Senator Andersen of Sioux City has introduced a bill which would enable the legislature to come to grips with this problem this year — while all members are on the job and healthy. His bill would require each legislator to file a claim, not oftener than once a month, setting out how many days he or she was in attendance and the per diem expense he or she is entitled to receive. Under the present law the state has no alternative than to pay each legislator $15 a day in expenses for five days a week while the legislature is in session—or a total of $75 a week. Polk county legislators get half that on grounds they live at home and have less expense. The expense allowances will be raised to $1411 and $70 a week starting next January. That makes it even more important that the legislature act now to cut them off for those not in attendance in the future through souk' plan like that suggested by Andersen. The need for such a plan grew out of two cases of extended illness, both of which resulted in death, involving two legislators in the last two years. In one case a state representative missed the entire 1972 session but received expenses totaling $K25 as if he had been in attendance daily. In the other case the state paid $1,080 in expenses to a senator who missed the entire 1975 session due to illness. In each case tin* individuals involved 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 and the state capitol while the legislature is in session. But to qualify each legislator must file a claim for the mileage, certifying that the trip was made. There 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 entitled. Ism t It the Truth? By Carl Riblet, |r. 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 lie eats with a fork When he walks he walks on his toes — tiptoeing in the wilds of a fearful civilization. "Th*’ /turfnm*- of all virilization in to von re rf man, a boa ut of firvv, into a tom*’ animal." —h. lf . \ivtzvhv InterOcean Pres* Syndicate By Louis Harris I tit' Harris Survey BV 07-10 percent, a majority of tin* American people sides with the finding of the electronic experts called in by Judge Silica that the IS minutes missing from the Watergate tapes “were erased deliberately and were not lust a mistake." Bv 5f>-21 percent, a smaller majority agrees with the statement that “the is minutes missing from the tape of the conversation between President Nixon and H K Haldcman 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 controversy 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 destroyed because they would have proven President Nixon knew about the Watergate cover-up." The bottom line on the public's judgment about the President and the tapes can be found in its response to this question asked of a nationwide crosssection of I,HB5 households in mid-February: People 's forumGas-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 quarrel 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 lie 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 I. Swisher Louis Harris How would you tote President Nixon on his handling of Hie Watergate tapes ex cedent, pretty good. only fair, or poor? Positive (I 2) Excellent Pretty good Negative (81) Only fair Poor ... Not sure Tolul aubin I I 70 7 The Bl-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 oil years of age and over, S3 percent of the skilled labor group, 82 percent of businessPanama deal To the Editor: Ari article on your editorial page recently expressed a most unfortunate viewpoint on the Panama situation It showed a total disregard for facts concerning the establishment of the Canal Zone and also for (he best interests of this nation. The Canal Zone was established bv treaty with the Republic of Panama in 19113, the United States paying $10 million for the land, use, occupation and control of a zone for construction and operation of a canal between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. All sovereign rights, powers arid authority within the zone were granted to the U S., to the entire exclusion of Panama's exercise of any rights, power or authority In addition, the U.S. purchased all land within the Canal Zone from its legal owners arid 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, HH pemetit of those who earn $15,090 and over, HH percent of union workers. HO perceii of all Republicans, HO percent of all Cavtholics, 70 percent of white Protestants, and 70 percent of those who voted fur him in 1972. Perhaps more titan any other development 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 eau ever accept his word again. And the prevailing lodgment of the largest segment of public opinion now holds that the Watergate stain will plague Mr Nixon for the rest of his days in office. Tile cross-sect if rn was asked lf President Nixon remains in office for fhe rest of his term, how serious a handicap in getting the |ob done do you thmk the doubts about his involvement in Watergate and about his integrity will be — a very serious handicap, only somewhat serious, or not serious at all?"    ,    . ratal W    until    u Very serious handicap 48 dicap" the President for the remainder iii his term has not reached the 50 percent mark, although the current 48 percent is perilously close Iii ll Only 12 percent nationwide now Ik* I lev e Watergate can pass and be forgotten Even among Republicans, no more than 25 percent think Watergate can tx* put behind the nation and Mr. Nixon can continue in office iii a normal way In tins present gray area in which the nation lias a President who obviously has lost tlu> confidence of the people, but who has yet to tie 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 that emerged iii yet another question lf the Watergate gland jury wet#* lo deride 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 impear h the President or not?" Only somewhat venous 34 Not serious at all I 2 Fen Jon Not sure 6 Should SO 48 Should not 39 40 Significantly, it must Im* pointed out Not sure I I 12 that tin* number of Americans who feel Watergate will “very seriously han- with Panama lint all of Colombia's claims also were settled. We paid a much higher rate per acre for the land iii the Canal Zone than we paid to France for what is now Limn county. ll has been suggested that the Canal Zone be annexed to the I S as the 51st state. Rhode Isl;md would no longer Im* the smallest Paul D Simpson VR. VernonWhy impeach? To the Editor: Why should President Nixon be impeached.’ Why should he resign? What man could reprice him? President Nixon, a man of integrity and determination, has resolved not to resign, but to continue his constitutional responsibilities as President. He has played the leading role toward making peace in the world. He will not weaken under the hand til his enemies who have made him a target of ridicule and dishonor. Where has <«ir “society of true ( hris- Chicaoo Tribune New Yoe* News Syndicate hails" gone? Where have our morals gone? America, the greatest nation tin earth, tin principles and characteristics established by our forefathers, has become corrupt through Hit* overindulgence and extravagance of the people themselves. Politics, hate, greed, crime and sex dominate our world today. When Richard Nixon was elected to the office, he was confronted with the Vietnam war and all these sordid problems. He has bravely carried out the tasks placed upon him, seeking his goal of peace. President Nixon brought home our prisoners of war and mir soldiers from Vietnam. That has stopped the bombs and bloodshed of a war we didn t need. Today, the President arid Secretary of State Kissinger are engaged in working for peace in the Middle Fast, under the most difficult circumstances, in a land when* hostility has always predominated. In Ins great anticipation of peace, Richard Nixon lias 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 viriue which surpasses all the mistakes proclaimed against him . . . Bern ieee McDonald What dicer 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 year." predicts Sen. William Proxmirc (D-W’is ). President Nixon and his advisers oppose cutting taxes, at least for now In Nixon’s view — shared by Senator Proxima* — a reduction in taxes would pose too great a risk of further accelerating inflation In its first congressional test, tax cut legislation breezed through tin* senate on a 53-27 vote But the bill to which it was attached as an amendment was sidetracked and never did become law Should congress cut taxes to stimulate the economy? The Arguments YES ALTHOUGH THE administration still l sticks to its prediction of economic recovery in the second half of 1974 the •energy-short U.S. economy is heading into recession, if it isn t already there Despite obvious early warning signals, the administration in submitting the fiscal 1975 budget message planned only a slight increase in the budget’s stimulative effect on economic activity. In economist Arthur M Okun's view, "maintainmg an unchanged budgetary impact from 1973 to 1974 is inappropriate fiscal policy, in effect providing tin* same treatment for a ease of the chills in 1974 that was used to fight a fever" during Uneconomic lioom of 1973 While the President insists he is prepared to step up federal spending it the economy turns out to need boosting, the stimulus would be muted bv the inertia of federal programs and the tune lag iii pumping extra funds into the economy. Because "only a few federal expenditure efforts can tx* geared up rapidly enough to bolster private purchasing power within calendar year 1974, Okun concludes, “the appropriate fiscal ^apport to the economy must include promptly enacted tax reductions.** Massachusetts Sen. Edward M Ken-nedy contends a tax cut is “the classical economic remedy fur a recession Once before, in the early 1900s. congress used a tax cut to pull tin* economy out of a . . . tailspin " The result, he recalls, was “tin* longest sustained period of real economic growth and prosperity without inflation iii our history Bv cutting taxes now, “to get more purchasing flower into tin* hands of consumers," Kennedy concludes, “we can blunt tin* recession before it takes hold ll lax reductions were concentrated among low - arid middle-income tax payers, adds Sen. Walter F. Mondale (D-Minri ), it "not only helps those most iii need, but also provides the greatest amount of stimulus to our lagging economy.” While inflation continues to be worrisome, the government can Go little to contain it tins year What tin* government can do—by cutting taxes—"is to prevent a recession on top of inflation," Kennedy reasons. Congressional QuarterlyThe 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 tax 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 personal 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 pdace to start would be with something Minnesota’s Senator Mondale pinpointed again a few days back: the fact that big-incomc earners still can pay minuscule taxes and get away with it. Some 402 Americans who made more than $100,000 paid no income taxes at all in 1972, he reported, arid 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 arid 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 hut beautifully timed cut. That should be the No. I priority today The ArgumentsNO FjVlR NOV .it lr,i*t tho adimnislra lions budget policy is steering a proper course between the hazards of a threatened recession arid unacceptable inflation To abandon that cautious stance prematurely would condemn the tuition to inflation for years to come., Federal Reserve Board Chairman Arthur I* Hums has cautioned congress that while anime increases in government spending may bi* useful, “I would strongly aal vise against adoption of a generally stimulative fiscal policy, such as a broad lax cut I rider wisting conditions, Burns contends, "it is riot clear that a strong dose of fiscal stimulus is needed now, and we surely mn'd to proceed cautiously at a time whim the price level is still soar ing.” Senator Uroxmire, who is va c t hair man of Lbc joint economic committee concurs “I’m against a tax cut unless we can cut expenditures substantially. Inflation bas Is-en so serious that I inst don’t thirsk it would Is- right." Any bctnefit to consumers trout a tax reduction* "would Is* an illusion," Crux mire argues, because "the extra )l or $2 iii eac h Worker’s paycheck would bi* ca ten up by inflation " ll lh** economy worsens, the admirus t rat ion has prepared a number of contingency spending measures that would put money into areas Int hardest by the energy shortage. While a general tax cut has not been flatly ruled out, Treasury Secretary George IV Shultz believes that it should Im* at the end of the line." We have great demands on the federal budget," Shultz says "We struggle each year to six* how we arc going to make ends meet So I think that we ought to Im* very careful about further eroding our flow of income " One trouble with cutting luxes, adds Edgar It Fiedler, the assistant treasury secretary for economn policy, is that it s difficult if not impossible to increase them again Given the (rend of government spen ding—what people want, what congress approves and w hat we are proposing it s easy to cut taxes bul bard lo gel them back up when you need to." Fiedler complains "When it s t iiih- to get back to a more restrictive stance on the economy, it s bard to gel back" lost revenues that could Im* fueling inflation Conur >• .milieu (jinn tmiy ;

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