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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - September 15, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa tht (ktftlaf -Rapid* ti Editorial Page ‘Ford shows he’s a seat-of-pants pilot’ Sunday, September I 5, 1974 Inflation haunts housing OF THE MANY enlightened provisions in the new omnibus housing act, three are envisioned as giving immediate help to prospective homeowners: raising of the Federal Housing Administration mortgage ceiling for singlefamily houses from $33,000 to $45,-000; loosening downpayment provisions for homes backed by FHA mortgages; and requiring mortgage lenders to recognize the wife’s paycheck in determining how much prospective homebuy-ers can borrow . Enjoyed simultaneously, the trio of reforms would (I) let a double-income couple buy a higher-priced house than heretofore has been attainable, (2) ante up something less than arm-and-leg for the privilege of moving in, and (3) qualify for a much larger loan than the husband’s income would cover. To make the reforms work as planned, all Uncle Sam needs do now is bulldog breakaway infla tion and ease the credit crunch. Obviously, a $12,000 increase in the borrowing maximum cannot help many would-be homeowners if the new figure ($45,000) will be just as restrictive two or three years hence as the old ceiling was up till now. Manifestly, too, easier downpayment requirements and added borrowing power (through acknowledgment of the wife’s income) are of little use if corporate giants and other business-world high rollers continue gobbling up all the credit. This is no belittlement of congress’ attempt to nourish the ailing housing industry and to make homeownership more accessible to millions of apartment and mobile home dwellers. The point is that a majority of the benefits will have to await lifting of the economic gloom. Meantime, the new homebuying provisions will help mainly those able to find willing lenders and to endure house payments totaling $400-plus monthly. Death defiance turned off OUT IN THE quiet little town of Greene, just below the Butler county line southwest of Charles City, there lives an Iowan describable best as a certified character. He writes to editors but doesn’t sign his name — unless you take on faith the name he does put down. Mark Twain. The only way to tell he lives in Greene is from the postmarks. Most of what he sends to editors assumes the form of Tom-Huck dialogs with bureaucrats, congressmen or other windy dudes. Sometimes it’s an enigmatic little line: “While men believe in the infinite, some ponds will be thought to be bottomless.’’ Once he sent an envelope (the provocation is forgotten) containing two pennies, one nickel, a Sears refund check for three cents, a Ward’s check for two cents and a note making two main points: This was his “entire fortune’’ and the editor seemed to need it worse than he did. Early in September one year, “Mark Twain’’ mailed out a Christmas greeting with a hand-drawn sketch of McGuire’s livery stable on it and four dim figures inked in front of the door — Huck Finn, Tom Sawyer, Mark himself and Old Man McGuire. Tom passed the word: “Remember to stay out of alleys. There’s always politicians in them!’’ Anyway, this character in Greene holds manifest credentials as a great imaginer, a literary buff, a flight-of-fancy taker and a pretty good watcher of the way people tick. Usually the editor’s file is about as far as his irregularities go, all considered. But a new one came along the other day — another dialog by Tom and Huck — that melts resistance, finally, and sneaks into print. Floppy-hatted outlines of the shades of Tom and Huck appear above the words. The conversation has to do with what befell that fellow- out in Idaho who hoked a bunch of people out of several million good green dollars by giving them a chance to witness his demise, but who lived to laugh last when a prematurely fired parachute yanked him out of it in one piece: Tom Sawyer, you got him?'' “I got him, Huck!" ’ Tom, careful — careful there, now!" "There, that did it, HuckI" Tom Sawyer, that saves Eve/ K me veil" "Let's get out of hero now, Huck!" Right, Tom Sawyer!" And we thank you kindly, “Mark Twain,” for giving the Snake river daredevil show a fitting conclusion in the genre to which it belonged all the way Pure fiction. By William V. Shannon ASHINGTON - Why did he do it9 W Tho public effects of President Ford’s pardon of Mr. Nixon are clearly bad. But speculation as to his private motives continues here unabated Unless the President gives a clear statement of the reasons for his decision. no definitive explanation is passible But it is reasonable to assume that like most of us when we make a major decision, President Ford had a mixture of motiles. As a politician, he may have calculated that the sooner he cleared up his Nixon problem the better. As a private person, he is kindly and compassionate. Richard Nixon has been his political colleague and friend for 25 years, not a close personal friend — Nixon has only two or three intimates — but sufficiently close to make him feel a sense of obligation and concern. Nixon, sure to go down in American history as one of the really great charlatans, skillfully played upon Ford’s sympathies. He floated rumors that his health was rapidly deteriorating. Through Nixon loyalists still in the cabinet and the White House staff, he planted the fear in the President’s mind that he — Nixon — might commit suicide if the pardon did not arrive soon Sudden bad health is, of course, the oldest dodge of the criminal defendant One is reminded of Albert B. Fall, one of the chief figures in the Teapot Dome Scandal, arriving for his trial in a wheelchair, clutching a cane, and wearing a shirtcollar three sizes too big Fall tottered to his courtroom chair and promptly pretended to faint. Fall s counsel pleaded to the jury to send this dying man “back to the sunshine of New Mexico.” The judge, with an asperity worthy of Judge John Sirica, told the jury “Neither you nor I have anything to do with sunshine. You are here to decide this case on the evidence and nothing else ” Convicted for bribe-taking and sentenced to prison for a year. Fall recovered his health with remarkable speed and lived for another dozen years, dying at the ripe age of SS I predict that Nixon, phlebitis and melancholia notwithstanding. will do the same. Clearly he was not too distraught two weeks ago to beat Ford’s emissary to his knees and get the pardon totally on his own terms. Would that we all protected our interests so well when we are distraught Unburdened by a conscience and unconcerned about anyone but himself, Nixon is invulnerable to remorse or shame His iron ego protects his body against psychosomatic distress Pardoned, he now will go serenely on for decades embroidering the truth and fantasizing his memoirs In another year or two, he will he issuing statements and giving birthday interviews As Rep John Anderson (R-111.) told a reporter in what was truly the quote of the year: “Why were we ever stupid enough to think this awful man would fade away like one of MacArthur^ old soldiers9 He was always going to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into oblivion.” Granted that Ford was suckered a bit by the Clifford Irving of American politics and granted that on grounds of personal sympathy and political loyalty a pardon was always in the cards, the question still has to be asked why as a politician, he did not proceed more carefully with regard to the terms and the timing9 To arrive at an answer to this political question, Ford’s previous career has to be borne in mind. As house minority leader, he never disagreed with Nixon on the substance of legislation, on tactics, on appointments. The closest thing to a dissent that his record contains is a single vote against a mass transit bill. During his nine months as vicepresident when he should have been qui etly preparing himself to deal with infla tion and the other serious problems that he knew would soon be his responsibility, Ford was barnstorming the country making forgettable speeches and confusing his news conferences with his zigzag defense of Nixon “The weight of the evidence does not justify the President’s impeachment," he said as the house Judiciary committee prepared to vote — as if he had actually read the thousands of pages of evidence. If Ford had been a member of the judiciary committee, there is little doubt that he would have been ranged with Representatives Wiggins, Dennis and Sandman, doggedly defending his party chief despite the evidence and the promptings of common sense In short, Ford became the nation's leader because he was a very good follower When Nixon made him vice-president, there was no written warranty guaranteeing his political imagination or sensitivity. On the contrary, in his first month in the presidential cockpit he has already displayed more of those qualities than most observers thought he possessed But as the bumpy ride of the past week should have told you, our new pilot is flying this plane by the seat of his pants. Keep your seat belt fastened New York Time* Service Satirists beg pardon, but they never promised Ford a rose garden People's forum City woes To the Editor: All business organizations are comprised of qualified personnel who make it a business organization. Quail fied personnel are normally chosen through an interview system. At the present time we have a very large business in Iowa City that is about to change management, and that is the city of Iowa City. The purpose of this letter is to suggest that the city council, before it spends the $4,500 allocated to find a new city manager, exhaust all lecal possibilities for a qualified city manager Who knows better the wants and needs of the people of Iowa City than a resident of Iowa City? There must be numerous local candidates from whom to choose, both male and female. Why we can't exhaust these possibilities first is beyond me. Why couldn't the city council investigate this through an interview committee made up of local business men? If a local qualified person could be found and hired, he or she could begin coping with the city’s woes immediately, by virtue of being already aware of our problems. In addition, this would save the taxpayers the $4,500 that will be paid to an organization which probably knows nothing about biwa City, to find a city manager. Robert F. Vogel Iowa City Poor example To the Editor I know things are done differently in our schools now, but has the English language actually changed so much? The way some TV and radio announcers use it, is terrible. How can our young people be* expected to learn how to use it correctly when the wrong way is constantly before them? And, another thing, recently when I was watching TV, did that 10-year-old boy know why he was harassing Kennedy, or was he just doing his "thing9” I don t follow politics closely, and FII bet he doesn't either. Again, because his elders were doing it, he probably thought it was the thing to do Furthermore, don’t you think the former President has suffered enough? I’m not upholding him, but, other leaders have erred — they just didn’t get caught. D. Burns Route 2, Marion Campaign money To the Editor: I wish to comment on a recent editorial by your fine paper a few days ago In the editorial, you stated that the two candidates running for the U.S. senate, Stanley and Culver, had talked enough about their campaign finances, financial worth, etc., and that you hoped the candidates would now concentrate on what you considered the real issues and you listed them. I agree that the real issues named should be debated, but, I also believe that the campaign financing issue is a real one too and should remain so until election day. If you meant that Dave Stanley, a candidate who accepts no out-of-state or special-interest money, should stop talking about John Culver’s acceptance of large out-of-state gifts and large labor union moneys, then I disagree with that portion of your editorial With the great differences between the candidates’ policies on acceptance of campaign moneys, it is a real issue Unusual forces stymie King Customer ‘Time for rude voices protesting the dime dollar’ By Jcnkin Lloyd Jones INFLATION, which everyone agrees is hateful and must be cured, could be cured immediately by a major depression Purchasing power would drop Goods would pile up. Prices would be slashed Job competition would increase productivity per worker and end leapfrogging wage demands Interest rates would fall as the pressure for new construction money vanished Evictions would give wide and inexpensive housing choices to those who still had money. This is the cure nobody wants. But is there a remedy unaccompanied by pain? And if there must be pain, can any politician survive if he is identified with it? It is this last question that has relevance, not merely to the United States but to every popularly elected government in the world. Is representative government doomed, eventually, to debauch its currency? And is inflation curable only by bringing in authoritarian governments (witness Hitler) which will destroy individual liberty? So the puzzle, not only in Wash ington but rn London, Pans, Koine and so forth, is whether those measures necessary to avoid a worldwide financial debacle will be tolerated by voters Or will we shoot the brakeman at the end of the roller coaster? Already in England, as inflation bumps against the 20 percent annual mark, there are angry rumblings that government must be taken out of the hands of both hapless major parties. Whether this points toward a grim head knocking alternative is not yet clear, but economic desperation withers the democratic process Communist governments have a simple answer to inflation. I^abor gets what the rulers give, and not a kopek more. Customers pay what the rulers charge, and not a kopek less With no free market system, demand and supply are turned on and off like faucets and profits are a form of taxation The “dictatorshop of the proletariat” is a neat system, particularly since the proletariat can’t shop around Besides, who can improve on perfection9 The free market produces all kinds of problems At best it gyrates between boomlet and bustlet. Inventories grow Jenkin Lloyd Jones long or short. There’s overtime or short time. Strikes and shutdowns behave like eccentric gears. Yet it is the only system with built-in corrections in which, under normal circumstances, the customer is king Unhappily, current circumstances are not normal The world moves on hydrocarbons, and by an accident of nature the preponderance of the world’s petroleum reserves lies in areas of small population — the Middle East, North Africa, Venezuela You can’t blame the sheiks for demanding $14 a barrel if they can get it. Would you take $3? But there is a question whether the economies of the great industrial nations should collapse because* a handful of people have cornered an essential Can we wait for hydrogen fusion? Is gunboat diplomacy once more around the corner — and perhaps World war III? The United States is not in the same crunch as Western Europe We can make do on a higher level of exploration and a lower level of waste With livable adjustments we can make ourselves, for a time at least, nearly independent of petroleum imports. But there is something else we can do — and must do quickly. We can get our public spending in order; We can demand that government live within an income that will produce an optimum standard of living for our citizens. When a worker overspends, his credit dries up and eventually his household goods are rep Ie vined, When a business or industry overspends, it must get refinanced or go bankrupt But when a government overspends, it just prints money and keeps on printing it until people begin to discount its value Then the value of everything expressed in fixed monetary terms — pensions, annuities, bonds, insurance pollen* — erodes in value In short, the ultimate end of deficit spending is robbery of the people. A government may be disposed toward prudence if its income must meet its outlays, for then each casting out of gold to the multitude will have to be promptly returned in taxes from the multitude and the curses will be loud and deep But deficit spending deadens the pain More gold is thrown out than is taken in There is no incentive to save. Indeed, as king as profligacy is on the cuff there is every incentive to spend That s how politicians parade themselves as humanitarians by shouting, ad nauseam, "We must do more — ” That s how little bureaucrats become big bureaucrats on increased salaries Thai’s why government must endlessly raise the interest rates on its obligations, which causes endless escalation of all other interest rates, which breaks down the credit system where they cannot Im* paid, and fuels price increases where they must be This fall we're going to heur a lot of lachrymose political oratory about how prices are hitting the little man It is time for a few rude voices from the crowd demanding how the candidate stands on government policies that will guarantee* a dollar worth a dime 0«n«roi I    Corporation If one considers John Culver's stand of favoring repeal of Iowa’s right-to-work law in spite of 70 percent of Iowa’s labor union members opposed to repeal, one cannot help wonder how much effect these large union gifts count rn Culver’s decision. For that matter, who are the many other out-of-state donors who contribute to Culver, and why are they so interested in Iowa politics? Let s hope that all candidates will eventually take the same stand that Dave Stanley has on not accepting spe cial-interest or out-of-state money, lf they do. maybe some day we will not have all of the influence peddling and political scandals. Donald R Fish SHOO Lynbrook drive NE Ill-timed rape To the Editor As teachers and parents, we must protest the showing of the NB( -TV movie Born Innocent" on prime time With little warning, the unorthodox and violent rape was graphically depicted at approximately 7:40 p.m. Many elementary children watch television at this time and were particularly attracted to this show because of the age of the actresses We feel that only community pressure will cause KWWL-TV of Waterloo to take a more responsible position regarding the timing of its program content in the future Lynn VanHorne, Margaret 0 Banion, Sarah Wendlandt, Connie Laynackar, Sue Elam, U*ona Knock, Roberta Hafar! William J. Freeburg, Willard Mosely, Patrick O. 0 Mara, Rosemary Strauel. Rose Marie Murray, Connie Erickson Grant Wood school 645 Twenty-sixth street SE LETTERS The Gazette s editorial reoders opinions, $ ut guidelines: Length lima 400 word* Or** latter pm water every JO d AM may ba Condon**! cmd adit* mooning Non# pubMthod anonymous Writer t telephone number (r> follow nam*, addr*** and r« MQnater* to K*4p autS*ntKot« Content* deal more wits luum a tonal* ti*« No poetry ‘The honeymoon may be over, Jerry ;

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