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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 12, 1985, New Braunfels, Texas Guest viewpoint Americans are no Scrooges when it comes to Christmas By the U.S.CHAMBER OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON — Americans are no Scrooges when it comes to Christmas. This year we will spend an extra $30.2 billion on gifts, decorations and other expenses to celebrate the holiday, nearly $2 billion more than last year. This comes to an average of $126.88 for every man, woman and child in the country. It also means an after-Christman financial hangover of $507.52 for a “traditional” family of four or $351 for the average household that now has about 2.7 persons. We will buy 32 million live Christmas trees for $640 million, according to the National Christmas Tree Association, and will spend $150 million on artificial trees and $500 million on lights and decorations, according to The National Ornament and Electric Light Association (NOEL) — a total of nearly $1.3 billion. About one-third of American households will have fresh cut trees, another one-third will have artificial trees and one-third will be dark. And once we have our trees up, we ll spend another $30 billion or so on things to put under them. The largest part of that money, 49.7 percent will be spent in general merchandise and department stores, 6.2 percent will be spent in food stores on the Christmas turkey and fixings and 3.7 percent will go to the local purveyor of spirits for that eggnog that we'll be making. These estimates are based on last year's extra spending that occurred during the holiday season plus what the U.S. Chamber of Commerce sees as an increase of about 6.3 percent this year. Of course, this is not the total amount that people will spend this season, but just the extra amount spent because of the holiday. For example, people buy food all the time, but a family of four will probably spend an extra $31.47 of such holiday treats as fruitcake and plum plum pudding. There is a flip side to this holiday spending, and that is the extra workers stores will need to help spend your money. By the time the Christmas buying season is over, some 600,000 workers will have been hired by American retailers. The average seasonal worker will take home about $1,059 this Christmas to help with his shopping, in addition to any discounts he may get from his employer. This will add more than $635 million to this holiday season’s spending power.Mailbagpolicy The Herald-Zeitung welcomes the opinions of its readers, and we’re happy to publish letters to the editor. While readers’ opinions on local issues generally are of more interest to other readers, we welcome letters on any topic — local, state, national or international — that the writer chooses to address. Content will not prevent publication unless the letter is judged to be potentially libelous. All letters to the editor should be signed and authorship must be verifiable by telephone. Anonymous letters will not be published. Power struggles are a way of life in Washington, see Washington Today, belowHerald-Zeitung ■mons Dave Kramer, Editor and General Manager    Halve,    Managing    EditorTom LoefflerAmerica has been hit by a plague of espionage America has been hit by a plague of espionage. In the week before Thanksgiving, the FBI arrested four U.S. citizens on spying charges, and a federal judge sentenced another convicted spy to five years in prison. In all. 15 persons have been ar rested in the past year alone on charges of spying against the United States By comparison, only 30 persons were apprehended and prosecuted in the last ten years on such charges. The recent surge in spy arrest indicates a massive increase in es- CHIEF, WE CWJ6HT MOTHS? F0RS6N 5W..7HIS OWE KNOWS Wf0 ' we are mm, ne knows men mrs mw, ne knows rn Washington today Power struggles are a way of life in D.C. WASHINGTON (AU) President Reagan just can’t seem to make peo pie understand that his administration is one big. happy family The president tried to get his point across when he appeared in the White House briefing room earlier this week to announce that Robert C. McFarlane was resigning as national security adviser Reagan looked a little exasperated as he faced reporters who had been writing that McFarlane was departing because he lost a power struggle with White House Chief of Staff Donald Regan McFarlane looked a little ill. “You have all been misinformed about that,” the president said of the news reports about an administration power struggle Only two months ago, Reagan stood in the same briefing room and looked just as exasperated At his side. looking uncomfortable, was Margaret Heckler, the secretary ot health and human services She was on her way out, being promoted, in a manner of speaking, to the post of ambassador to Ireland. Then, too, there had been those rumors, that she had been forced out Another power struggle, another loser “I don’t know where this was coming Irom.” the president said of the reports that the White House was displeased with the way his secretary was handling her job “It was malicious It w as false ” It was Hie at the top in Washington. The power struggles go on. though tile style might vary from one administration to another Like so many of his predecessors. Reagan prizes loyalty He is a compassionate man He would not stand up and say he thought new leadership was needed at the Department of Health and Human Services Instead, he said Mrs Heckler had done a “fine job ” - Then he added. “As a matter of fact, if she hadn’t done such a good job, I wouldn’t have been so eager to seek her out to Im1 ambassador to Ireland." No one needed a degree in political science to know that her new job was a step down from the Cabinet But this wasn't a ease where accuracy mattered in fact. Reagan ll TT sir1 inane up1 you're MISSING ALL THE EXCITEMENT1 ' inhat? SNORT1' INHAT / ZONKEfFS PRESS CONftRtNCBON HIS LOTTERY PRIZE1 \ HE GOT SO MAN/CALLS FROM THE MEO!A THIS HJEEKENP, HE PECIPW TO REAU A PRERAREP STATE MLN! ABOfl HIS PLANS. “. ANO. OF COURSE, I LL Bt ORTING SHOU GIRLS. \ BEFORE THE CHECK CLEARS-* pionage activity against America. It’s no secret that the Soviet Union is conducting a systematic campaign to siphon off valuable U.S. technology for its war machine using its own agents, eastern bloc sources and western collaborators such as those arrested two weeks ago. The U.S. must plug the leakage os sensitive military secrets before the leaks becomes a flood which imperils the safety and security of all Americans. The Pentagon has already acted to tighten security, but it could use a lot more help from Congress in stopping these acts of treason. Last year, Congress finally passed the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984 after years of stalling and obstruction by the liberal faction which controls the House and its Judiciary Committee. The Act toughened the penalties for espionage, and it gave the FBI expanded missions to go after spies and domestic terrorists. However, when it came time for Congress to provide funds for this added authority last June, liberals blocked the appropriation. By the time funds are finally approved for these added FBI agents and programs in fiscal 1906, a full year will have been lost in implementing the Crime Control Act’s espionage and terrorism sections. Congress has a constitutional mandate to protect the United States and its citizens from enemies, both domestic and foreign, and the latest rash of espionage and terrorism demands swifter and more effective action. On the very day that Navy counterintelligence analyst Jonathon Pollard was arrested two weeks ago in Washington for selling military secrets to the Israelis, the Pentagon released a report listing 63 recom mendations for combatting the espionage outbreak. This report was the work of a special committee headed by retired General Richard Stillwell in the w ake of the Walker family spy scandal this year. The Stillwell Commission’s recommendations include more restrictive secrecy classifications and expanded use of lie detector tests for military personnel. The Pentagon has already begun revoking IO percent of its security clearances to restrict access to sensitive files. Other measures, such as tougher penalties for defense contractors and government workers who mishandle secret information, would require Congress’ approval. I support these recommendations, and I am cosponsoring legislation which mandates a life sentence and allows imposition of the death penalty for those convicted of espionage. To help stem the flow of valuable technology to the Soviet Union through trade with other nations. I also voted to give the President greater control over the export of sensitive equipment and technology. Blunting the Soviet spy operation is a complex and difficult job made even harder by the open nature of our society, the laxity of our legal system and the lack of understanding in Congress for the need to protect American security. However, if we tighten government security procedures and stiffen the penalties for espionage while providing the FBI with the resources to uncover and apprehend spies, we can begin to attack the problem t important. Congress must recognize and live up to its responsibility — to preserve, protect and de fend the government of the United States. was demonstrating, once again, something he understands better than most politicians — the art of doing what most people would call “the decent thing ” Mayor Ed Koch of New York is an often abrasive politician, but he touched upon this trait in his new book, “Politics ” Koch wrote about “the white lie.” “When you are getting rid of someone who is inadequate,” wrote the mayor “I believe it is acceptable to tell them anything you waflt about how competent they are. And if you are asked to talk about that person publicly, I believe it is perfectly acceptable to make up laudatory statements and speak them straight-faced into the microphone.” Your representatives Rep. Tom Loeffler Sen. Phil Gramm U.S. House United States Senate of Representatives 1212 Longworth House Office Bldg Washington D C., 20510 Washington, D.C. 20615 Rep. Edmund Kuempel Texas House of Representatives Gov. Mark White Governor's Office Room 200 State Capitol Austin, Texas 78701 P.O. Box 2910 Sen. John Traeger Austin, Texas 78769 Texas Senate Capitol Station Austin, Texas 78711 Rep. Mac Sweeney (Guadalupe County) Sen. Lloyd Bentsen U.S. House United States Senate of Representatives Room 240 Russell Bldg Washington, t).C., 20615 Washington, D C. 20510 ;

Clippings and Obituaries for the New Braunfels Herald Zeitung