Mt. Vernon Register-News from Mt Vernon, Illinois on January 15, 1969 · Page 10
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Mt. Vernon Register-News from Mt Vernon, Illinois · Page 10

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Mt Vernon, Illinois
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Wednesday, January 15, 1969
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Page 10
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10—A THE REGISTER-NEWS — MT- VERNON, ILLINOIS WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 15, 19fc» Extend Surtax . . . Increase Social Security LBJ's Last Budget: $195.3 Billion Ky JOE HAT,L Associated Press Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — President Johnson submitted a farewell $195.3 billion spending budget today with a $3.4 billion surplus achieved through a proposal lo extend (he 10 per cent income surtax until June 30, 1970. Me used his final budget message In Congress lo extend 1 he achievements of his administration and to recommend new government benefits for millions of Americans. His most striking new proposal was for legislation to increase social security benefits an average 13 per cent, with higher payroll levies lo any /or them. Declaring that the record of his five years in the White House "is an impressive one," Johnson said: "We have witnessed a period of unprecedented economic growth, with expanded production, rising standards of living, and the lowest rates of unem- plovment in a decade and a half. "Our military forces today are the strongest in the world, capable of protecting the nation against any foreseeable clial- Iens.e, or throat. "Last month saw man's first successful flight to the moon. In domestic matters, the legislative and executive branches, cooperatively, have forged new tools to open wider the doors of opportunity for a better life for all Americans." The President said there had been "a record-breaking period of prosperity" for the last eight years covering his administration and that of John F. Kennedy. This had brought, he said, an -o- -o- -o- increase of 31 per cent in real per capita spendable income, adjusted for price increases, creation of 10 million more jobs, and a $24 billion rise in corporate profits after taxes. But Johnson said recent sharp price rises underscored the need for a stronger effort to control inflation. He said this was one important reason for his proposal to continue the surtax. The other, he said, was uncertainty over the Vietnam war. Though expressing hope that the Paris talks will bring peace, Johnson said it was still necessary to provide funds to continue the war through the next year. Still, his proposed outlay of S23.7 billion for Vietnam in fiscal 1970 was a reduction of $3.5 billion from the current year. Should the war taper off suddenly, Johnson said, it might be possible to make a different decision on the surtax. He recommended that President-elect Nixon l)e given power lo eliminate it or reduce it as developments warrant, subject to a Congressional veto. The budget sent to the Capitol today covers the 12 months beginning July 1. The figures and programs finally agreed upon will be the result of negotiations between a Congress controlled l>y Johnson's Democratic party and officials of the Republican administration which takes office Monday. Nixon could submit broad new budget recommendations or could content himself with piecemeal suggestions for changes. In addition to recommending bigger Social Security benefits, Johnson proposed that Medicare be exlended to 2 million disabled persons, that an addition- -o- -o- -0- al $2 billion be put into' the state-run Medicaid program of health care for indigent families, that unemployment compensation payments be increased both in weekly amount and dui-ation, and that new health protection be given low- income families starting with prenatal care for a mother through complete medical services during the first year of her child's life. His proposal for a 13 per cent average boost in Social Security would include a basic 10 per cent increase for all 25 million Americans now on the rolls, a hike in the present $55 monthly minimum payment to $80 covering 2 million beneficiaries, and a $100 minimum for individuals who have paid Social Seucrity taxes at least 20 years. To finance this, the President r e c o m m e n d ed raising the present $7,S00 taxable wage base lo $9,000 and advancing by one year,, to Jan. 1, 1970, the next scheduled jump in the payroll tax rale from 4.8 per cent each for employer and employe to 5.2 per cent. Johnson's budget figures showed a great improvement in the government's financial picture for the current year, fiscal 1!)G9, as well as the next. A year ago he estimated an $8 billion deficit for 1969 but his new budget projects a $2.4 billion surplus as well as the $3.4 billion surplus for 1970. Part of this resulted from a booming economy which led to higher incomes and thus higher income tax yields than originally forecast, and part from the $6 billion cut in federal spending ordered by Congress when it passed the surtax. Johnson emphasized his belief -o- -o- -o- that the extension of the surtax was essential for a balanced budget in Ihe next year. He said Its contlnuatTon along with extension of present excise tax rates on autos and telephone service, would bring in an additional $9.5 billion in 1970. Actually, the surtax will yield considerably more revenue than that in 1970 because $4.7 billion will be collected by the Treasury in that year from surtax levies chargeable to income earned before this June 30 but not actually paid until after July 1. — The 10 per cent telephone excise and the 7 per cent auto levy are scheduled to drop to 5 per cent each Jan. 1, 1970. Johnson recommended that Ihe present rales be kept for another year. He renewed a previous recommendation for various transportation user taxes to bring in an additional $400 million a year. One of these would raise the air passenger 1 iekot lax from 5 to 7 per cent. Johnson said the higher Social Security taxes would yield an extra $1.7 billion in revenue. But this would be offset almost exactly by the $1.6 billion his proposed benefit increases would cost in 1970. Even though he projected smaller outlays for Vietnam in the year ahead, the President included in his budget a slightly increased overall defense total, $81.5 billion for 1970 as compared with $81 billion in the present year. Thus military spending would account for more than 41 per cent of his budget. In explaining the $11.6 billion increase in the spending total projected for the next year as compared with fiscal 1969, John- -o- -o- -o- son said he faced many uncontrollable items in drawing up the budget. He listed $8.6 billion of such items including: —$2.9 billion for payments under Social Security, Medicare and other social insurance programs as more people become eligible for benefits and costs rise. —$2.8 billion for a pay increase previously promised federal employes. —$1.6 billion for relatively fixed charges such as interest on the federal debt, vetei'ans benefits, and public assistance. —$1.3 billion for outlays arising out o fprior year contracts for such things as highways, education facilities, and health and community development programs. As in previous budgets, Johnson insisted the amount he was recommending "represents our minimum requirements 1o fill urgent needs at home and abroad." Increases are focused on "urgent national problems— inadequate educational opportunities, slum housing, increased crime, urban congestion and decay, pollution of our air and wafer, lack of proper health care, and hunger and malnutrition." Johnson said he carried out fully the $6 billion expenditure cut which the 1968 Congress ordered him to make. Actually, he reported, programs covered by the law were slashed $8. 4billion. But items not covered, chiefly the Vietnamese war, increased in cost by $6 billion over his estimates cf a year ago, he said. Thus, he said, there was a net saving of $2.4 billion and his $186.1 billion spending figure -o- -o- -o- submilfed in January, 1968, for fiscal 1969 now is reduced to $183.7 billion. Johnson said a cutback in federal employes to' June 1966 levels ordered in the same law was not workable. He suggested that it be repealed. In other budget highlights, the President recommended: —That the President be given permanent authority, subject to Congressional veto, to raise or lower individual and corporate income taxes by some such figure as 5 per cent. —That a new corporate form be set up to try to improve operations of the Post Office Department in line with recommendations of a special commission which investigated the agency. —That the Office of Economic -o- -o- -o- Opportuniry, the anti-poverty agency, be extended two more years. ' V —That an Urban Development rtf Bank be established to provide financing for public facilities in hard-pressed cities. —That the Equal Employment Opportunity be given power to issue orders against job discrimination. —That a lottery system be instituted in the military draft. —That a $1.6 billion supplemental money bill be passed soon by Congress for the Defense Department in the current year, chiefly to pay for higher Vietnam war costs. —That $900 million be allocated to various crime control programs now operated by the federal government. Ian To B All-Negro City WASHINGTON (AP) — Negro leader Floyd B. McKissick says a new predominantly Negro town in rural North Carolina will be called Soul City. It will help reverse "the mas? in-migration of unskilled poor people to the slums of the city," said McKissick, a former Durham, N. C, lawyer who once headed the Congress of Racial Equality. He annouced plans for Soul City at a news conference Monday with Secretary of Agriculture Orville Freeman seated beside him. Freeman said he was "delighted "and excited" by the proposal because his department is concerned with building "a viable economy in rural areas.'' McKissick estimated the project would require a total investment of $25 million. He said he has an option of 1,810 acres m Warren County, N.C., worth $500,000. The site is about 50 miles northeast of the Raleigh- Durham area, McKissick said he has applied for federal assistance under the housing act through which the government guarantees bonds and other obligations for developers of next towns. He said four industries have expressed interest in locating plants in Soul City. The plants would be managed by Negroes. U.S.D.A. CHOICE CENTER CUT CHUCK ROAST Lb. LEAN MEATY ALMOST BONELESS PORK STEAK FRESH MEATY NECK BONES 2 45* WILLIE'S OLD FASHION KRAUT 2 Lb - 390 Lb. BLUE BELL 2 Lb. $419 Pkg. 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