New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 26, 1983, New Braunfels, Texas
N«w Braunfels Hecald-Ze/fvng Sundi iy, June 26.1983OpinionsHerald-ZeitungDave Kramer, General Manager Robert Johnson, Editor
ames J. Kilpatrick
JA trillion-dollar debt is not much of a legacy
'n* e trouble with writing about the natio rial debt — one trouble, anyhow — is that the figures cannot be transl ated into mental images. With some effort, we can imagine figures that ai *e only rn the millions; We can visual! ce a summer’s att endance at the bal IparVu; we can see millions of biovieg oerri, or millions of bushels of w heat. Once we get into billions, the mind twains to balk To talk of trillions is to lose an audience alto^aether. Nobody can imagine a trill! on *»f anything.
'er theless we must try. I jut mon ti ' Congress gave us a new prema nent ceiling of $1.'«9 trillion on the eta tutory debt. The ald limit had been Sr 'OO billion, but that was a Smiths©* nan kind of figure, meant to
be hosued in a museum of nostalgia. The new limit will carry our government through the end of the fiscal year in Sept ember.
If there is any good news about the statutory dc ?bt, let me give it to you now. Our current trillion-dollar debt equals 37 pc rcent of the year’s gross national product. That may seem high, but at the end of World War II the federal d< ?bt of $271 billion actually exceeded a iTNP of $210 billion. As recently as I 960, the percentage was 56.4. In this |»erspective, the current national debt i s not grossly out of line; it is about whe re it was IO years ago.
There is ano ther cheerful item also, which I bring t o you courtesy of Bruce Bartlett, direc tor of the House and Senate Joint iSconomic Committee.
10 years ago today
Assurances were given Monday to the District Attorney by Comal County Comm tesioners Court that they will appro} >nate $12,000 for him to hire an assis ’-ant. Bill Schroeder. who is associa ’**<1 with Bartram, Reagan and I ’urrus. has been recommended for th*1 post by District Attorney Richard I Tclder
The Circuitous c- >urse of the New Braunfels ISI) trust “es' confrontation with O.E. ‘ Pete’’ Hendricks took another startling tut n last Thursday morning: the trus tees voted to
dismiss all charges ag amst Hendricks and reinstate the dr posed superintendent for the remain) ng two years of his contract Board Pr esident Melvin Jacker gaveled the hit iring to order, then announced the hea ring would go into executive session I orty minutes later trustees returned * nd Bob Sohn offered his motion.
Commissioners Court hi is approved homestead tax exempt!* us in the amount uf 13.000 for horn* ^owners 65 years old and older The action is effective next year and will be reflected on tax statement s in October, 1964
“It would take a book to em uncrate the changes that have Iran*} ‘ired in
the agriculture p rogram during my 35 years with the pr ogram," said Adolph Bode, retiring County Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service (ASCSi county executive director
It sure doesn't look like a bank, but the rustic building blends in beautifully with ti e hilly landscape around Saltier. I .ess than six months after opening for business in a temporary structure rn‘it door, Canyon lake Bank has rn* wed to its permanent 3,500 sqnare-foot home located on a seven-acre tract. E. Harrison Preston is chairman of the board.
Ben She! man and Don Critic be
were named to fill vacancies on the city Planning and Zoni mg Commission
by City Council Monday night. Shefman will fill the unexpired term of Mruau Schrtewer, while Kritsche replaces Frank Agar.
W R ‘Tex” Yeary has been appointed acting director of public works for the city, effective Sunday, City Manager Jim Hester announced Wednesday He suceeds H.A. “Hut” Greenwood Jr., who has resigned to accept a position with the State of Arkansas
25 years; ago today
lamer electric rate* for New Braunfels are expected to go into effect July I after a new ordma nee, read for the first time in City Iou ncil meeting Monday, passes its ti urd rending. The rales, lowered for the fourth time in 15 sears, will appear on the statements due August IO if I he ordinance passes as expected
A proposed budget for the 1956 a 9 school year in tile Nrw Hraunfrlt « Independent School District wa* given to board members for study Monthly night The proposed budget, totalling |781,545 15, shows the district running in the red next year to tin* tune of $21,654 65
A tad of $185,000 for the construction of a nrw National Guard Armory in
New Braunfels was approve*! by the Armory Guard in Austin last Thur sday, according to Major General Carl Spinney, Conunandant of the 6th Division arid a member of the Armory Board
Brackra Methodist I hutch has been named * Rural Church of Hie Year” for the San Antonio District. Methodist Church Southwest Texas Conference Selection was based on the total program of the church,
50 years ago today
The government owes almost a third of the debt to itself. The Federal Reserve System, the mythical Social Security Trust Fund and other agencies own about 300 billion in federal bonds. ” Economically,” Bartlett explains, ’’this is the equivalent of taking money from one pocket and putting it in another. We could wipe out over IO percent of the federal debt overnight simply by canceling bonds already owned by government agencies. This would have no economic effect and might make people feel that the debt is less of a burden than they thought it was.” Forget the cosmetic gestures. In a brief report on our total national debt. Bartlett provides some mind-boggling data. The statutory debt, great as it is,
improvements and intake of membership The Rev. Albert Guidon, pastor, has served tile Bracken
church since June, 1957.
William J. Kolodiie. local school principal, was installed as deputy district governor of Regioi 8. District HA. Guns International, at the district's annual convention in McAllen June 17
A contract for construe lion of the access road to Canyon Dam site apparently finally will ba awarded this week, according to wol d from the Fort Worth District office of the Army Corps of Engineers In bul openings for the north access road, a, oint bid of 196.000 by Dewey Fterher of New Braunfels and Bart Moore of San Antonio was low
Wednesday, a year and a >lay after I he original suit was filed by a group * >f Goodwin and SolmJFitizea s against t. ie Comal County Rural High School D Istrirt and County School B*tard, the St ipreme Court of Texas held a he aring to determine finally whether or not the charges sh© uld be dis 'Hissed or tried on the mer its The higt I court s opinion is expect* *d to be ban led down in the next two w«*eks
Some AJO Comal County cotton farmers were present at a meeting at the Court House Monday where tie® Ehlinger. RH Wsgrafuehr and members of the committee explained the plan whereby the government would rent cotton lands in an effort to curtail production The results, as announced Wednesday by the committee. have been very disappointing, contracts for the destruction of only 300 acres having been made
Ten scouts were advanced by the Board of Review which was held in the High School auditorium last Monday night Scoutmaster Curt Sckasklt was chairman of the Board Scout# advanced included Clinton Lad*if. Roland Jekl, Harold Filcher, Hager Nubs, Armand Antony, Hoary Tays, Eugene Haas, Alfred Fischer
represents "only a small fraction” of the government’s total liabilities. Most persons are only dimly aware of the “off-budget debt” represented by loans and loan guarantees, but economically these obligations affect the credit market in the same way that statutory debt affects it.
Piled on top of the statutory debt and the off-budget debt are enormous contingent liabilities, chiefly in our promises to pay pension, retirement and disability benefits and insurance commitments.
“The figures for these contingent liabilities are not widely publicized,” says Bartlett, “and understandably so. If the general public were fully aware of their liability as taxpayers to pay for extravagant promises made
over the years by their elected leaders, they might be very upset."
At the end of the last fiscal year, for one example, the Social Security system had an unfunded liability of $2.3 trillion. Military retirement benefits of $427 billion eventually must be paid. Insurance commitments are estimated at $2 trillion. Taking everything together, the government — meaning all of us — has commitments, loan guarantees, insurance liabilities, outright debt and unpaid bills amounting to $6 873 trillion
To be sure, many of the insurance liabilities and loan guarantees may never have to be paid, and in any literal sense the government is not about to go bankrupt. Even so, says
Bartlett, "it is disturbing that the federal government is accumulating liabilities of such massive proportion. We may be imposing on unborn generations tax burdens, inflation or, at the very least, political dilemmas of great size, as hard choices must be made between the cancellation of implied promises and contracts made years earlier and the threat of taxes or monetary policies which could destroy the economy."
What are we leaving to our children'* It is a question that concerns many individual households as older persons reflect upon their own mortality. As a government, we are leaving to our children a prodigious burden of debt that we rolled up. and they will have to bear.
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CIA wants an explanation about Israeli behavior
and I Anton Day
AU store* wiU be closed in New Brain del* next Tuesday in ob-serval ice of the fourth of July, when a inagru (ode of visitors are expected to gather here to enjoy the elaborate prepar. ilium and natural faciUties for the celt brat ion of a glorious fourth A cannon sau te from the Main plaza at tams* ill open the celebration to bt followed by a parade, race* by the firemen, band concerts, basebaU, dances ai id a grand fireworks display
A LISTI N — Texas’ campaign on repeat o f the national protabiUon amending nt and legalization of 3 2 percent b tar was started here today when prof onents and opponent# held rival conv* ntions simultaneous! y.
A faction in th (TA admittedly a minority believes the Israelis are setting the stage for a pre-empted attack on Syna In their view, this would explain Israel s repeated scare statements about Syrian missiles and other supposed indications of warlike intentions by the Syrians One secret analysis charges that the Israelis deliberately exaggerated the success of their weapons last year against the Syrians’ Soviet equipment If this is true, the question is; why*
One example is the press report allegedly dependent on Israeli military sources — which louted the Israelis as having a great new antitank weapon that cut through the Soviet s lop-of-the-tine T-72 tank tike so much butler But several Pentagon sources late last year began disputing the existence of any radicaUy new anti-tank weapon.
These sources suggested that the Israelis' success against the Syrians in tank battles in lebanon was due not to some magical new weapon, but simply to the Israelis' superior training, tactics and electronic-warfare weapons The secret minority opinion by the CIA skeptics contended, for example, that "close examination of the fra lures” - the damage that disables Syrian tanks — ‘reveal that they were probably not the result of indirect fire ”
The big question, of course, is why the 1st se Lu want to make their victories over the Syrians' Soviet weapons tsem even more spectacular than they were The secret Cia nunonty opinion shown ta my associates Ron McRae and Dale Van Atta, suggests that puffing up the value of israeli
technology puts Jerusualem in a better bargaining position with tlx* United States, win lh presumahl) would welcome any evident that Soviet weaponry is beatable
On a more devious level, the maverick CIA analysts suggest that, by hyping their military superiority over the Syrians, the Israelis hoped to sucker the Kremlin into supplying Syna with higher grade Soviet weapons. This would give Israel justification for putting pressure on the United States to counter the Soviet effort
Of course, this is what has flap peiled though there s no evidence it was an Israeli plot Tile Soviets ap palled at the failure of their weaponry in lebanon, have sent Syria sophisticated SA 5 surface-to-air missiles with hundreds of Soviet technicians to man them That gives Israel a potent argument for more American military aid
But oddly, the Israelis have had little to say about a Soviet weapon that should be of genuine concern Hie “Scud" surface-to-surface nussile The Scud "has a range of about 180 (tules and could cover almost all of Israel from soulhren Syria ”
According to the CIA skeptics, ifs almost as if the Israelis don't want lo let the Syrians know what really bothers them Instead, Jerusalem is focusing on the SA-5, which is less dangerous to Israel — but more valuable as a political "weapon” to use on the Reagan administration.
Interior Secretary James Watt caused a minor flurry when it was revealed that he was sending names
of prospective appointees over to the Republican National Committee But lie s not the only administration official who wants a second opinion on his choices Federal Trade I’ofn-mtssion Chairman James Miller an identifiable George Bush man - lias taken to sending prospective employees over to the White House personnel office for a chat with (tennis Patrick, Hie No 2 man. for political clearance An FTC
spokesperson I lad no conunent
A house government operations subcommittee is suspicious about KTC Chairman Miller'* attempted reorganization” of Hie agency's regional offices Subcommittee
members wonder why Miller had left so many regional director positions unfilled, and thought maybe it was a deliberate attempt to sabotage the
agency's operations ami justify
The U S Information Agency has come under fire for hiring children of Reagan administration officials At the same time, tile agency is not allowed to hire relatives of USIA employees Asked about this, a USIA spokesman said. "It’s two different issues.. One does iud exactly apply to the other, if at all ” Oh
— Among tile hundreds of pages of gossip and accusations concerning the late Albert Einstein back in the 1950s were two letters forwarded to then FHI Director J Edgar Hoover by Hie nation's No I chatterbox Walter Wmchetl The famous, fast talking gossip columnist sent Hoover letters in 1950 and 1951 containing derogatory scuttlebutt about the Nobel Prizewinning physicist
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