Tucson Daily Citizen from Tucson, Arizona on February 2, 1973 · Page 37
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Tucson Daily Citizen from Tucson, Arizona · Page 37

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Friday, February 2, 1973
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FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 1973 Investigative Reports · Analyses · Opinions Of Others TUCSON DAILY CITIZEN -- PAGE 37 Manpower costs worry Pentagon, not press Attack on military not intended TM following article refers to a story "Soaring soldiers' pay threatens nation's strength" by George C. Wilson that appeared in the Tucson Daily Citizen on Jan. 3. By GEORGE C. WILSON Washington Put Niws Sirvici Mail is still piling up in. response to my article of Jan. 3 'on the future costs of career servicemen as projected by, Pentagon manpower specialists. The theme of many of the letters is that the article was an unfair and unfounded attack on the military. « That was, not the intent of the article, of course, and yet the breadth of the reaction indicates that a fuller explanation of how we came to write the piece is in order.' For openers, I have to dis- - appoint those readersTwho suspect reporters get their stories on a dump at midnight from clandestine sources or that officials put us up to what we write. Instead, I simply went to the " Pentagon searching for a way to explain to.the everyday reader why our defense leaders are so. alarmed about rising manpower costs. Defense Secretary Melvin R. Laird has complained over and · over again that manpower is eating up his budget dollars. The Senate Armed Services Committee, . n o anti-military group, reflected his concern in its report last summer'·on.', the -, Pentagon's fiscal 1973 authoriza-' tionbill: . ",~, "The dramatic increase in the cost of manpower is the single most important factor shaping \ the 1973'defense budget;" said the Senate committee. "While total military .personnel have been reduced by about 1.2' million since 1968, military payroll and other personnel costs, iave gone up by close to $5 billion ' during this period. - 'Staggering' '"Fifty-six cents of every defense dollar to be spent in fiscal I'c73 will be associated with payroll and related personnel costs, compared with 42 cents in 1968," the report continued. "The net effect has been staggering. The fiscal 1973 defense budget would be $16.3 billion less if pay scales were at 1968 levels. Of this, a little under half results from inflation while , more than half results from real increases. It should also be noted that this $16,3 billion increase approximates the sav-, ings from the wind-down of the Vietnam war.- . . . - · ; ' , - ' . ' . -''This. situation, has resulted ; from four primary.factors: · · (1) comparability pay legislation was designed to bring military pay up to civilian stan- ^ dards; '··';-'. - ..-'.'".-. ' · ' - . ! · ' . . · · ' · ' . / - " . · ; " " ' .' ' ' ' (2) the pay incentives in last"year's,draft legislation provided large increases in ..'· compensation, epsecially .for lower grade personnel; (3) the ranks' of retired military have been.increasing at a: rate in excess .of 50,000 per year; · . ; .';':'.:.'(4) higher average officer and , enlisted grades -- this 'grade; :. creep' has accounted for close to 20 per cent of'the increase in av- ~" erage 1 military personnel costs since 1968.' , - /'Taken together with the rapidly rising costs of weapons modernization on the one hand, and the large federal budget deficit on the other, rising manpower costs . are -,. cause for serious concern," said the Sen- Arizona Album * ' ^Cattle-stopping 9 fence around the University --1905 Railroad tie posts and barbed wire made up the first fence around the University of Arizona about 68 years ago, back in 1905. The site of the present university was 40 acres in size and was right in the 'middle of the desert near the tiny desert town' of Tucson. Along with the fencing came a start at landscaping and the small trees can be seen in this picture outside the fence. A water development program was one of the . first projects undertaken by the founders of the 'University prior to the turn of the century since water was needed for landscaping and domestic use. This cattle-stopping fence was later replaced by a pipe fence which in turn was replaced by a .black rock fence. (Courtesy of University of Ariona Library.) Letters To The Editor Marvelous ministry Editor, the Citizen: We had the great privilege of having Hex Humbard and his group of Cathedral singers visit our Community Center on the night of Jan. 23. I was very much disappointed in not seeing any write-up in your much-read paper regarding this dedicated group of people from the "Cathedral of Tomorrow," in Akron, Ohio. This "world outreach" ministry is being televised on over 400 stations every week and reaching millions of people around the world. We listen to the program every Sunday and are greatly blessed by Rex Humbard's plain gospel messages and also the singers, who are marvelous. I am sure there must be thousands who ·are better people after having listened to this one hour broadcast from Akron -MR. AND MRS. WALTER W. MEHRE 615W.Alturas Not original idea Editor, the Citizen: .. ..Douglas Kreutz's article in the Jan. 13 Citizen, "Slick brick trick," is an idea not conceived originally by "a New Jersey housewife," as Mr. Kreutz indicated. My father, Les C. Luce, who was in real estate in California before his death, suggested that homeowners put a brick in their water closet to conserve water as far back as 1962.1 am sure that research would indicate this method was used or suggested by other individuals even earlier than 1962 MRS. ELIZABETH F. PIERSON Huachuca City Opposed to pairing Editor, the Citizen: As members of the Helen Street Neighborhood Association, we strongly oppose the city's interest in pairing East Helen Street with East Speedway between Country Club and. Stone Avenue. The need to ease traffic flow along Speedway is obvious, but the destruction of an established residential street such as East Helen is a highly undesirable solution. Furthermore, this pairing would not relieve the congestion of Speedway east of Country Club. · The City should employ other immediate measures to aid traffic flow on Speedway, such as limitation on left turns and elimination of some cross-streets and local access. Reversible use of the current center lane and the addition of more lanes should also be considered. If pairing of Speedway is necessary, a street which already carries heavy traffic, such as East 5th Street, should be used. Since Speedway is already a major traffic artery, improving its design is preferable to creating an entirely new major street through the center of a quiet neighborhood.... JEROME AND SUSAN NEUMEYER 2824 E. Helen St. Let SPCA take over Editor, the Citizen: As a humanitarian, I am outraged by the picture of the dog on its last legs (Citizen, Jan. 26). The accompanying article stated that the dog was found to be in the final stages of distemper and suffering from tapeworms, yet Dr. Lloyd Orsborn allowed the dog to be okayed for adoption, diagnosing its problem as being starvation I personally consider the situation as described by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, at the center, to be deplorable, and steps should be taken immediately to remedy this situation which is a disgrace to our 'city. I would wholeheartedly urge the Board of Supervisors to place the Rabies Control Center and all its personnel directly under the supervision of the S P C A . . . It is the owners, who neglect their animals and allow them to run loose and to breed indiscriminately, who should be penalized rather than the animals who become the innocent victims of their owners'neglect... MRS. WILLIAM ROBBINS mw.CallePuebla ate committee in summing iip the issue. Pentagon experts .The expression "billions of dollars" lost its impact long ago as the United States went over the trillion mark-in gross national product. Yet; making .such .-big numbers meaningful by tell! ^ing the story behind them is one 'of;the challenges of a newspaper; On the manpower dilemma specifically, ,the question in my mind was how to make those costs understandable. At-my request, one of the Pentagon's mos*t experienced budget specialists traced -one soldier through typical 20-year active duty .career and on; into retirement. As the story stated, cer-. '. tain assumptions had to be made in making the projections. ' " T h e most influential assump- ^tion in this regard'was that military active duty pay would increase 7.2 per cent for each of the next 20 years of one soldier's service; The;Pentagon budget special- ··· ists consider this a reasonable estimate. They note that President Nixon's pay board last year announced that a 5.5 per cent annual increase in civilian salaries should be considered the guideline. Under the existing pay formula, a 5.5 per cent increase-for civilians works out to ·7.2 per cent for military personnel. :.''·-:; ' ,'. . . ·· ·',; · ; ..'..: Lorig'Tonge view · Some readers .complained that the pay raise approved for 1973 alone is 514 per cent for government civilians and 6.69 per cent for military personnel. But the Pentagon's long-range prediction of 7.2 per cent takes wider range of military pay in. creases into account, including some recent raises that went above 7.2 per cent. Since inflation is not expected to leave us anytime soon and Congress has shown no disposition to call off the annual march of government pay raises, the Pentagon budgeteers · did not consider it unreasonable as they peered into the future to assume the 7.2 per cent increases would keep up for- the next 20 years. They said such raises would be part of a generally upward trend in pay outside the government. The other key assumptions , were that the soldier would do his full 20 year active duty tour, rising through -the ranks as he went along, and would then retire at age ; 38. Using life expectancy tables, Pentagon manpower chiefs figured that a man who reached his 38th birthday would live until age 75 -- meaning 37 years of retirement. Retirement the key The Pentagon supplied the figures under those 'assumptions -stated in the story -- and came up with some startling and newsworthy statistics. The most significant figure to me -- the one worth pondering -- is the amount of money that goes for retirement pay compared to active duty compensation. The soldier joining today's army who follows the course just outlined would- -- under Pentagon projections -- receive $1.4 million in retirement pay compared with about $325,000 in active duty pay. Or, stating it another way, it would cost ?80,000 for each of his 20 years on active duty. That is where we seem to be headed. Understanding where we are going, it seems to nie, is essential to charting the best course for our total national defense. More specifically, how can proposals to change the present pay system be assessed sensibly-such as the effort to recompute military retirement -- unless we first look at where existing legislation is taking us? Full share deserved Such an examination does not mean that the men and. the women in the military services should get anything less than their full share, worrisome cost projections or not. Far from it. Too many have been underpaid for too long -- serving on dusty posts, doing without, and risking their lives for the rest of us. Yet, with just so much money to go around, the defense department has been forced to cut its civilian and military payrolls to offset increases in active duty and retirement pay. Such surgery can provide only temporary V .relief to budget .,.' pains/ however. Costs will keep geing up as the United States implements the decision to field an all-volunteer army, navy, air force and marine corps. Serious students of the military in the Pentagon, Congress and the press know that rising manpower costs is the really big ·story -- barring another war. Violent criticism The violent reaction to my story on the subject showed it as an emotionally charged one. While a few students of the manpower cost issue like chairman Samuel S. Stratton, D.-N.Y., of the house armed services retirement pay subcommittee applauded the story for spotlighting the whole issue, the bulk of the mail and telephone calls coming into the Post was condemnatory. The criticism is well taken, I think, that in an inflationary economy, the salaries of newspapermen, teachers, policemen, business executives and. others would go up as well. I should have made that point. There is a significant difference, however, between military ·and civilian retirement, pay. A military man can retire in the prime of life while civilians traditionally retire in their sixties. One result is that servicemen collect far more in retirement than on active duty- This arrangement prompted the house armed services subcommittee on retirement to state a few days ago that "the military retirement system is costly because it is the most liberal general system in existence." Copvrloht 1973 . Eijrairawjiiatiiic;! SSSSSSSiy 11 'IK Dick West Do confessions of guilt make a mockery of justice^ This could never happen, of course, but suppose several em- ployes of a national political party were-indicted on charges of bugging the headquarters of another national political party. And suppose some of them pleaded guilty, thus avoiding a public trial where testimony embarrassing to higher-ups in the party might have been given. This is, as I said, entirely theoretical, but. should defendants be allowed to plead guilty to cover up information concerning ' the crime? Should they, in other words, be permitted 1 to "take the rap," so to speak, to protect other per_sons? . . . 1 was at a neighborhood party the other evening* where questions of this sort were being discussed. It being the first time since August the group had talked about anything except football, I figured it must be significant. So I am passing along parts of the conversation for your edification: "I say the guilty plea should be abolished," one guest said., "It makes a mockery of our system of justice. "Under our system, a person is presumed innocent until proved guilty. Just because he says he's guilty doesn't prove anything. He could be lying." . "I agree," another guest said. "We can't have every Tom, Dick and Harry in the country wandering in off the street and pleading guilty to something. The prisons are overcrowded already. "It could lead to subversives pleading guilty to crimes they didn't commit. What better way to undermine society than to pack the jails so there wouldn't be any room to lock up legitimate criminals?" A third guest said, "Are you guys arguing that a defendant should be given a fair trial whether he wants it or not?" "Absolutely," a fourth guest said. "A person accused of a crime should have to prove his guilt in court beyond a reasonable doubt." . ' "That's right," a fifth guest said. "It isn't up to the defends ant to say whether, he's guilty or not. That's for the jury to decide." "Maybe the guilty plea has been abused," a sixth guest said, "But I still feel the rights of the accused must be protected, including the right of self-incrimination. Take that away and you take away part of our constitutional freedoms." Columns regularly appearing on this page include those of Evans and Novak . . . Richard Salvatierra . . . Sandra Haggerty . . . Jim Fiebig . . . Dick West. . . Robert E. Holt . . . G. Donald Kucera. Ann Landers Family is great, but Mom's cooking isn't Dear Ann Landers: Someone wrote to you recently with an 'unusual problem. It was a boy' 16 years old who couldn't eat anything but his mother's cooking. When he fried to eat in a restaurant or in the home of a friend he lost his appetite completely or became nauseated. · You told him it was purely psychological and to get some counseling. That got me to thinking. My problem is just the opposite. I'm a guy, age 15. I can eat anything, anytime, anyplace -- but not at home. I just can't eat my mother's cooking. I wouldn't say Mom is a rotten cook, but on second thought she's pretty bad. She hates cooking and it sure shows. Her best meals are TV dinners. She's even had some failures with them. Sometimes the chicken hasn't thawed out long enough and it's cold. Once in a while she burns it and blames the stove. I wish I could invite a friend to our house for dinner once in a while to pay him back. We have a neat family and I'd like to show them off, but I'm ashamed of Mom's cooking. Any suggestions? - PLAIN FACTS IN PLAINFIELD Dear Plain: If you want to invite a friend for dinner, go ahead and do it. I can promise you the food won't matter. It's the hospitality that counts. There are some nifty frozen and canned foods around these days and if your mom will just follow the directions on the package and make sure her stove is in good working condition, she can't go wrong. I think. Dear Ann Landers: Tim and I have decided to get married next June. He is 23, a graduate student at Columbia. I am 22, a senior at Barnard. We are both being put through school by our parents. The problem: I don't want an engagement ring. Tim's mother thinks I need one. She wants to give him a large diamond that has been in their family for a long time. I don't want to offend her. but I don't want the ring. My mother says I will make an enemy of my future-in-laws if I refuse to accept it. Tim says it is up to me but he would like me to have it for "sentimental reasons." To be honest, the ring is so big 7'm afraid someone will hit me in the head for it Furthermore I would be self-conscious wearing a stone that size. Any advice? -- N.Y.Q. MARK Dear N.Y.: Accept the ring graciously. Tell your mother-in- law you appreciate the lovely and generous thought but you aren't quite ready to wear such an impressive stone so, it she doesn't mind, you'd like to accept it and put it in the vault for a while. You might be glad in a few years that you didn't say no. 0 Dear Ann Landers: There are between 4 and 5 million peopfe in the United States who have sugar diabetes. Since so many individuals have this disease, why don't the proprietors of eating places use their heads and offer artificially sweetened beverages and canned fruits? Will you please suggest to the restaurant and drive-in owners that they take this matter under consideration? If they would add just a few more items to the menu it would help us diabetics enjoy going out. Instead we find it so" difficult and embarrassing that we'd rather stay at home. - CONCERNED DIABETIC. Dear Concerned: It's a pleasure to pass along your sound advice. At the same time I'd like to suggest some special consideration for those who are on salt-free diets, as well. 0 Is alcoholism ruining your life? Know the danger signals and what to do. Read the booklet, "Alcoholism -- Hope and Help," by Ann Landers. Enclose 35c in coin with your request and a long, stamped, self-addressed envelope to Ann Landers, Tucson Daily Citizen. P.O. Box 5027, Tucson, Ariz. S5703. CoDvrioM 1573

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