Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on July 20, 1975 · Page 36
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July 20, 1975

Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 36

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Charleston, West Virginia
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Sunday, July 20, 1975
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.GAZETTE-MAIL Editorial What's the Best CIA? New Party Just Gossamer In a column of comment for The New York Times, William A. Rusher discussed one of the political anomalies of the last several years. All polls taken on the subject reveal that most Americans, asked to choose between conservative and liberal, prefer the former attachment when identifying their ideology; yet over the course of the last 45 years with few exceptions both branches of Congress have been dominated by liberal Democrats. Although many historians would argue that the Congresses during the period in question have been ruled by coalitions of middle-of-the-road Republicans and conservative Southern Democrats, we'll accept the dubious premise of the publisher of the National Review and the author of "The Making of the New Majority Party." As might be imagined, Rusher wants to end government by liberals. To abet this purpose he is calling for the burial of the Republican party, which, he insists, died months ago, and the birth of a new party that would draw into its ranks every American conservative. This new party. Rusher is convinced, would outnumber its chief rival and soon would be governing the country in the principled conservative manner majority America wants itself governed. On such gossamer do creators of ^improved societies and political theo- irjes thrive. There's just one drawback to Rusher's dream. It may be that in any labeling contest the term conservative causes more American hearts to go pitty pat than does its opposite; however, the precise meaning of either term is perceived by its user. What constitutes conservatism to Rusher may have a different meaning for others, who nevertheless would call themselves conservative if they had to select between it and liberal. Where is the evidence to buttress Rusher's conviction that his brand of conservatism would stampede the nation's electorate on the order of a runaway river bursting its boundaries after a torrential downpour? Such evidence is nonexistent. Indeed, the available evidence suggests that Rusher's conservatism is unacceptable to most Americans. One of Rusher's heroes is Sen. Barry Goldwater, a most amiable, likeable elected official, but not even Goldwater believes his conservative views reflect majority opinion in this country. Another Rusher hero is former Gov. Ronald Reagan, who itches to be president. Rusher thinks Reagan and Gov. George Wallace, whose ravings supposedly delight conservative Democrats, ought to get together and form the new party Rusher believes can sweep the nation clean of fuzzy-minded liberals. The basic flaw in this plan, as William F. Buckley Jr. long ago estab- lished to the satisfaction of most conservatives, is that Wallace is about as conservative fiscally as Sen. Hubert Humphrey. If Reagan and Wallace could unite forces to establish a replacement party for the Republican party, that part of the party allied to Alabama's governor would be beholden to economic beliefs beyond the belief of any conservative remotely sympathetic to Reagan's and Rusher's conservatism. Rusher's conservatism, it is safe to conclude, doesn't speak for majority America. In view of the fact that independents are now the second largest political force in the United States, it's entirely possible a new majority party may replace the one now representing a plurality of Americans. Even if this happens, however, it's difficult to envision that party being guided by the principles of a Rusher. Rusher, manifestly a free soul, doesn't have a party today and isn't likely to have one tomorrow. To paraphrase Groucho Marx, any party that would have Rusher as a member, he would refuse to join. Wrong People Worrying "If you happen to meet one of the 1,097 Soviet government officials in the United States," said the Washington Star report, "the chances are 50-50 that you will be talking with a member of the KGB (Russian secret police)." Such revelations used to stiffen the spines of demonstrative American patriots, but they're merely feature story material today. The Soviets are doing nothing that Americans aren't doing. It has been disclosed, for instance, that there are CIA agents by the dozens in U.S. embassies around the world, and in foreign aid missions, such as the Agency for International Development. The CIA presence in foreign aid programs is disconcerting because it discredits those programs. It permits foreign observers, including Russians, to make the cynical observation that the foreign aid is secondary to the espionage for which it is a convenient vehicle. Even so, a CIA presence in foreign lands isn't nearly so disturbing as the chilling CIA presence in our own country, where, the CIA seems to believe, it has a divine right to control thought. We'd prefer a situation in which, for instance, Soviet citizens, not American citizens, would have to worry about American espionage agents. Is the best government toe government that governs the least or the most? At Woodberry Forest, a private prep school situated in Orange, Va., this question was discussed thoroughly throughout the last academic year by students enrolled in a course on government. One of the federal agencies the class studied in detail was the CIA. Has the agency arrogated to itself powers Congress didn't provide? Should taxpayers not know what the CIA costs them annually? Can a responsible government justify assassination for any reason? These were among the issues considered. Undoubtedly the highlight of the year for the class was a field trip to CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., but we'll let Jay-Thomas, '78, provide the visit's details, originally published in the summer issue of the Woodberry Forest Bulletin: "By the time we arrived, we already had a feeling of the security because of the seclusion of the buildings. After being detained 15 minutes for a security check and having received security badges, we were led through several immense corridors lined with lavish rooms not only full of computers and other technological devices, but also luxuries not needed for any other reason but comfort. In view of our economy, we had to wonder if the CIA's immense budget was being used in the wrong way. We went past machine guns and electric eyes imbedded in the walls and finally entered a large conference room. "There the class met with a CIA official who quickly established waieh questions he would and wouW not answer. He would not touch upon the Glomar Explorer incident or any other covert activity, but quickly started in on his talk on the purposes and organization of the CIA. It was interesting and informative, but it did not answer any of the questions we had in mind. When his talk was over, we ended with a short discussion period in which he immediately went on the. defense. For example, every time we mentioned the word CIA agent, he corrected us saying CIA officer. Furthermore, when we went into any area of controversy, he immediately attacked the press as being the source of the unwarranted rumors. "When the trip was over the group felt they had gained valuable knowledge and experience in dealing with bureaucracy. We had begun to formulate the ideas that would guide us through our lives to our destiny. As we mature, we have to endure passiveness and take on new responsibilities. I see this trip and the government course as an essential step toward this end." Readers can draw their own conclusions regarding the class's reaction to its visit. It would be our guess, however, that in the minds of most members, assuredly in the opinion of Thomas, that the best kind of CIA is the one accountable to the people of the United States. Something Went Wrong Here Jenkin L. Jones Fragile Flower Withering -Democracy is an experiment in self-dis- 'cipline. When self-discipline withers, de- · 'mocracy dies. Popular government is a . £;- Letter to Editor j Atheism -·* | Attacked :; Editor: T- In the Sunday Gazette-Mail, July 13, £ Madalyn Murray O'Hair was brought back ll to life again in a protest concerning prayer -$ in space. The Supreme Court in 1962 grant- "·i; ed this atheist woman from Baltimore, ;;{Md., her wish when they satisifed her by · ' ruling out prayer and Bible in all the ;2 schools and now she wants to stop the as- ·2 tronauts when it is none of her business !· whatsoever. My desire is if the atheists · ·* don't like our way of life, let them all go to -1 Russia where they can get their belly full "-* of atheism. I'm sure no one will miss ~r them. ·« If I owned a multitude of hogs and knew . t for sure they believed in atheism or com- J munism I would have them all shot be- N cause I wouldn't want the disease spread » among other hogs. Madalyn is looking for";- ward to the day the sixth chapter of Reve- ··' lation speaks about when they will cry for [-· the mountains and rocks to fall on them ;· that they might hide from Him that sits on ·! the throne of glory. But there will be no '- hiding place down here or anywhere else '·'- when that time comes. Robert Meadows, 105 North Ave., SE. St Albans iragile flower that cannot stand the icy winds of human greed or the hot blasts of human turbulence. Much of the world has never even tried it, and much of the world that has tried it has reverted to the rule of the iron hand. In the local Italian elections of mid- June, the Communists polled 33.4 per cent of the total vote, running less than 600,000 ballots behind the dominant Christian Democrats who had the strong backing of the Vatican. THE COMMUNIST gains were not exactly spectacular. Five years ago they had 28 per cent. But the 5Vz per cent gain is significant, for it can put Communists in the cabinet and perhaps force national elections. People who know and like the exuberant, vital Italians will have a hard time imagining that they could ever submit to the disciplines of collectivism. But they were exuberant under the Medicis and Bonaparte, and perhaps pretty much the same under the Caesars when laws were harsh, punishment swift and appeals unheard of. Being pushed around is nothing new to an Italian. What seems to be ending is the Italian tolerance of chaos -- even of chaos of their own creation. In recent years Italy has been wracked by an endless succession of strikes and paralyzing demonstrations. No one could know when the postal service would quit or public transportation stop or the bread vanish from the food markets. Tax cheating is an honored tradition in Italy. Indeed, it is a good question whether the rich are not more irresponsible than the mob. Governments caught betw«7i rising public demands and diminished fi- Fanny Seller: Affairs of State Tale of 2 Cities' Power ancial support stand on quicksand. So the Communists promise to bring order out of chaos. And one-third of the Italians have apparently bought the promise. We do a lot of talking about the love of liberty. But one thing most of us love even more is order. The Communist tactic of fomenting turbulence until order is de-. manded is a sound one. »· A FEW WEEKS ago in Kyoto, Japan, a group of "trilateral commmissioners" from the United States, Japan and European nations published a report in which they ruefully concluded that democracy is declining in this world. The group found European democracies "becoming increasingly nongovernable because they cannot master the very complexity which is the natural result of their economic growth and political development." The report worried about the fact that the democratic press was not tempering its power with good sense, and said that "journalists must discipline themselves and develop and enforce their own standards of professionalism or in due course face the probability of regulation by the government." Someone not long ago commented that the great fact of late-20tlKentary America is the "death wish" of the liberals. That is, liberals, generally, are doggedly pursuing policies that can hardly fail to produce the autocracy and coercion they profess to abhor. f (Please Twi M Page 5D) i Results of a recent survey by the American Chamber of Commerce Research Assn. raises the obvious question of why it costs more on a cost-of-living index for electricity in Charleston than it does for New York City. The chamber's survey showed that a family of four paid $33.07 in Charleston, based on a 12-month average for 1,133 kilowatt hours. The first quarter in New York that same size family living in exactly the same size house, paid $22.72 and $22.44 the second quarter. Appalachian Power's Roanoke, Va., office was asked why it cost more for electricity in the heart of the coal reserves that are.used to generate electricity than it did in New York City which doesn't have the proximity to coal. The question prompted Appalachian Power to do some research too. Public relations director William McClung came back with cost figures for 1,133 kilowatt hours for Con Edison, which furnishes electricity in New York. The base rate was $58.39, $21.43 for the fuel adjustment clause, and $11.56 for taxes, or a total of $91.38.- While the cost per kilowatt hour is higher in New York, the chamber was concerned more with the cost-ofgiving and that took into account the consumption of electricity. Frank Brady in the New York Chamber of Commerce said the cost in his area was based on the usage of 250 kilowatt hours per month as the average over 12 months. Margaret Poling, coordinator for the survey in West Virginia, had left it up to Appalachian Power to figure the amount of usage for the household and the company arrived at 1,133 kilowatt hours. All chamber offices across the country which make the survey follow the same manual so that comparisons can be made with participating cities. * IN CHARLESTON, where the summers may be hotter, the consumption will increase with a higher usage of air conditioning equipment. In Florida, the climate also would be a factor in the annual consumption of electricity, chamber officials pointed out. Still 250 kilowatt hours seems low for a family of four in New York. Last August, the Public Service Commission figured up the average kilowatt hours used by all Appalachian customers in West Virginia and it was 598 kilowatt hours that month. Allowing for the low electrcity consumption in New York, it was still a little cheaper to live in Charleston than it was in New York when all items -- food housing, transportation and other items -- were considered. that their licenses were denied comes from a shortage of staff. It's apparent that some members of the board haven't been able to work miracles . . . It reportedly gets difficult at times for the staff to work in the United Mine Workers Washington offices as a result of the factionalism at the top ... Agriculture Commissioner Gus Douglass visited some Western coal mining operations during a trip West last week .. .Acting Labor Commissioner Joseph. H, Mills is attending a conference of the International Association of Government Labor Officials in Montreal. He's a member of two of the association's committees, and then later he'll make a presentation in Halifax . . . Reliable sources say there was a top-level meeting of people who are putting togeth- er a campaign for Supreme Court Justice James Sprouse, and even the date for an announcement has been tentatively agreed upon. Some expect the state campaign manager to be selected in the near f u t u r e . . . Gary King, unsuccessful Republican candidate for the House last year, has been interviewed as a replacement for David Nixon as director of the elections division in the office of Secretary of State James McCartney... Robert Slier, director of Veterans Education in the Department of Education, has moved his office to the Nelson Buiding on the second floor . . . When the legislature's Joint Committee on Government and Finance voted to have the attorney general collect pay from (Please Turn to Page 5D) Ralph Nader Taxpayers Join For TEA Party SHORTS -- Two dozen more subpoenaes reportedly have been issued in the federal banking investigation for the grand jury in mid-August. The grand jury won't be taking them up as originally thought this week because West Virginia bankers are having their annual meeting at the Greenbrier ... Five personal care homes apparently have been operating more than two weeks under last year's license although the West Virginia Nursing Home Licen- "Tax reform" is a phrase that means all things to all people, especially in Washington. · To corporations, "tax reform" means lower taxes and special loopholes allegedly to give them more incentive to make money from consumers. To the average taxpayer "tax reform" means repealing those loopholes and special provisions for the rich and powerful so that the burden falls less heavily on the little guy. To President Ford, it is not clear just what it means, except that corporations would pay even less. Some of them, like oil companies and banks, are paying less than 10 per cent federal income tax now. If you are weary of listening year after year to what the powerful intend to do to tax reform, consider what a growing number of ordinary taxpayer reform groups from around the country are preparing to present to their members of Congress. WORKING TOGETHER under an umbrella organization called the National Committee for Tax Justice, these citizen groups have met and have drawn up a detailed Tax Justice Act of 1975 soon to be introduced by their representatives in Congress. This is grass roots citizen action. For example, Bob Loitz, a small businessman in Ohio, came to the conclusion about three years ago that nobody but the people are really going to accomplish tax reform. So with knowledge and energy, he organized the Ohio Tax Equity for America (TEA) party with officers at 475 West Market St., Akron, Ohio. After dozens of meetings, television interviews and many hours of learning about tax injustices, a network of committed citizens has developed in several midwestern sing Board denied them a license this fis- states working with Loitz and the Ohio cal year. The'delay in notifying the homes T **A Party. The idea is to mobilize grass roots organizations and hundreds of thousands of individuals on petitions calling for congressional enactment of the Tax Justice Act. Sunday Gazette-Mail Charlton, Wetl Virginia Page 2D Vol20,No.3 Jmfytt, 1975 4 THE ACT IS NOT a collage of all idealistic reforms bat a hardheaded point-by- point focas on specific injustices which have been repeatedly condemned but nevertheless continue for lack of civic^ower- on Congress. A All in all, the proposed act would repeal about $20 billion of tax injustices and redistribute about $13 billion through lower individual taxes to middle-and-lower-income taxpayers. Heavy attention is given in the proposal to ending the massive tax subsidies to corporations such as the investment tax credit and fast depreciation writeoffs. Such special tax reliefs are often passed by Congress in return for verbal assurances by industry that it will increase capital investment and employment. Actually it is worse than buying a pig in a poke for these assurances neither are enforceable nor ever studied effectively by the U. S. treasury to see if they have any validity prior to passage of the bonanzas. What these tax subsidies most often do is reward companies for doing what they were going to do anyhow on their way'to making sales and profits. As many of the tax experts consulted by the Committee for Tax Justice have urged, if there is going to be a subsidy, let it be direct and subject to annual congressional appropriations review instead of obtaining it through the backdoor via a tax loophole. IN ADDITION to providing for changes in capital gains taxation and tax-free bonds, the act would substitute credits for nonbusiness deductions in the following way. As a deduction, a $750 personal exemption means dollars saved for a wealthy taxpayer in the 60 per cent bracket that a taxpayer in the 20 per cent bracket. A credit against taxes would avoid such inequities. What Bob Loitz and others in this movement are trying to say to millions of American workers is simply this: If you're working about three months a year to pay federal taxes, then shouldn't you spend a few days a year as a citizen making sure that you're taxed fairly and that the government spends your taxes wisely? If you don't, it will continue to be a very expensive time off from democracy. And the rich will get richer off the U. S. Treasury and you. Taxpayers interested in a copy of the Tax Justice Act and a primer on tax reform can send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the National Committee for Tax Justice, 16W Connecticut Ave,, Washington, D.C. Mm V \

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