New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 21, 1985, New Braunfels, Texas
Reagan on the tube
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Reagan wilt hold the first news conference of Im second term at 7 p.m. CST.
The question andanswar session with reporters will be broadcast live by the major television and radio networks from the East Room of the White House.
It w«1 be the 28th formal news conference of Reagan's presidency and his first since Jan. 9. six weeks ago: During the first term, Reagan held fewer news conferences than any recent president, and that last session was his first in nearly six months.
But presidential spokesman Larry Speake* has said Reagan plans to hold more frequent sessions with reporters in his second term.
Dave Kraaaar, General Manager Hobart Jofeaaoa, Editor
Washington TodayBudget, tax questions face Reagan tonight
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Reagan is expected to face questions about his plans for simplifying the income tax system and his proposals for massive domestic spending reductions when he holds the first news conference of his second term this evening.
The president’s 28th formal question-and-answer * session with reporters will be broadcast live by the major television and radio networks at 8 p.m. EST.
The session, expected to last about 30 minutes, will take place in the East Room of the White House.
Reagan’s last news conference was on Jan. 9, when he reported on the successful conclusion of two days of U.S.-Soviet talks in Geneva that led to the two superpowers’ agreement to begin a new round of arms control talks next month.
Since then, Reagan has proposed a fiscal 1986 budget
calling for sweeping cuts in federal spending for nearly everything but defense, elimination of some programs, including the national passenger railroad Amtrak, and new limits on spending for federal health and education programs.
Two weeks ago, in his State of the Union address, Reagan outlined a plan for a new income tax program that would eliminate many of the present tax brackets, and most deductions, exemptions and credits, as well, to ensure that all but the very poor bear a share of the federal tax burden.
At the same time, however, he left open for negotiation many of the controversial areas of tax revision, such as how to deal with charitable contributions and capital gains and what corporations can write off for
And he called for new tax breaks for some special interests, such as parents who send their children to private or parochial schools and businesses that build in depressed areas.
Reagan’s budget director, David Stockman, has touched off some controversies the president could face questions about tonight.
Stockman infuriated high-ranking military officers and their congressional supporters recently when he suggested the brass was more interested in preserving lucrative pensions for career soldiers than in maintaining national security.
And the brash young ex-congressman who grew up on a Michigan farm fueled an already blazing controversy
over farmers’ financial problems. He said he couldn’t understand why the taxpayers should help bail out farmers who face staggering debts today because they made bad business decisions in the past.
The president’s campaigns to regain congressional support for his MX missile program and covert U.S. aid to Nicaraguan rebels also could prompt questions this evening.
During his first term, Reagan held fewer news conferences than any recent president, and his Jan. 9 encounter with the Washington press corps was his first such formal session in nearly six months.
But presidential spokesman Larry Speakes has said Reagan plans to hold more news conferences in his second term.
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Does the fat lady sing at our
Soviet bad press
The week of George Washington’s birthday offers a singularly appropriate time to talk about local sewers — and about grand opera, football franchises and the sale of hot tubs. Old George was our preeminent founding father What would he have thought about current events in the capital?
The president’s budget came to the Hill (Mi Feb 4. The document provides a detailed sketch of things to come in 1986; it also prompts a backward look at 1787. George Washington spent the summer of that year listening to Madison, Franklin, Hamilton, the Pinckneys and others debate the terms of the constitution for the young republic. As president of the constitutional convention, Washington heard argument on questions that trouble us to this day:
What is the proper role of the federal government in our society? What are the limitations, if any, on the legislative powers of the Congress? What did the founding fathers mean by authorizing Congress “to provide for the general welfare of the United States’’?
President Reagan’s budget for fiscal ’86 would authorize $2.4 billion in grants to localities to build local sewer systems. The program has been immensely popular. Hundreds of mayors and city councils are mobilizing to fight the president’s plan to phase out the grants over the next four years. Question: How did the building of local sewer lines get to be a federal responsibility?
The budget contains $161 million to cover grants and administration of the National Endowment for the Arts The grants go to local symphonies, opera companies, choral groups and troupe of players. Question: Does a grant for a performance of “I* Boheme’’ in Bartlesville promote the “general” welfare? The example is hypothetical; the question is real.
Through the Small Business Administration, the taxpayers subsidize 21,000 loans and loan guarantees a year. Many of the loans go to doctors and dentists who could well borrow from local banks. Some of the loans go to such small enterprises as ski shops, insulators and operators of
two trucks. One loan went to a store selling hot tubs. Question: Where in the Constitution does one find authority for Congress to subsidize the fellow selling hot tubs?
A couple of weeks ago a Senate Judiciary subcommittee held preliminary hearings on six bills to regulate the sale of professional athletic franchises. One of the bills, sponsored by the two senators from Missouri, would make it difficult for owners of the St. Louis Cardinals of the National Football League to pull up stakes and take the team somewhere else. Question: What business does Congress have in the football business?
Some of us were brought up to believe that the powers delegated to Congress by the Constitution were limited powers. Clearly the national government has the responsibility to raise armies, to maintain a navy, to coin money, to carry the mail, to provide a system of federal courts, and to erect “forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings." But the Constitution not only delegates power in these
specific areas; it also delegates power “to provide for the general welfare" and “to regulate commerce among the several states."
Is a loan to the Old Town Hot Tub Shoppe a loan for the general welfare? Is a sports franchise a part of the “commerce" that properly should concern the Congress?
Even so, the debate goes on.
Putting aside the constitutional issues, we ought to ask questions of policy: Is it wise, is is prudent, is it manifestation of sound government for the national government to subsidize and to regulate activities that are essentially state and local activities? Do such federal programs strengthen or weaken local governments? What is their effect on the private sector?
The questions never will be settled, but they ought always to be though about. The next time you take in a bit of grand opera, and hear a soprano mourning the death of Tristan, consider what it costs when the fat lady sings.
When the Soviets shot down a Korean Air Lines 747 with 269 passengers and crew on Sept. 1,1983, American embassies around the world were immediately ordered to report the reactions of foreign governments and press. The State Department wanted to know just how big a black eye the Soviets had given themselves.
Hundreds of recently declassified cables, reviewed by my associate Lucette Lagnado, show the keen interest Foggy Bottom had in what was clearly regarded as a propaganda windfall for the United States. Here are some of the most significant results of the worldwide survey conducted by U.S. embassies:
— Washington was particularly interested in determining which, if any, communist countries would issue flat-out condemnations of the Soviet shoot-down of the KAL plan. “Any notable - i.e., out of sync with Moscow - relations ... (would) be of interest, both to us and to our Korean friends," stated a cable sent out within days of the incident. The tally that resulted showed only three communist governments had “actively denounced" the Soviets: China, Yugoslavia and Romania.
— In this hemisphere, there were a couple of gratifying surprises: The leftist government of Nicaragua and the Marxist regime in Grenada “joined in the unanimous expressions of concern” by countries in the region. The Nicaraguans backed off a bit at a meeting of the Organization of American States, where they said, “The facta are not yet in one the incident."
— The State Department was especially interested in the reaction of Italy’s Communists, who were described as “paralyzed by the Soviet action."
“The incident and the delayed Soviet reaction caused considerable concern for Communist officials," the cable stated, adding that some members of the party's youth group
had even joined a protest staged outside the Soviet Embassy in Rome. “The Communist Party," the cable summarized, “has attempted throughout the episode to make clear that it had nothing to do with these Soviet actions and should not be blamed for them."
— Washington was anxious to see whether the military regime in Poland wou toe the line like most of Moscow’s satellites. The Warsaw embassy reported that Poland generally was obedient.
“Polish media coverage of the KAL incident continues to be heavy and to follow the Moscow line," the embassy calbed. “Polish news agency continues to support the Soviet version of events with numerous ... selective quotes from Western news sources. ... In the spectrum of coverage that we have seen from... Eastern European posts to date, Poland appears to lie on the less militant end."
— Among Western non-communist groups, only West Germany’s Green Party took an openly anti-American position. When the Bonn government announced plans for a boycott of flights in and out of the Soviet Union, the Green Party objected.
“The Greens said this action was not an appropriate answer to the shooting down of the Korean airliner and the deaths of 269 people," the embassy reported, “(and that) if one wants such a boycott, one should impose the same boycott against American flights in order to point out American co-responsibility."
— In Latin America, the embassy cables were almost openly gloating. “Soviets took a black eye in Peru," the Lima embassy reported. “The Marxist left’s attempts to explain away Moscow’s brutality only augmented nation’s revulsion and diminished credibility of those who... defend Soviet Union. This included Communist deputies. ... The United States has clearly advanced its position in this unstable country."
Sen. Lloyd Bentsen United States Senate Room 240 Russell Bldg Washington. D C 20510
Rep. Tom Loeffler U S House of Representatives 1212 Longworth House Office Bldg Washington, D C 20515
Sen Phil Gramm United States Senate Washington D C 20510
Rep Mac Sweeney (Guadalupe County) U S House of Representatives Washington. D C., 20515
Rep Edmund Kuempel Texas House of Representatives P O Box 2910 Austin. Texas 78769
Gov Mark White Governor's Office Room 200 State Capitol Austin, Texas 78701
Sen. John Traeger Texas Senate
Capitol Station Austin, Texas. 78711
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