Carrol Daily Times Herald from Carroll, Iowa on May 6, 1974 · Page 6
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Carrol Daily Times Herald from Carroll, Iowa · Page 6

Carroll, Iowa
Issue Date:
Monday, May 6, 1974
Page 6
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Should the Taxpayers Underwrite Politics? Bv NKA-Lnndon l-A'ononust News Scrurr (K.niTOIVS NOTK 1'iiblic liiun political campaigns is not a American contribution to politics am nment In fact, a number of \ Kuropcan countries arc also youm <!t particular mart. Sonic arc even fi political parties. KiiHnwmc is a ropi piled by the London 1 cononnsl News S Should political parties be financed by the taxpayer'.' There are growing numbers of people in western Europe who answer yes. The Italians, for instance, have been panicked into action by this year's scandal about the subsidies that state-owned and private companies give to political parties into passing a bill in record-quick time to get some of their cash from public funds. The Italian politicians have done themselves pretty well. Under the new law, passed by both houses of parliament this month. S24 million will be divided after each general election among the parties that win at least one seat and two per cent of the national vote: they will split it up according to the number of votes they get. Another $72 million a year will be found to meet the parties' administrative expenses. Large as these sums sound, they will not be enough to prevent the parties from 1 o o king for outside contributions. But private contributors, and the parties themselves, will have to be careful. Annual accounts will have to be published once a year in a national newspaper, all donors of more than $1,700 have to be named, and companies are obliged to enter their subscriptions on their balance sheets. The dcrmans have been looking at the problem, too. and they are now upping the sums their parties get from the state. Since 196fi every vote cast for a given party has earned that parly DM2.5 That is now being by general party to about $1.80 per ($1.30). raised, consent, vote. This means that the four main parties in the Bundestag will share between them pickings of $65 million over the normal four-year life of a parliament. The money is paid out in installments, with the Diggest dollop in the fourth year, when election expenses have to be faced. However, these state funds provide only about 35 per cent of the income the parties say they need: the rest comes from the familiar old sources of subscriptions and donations. Of the other seven members of the European community, only Denmark gives its political parties money out of public funds. Each party receives $562 a year for each seat it holds in parliament, and in addition gets a lump sum of $1,825 a year if it has between four and eight seals, and $3.750 if it has nine or more seats. This is small beer compared with what the German and Italian parties have voted themselves. The French provide some help towards candidates' expenses at election time. Presidential candidates who receive more than five per cenl of Ihc national vole can claim about $21.150 to help to repay their election costs. in parliamentary and local elections are paid back the cost of printing their posters and handouts. T h e n o n - E E C Scandinavians are more generous. The Norwegians allot to the major political parties every year a sum divided between them according to the number of votes they won in Ihe previous election; in 1973 this amounted to $2,100,000. On top of this each party represented in parliament is given a grant lowards the cost of maintaining its press office Times Herald, Carroll, la. * Monday, May 6, 1974 O and its p a r 1 i a m e n t a r y secretariat. The Swedes have a simpler system. Kach party gets $1,500 a year for each member it has in parliament, and it can use the money as it likes. The Dutch and the Swiss are thinking about doing something, but although various proposals have been kicked around there is no sign that their parliaments or electorates are enthusiastic to put this extra burden on the taxpayer — or even about the principle of the thing. The advantage of the state- payment system is that it reduces the possibility of political pressure from private donors — but the pressure could, one day. return from other sources. if i The Kranoimsl of l.omlmi FUNNY BUSINESS By Roger Bol/en Westmoreland Reminisces: Vietnan Auclul>oii Sc-hool Hires Librarian AUBUDON — .lane K. Nelson has been selected to serve as high school librarian in the Audubon Community school for the 1974-75 school year. She replaces Mrs. Phyllis Goldberg, who recently resigned. Mrs. Nelson received her BA degree from Florida Stale University in 1900 and her master's degree in library science from CAL State at Fuller-ton. Calif., in 1971. She has seven years of teaching experience. The Nelsons will be moving to Audubon in June or Julv. The board has accepted the resignation submitted by Craig llellyer, vocational agriculture teacher. ByTomTlede COLUMBIA, S.C. - (NKA) — Six years after he was relieved of his Vietnam command, retired Army den. William Westmoreland still finds it necessary to fight the old battle. F.very now and then a commentator will infer, or a publication will print, that Westmoreland was the loser in the Southeast Asian conflict. But the old soldier counters by saying: "1 did not lose," or "We did not lose," or more pointedly, "1 am not a defeated general." He does not make his defense vindictive, at least not in public, for fist-pounding and hair pulling have never been his style. Nor docs he suggest that "1 won," or "We won," because he was a soldier too long (36 years) to imagine Vietnam's confusion as anything resembling victory in a traditional sense. Rather, by protecting his own part in the fight, he seems to be protecting the Army- only. He is known to feel that a conventional triumph was made impossible by the interference of overwhelming civilian variables, but as for the military's part he says it did what it was assigned to do: Defend South Vietnam from military takeover and provide it with the means to defend itself. The wrinkled-nosed critic will argue that such defense cost America 46.000 of her .sons, $130 billion from her treasury and much of her international virtue, but as a soldier Westmoreland has never been in a position to argue the emotions. A tormer aide explains that the deneral's job was "to do what the commander in chief said to do," not count the dead or the dollars. His Vietnam mission carried with it an inescapable heavy loss of life and other degradations but he was too long in uniform and too much dedicated to escape that awful responsibility with a moral retreat. Actually. Westmoreland says he deplores the Vietnam waste as much as any critic of the conflict. Since his retirement last year as Army chief of staff, and his civilian withdrawal to his home state, he has had the freedom to express himself somewhat more candidly on the subject. His expressions indicate melancholy but not outright bitterness. He obviously believes the loss of life and money need not have been as great as it was; the trouble, he says, was at least twofold. First, he says, the military was not allowed to take the bold action necessary to end the conflict sooner. From the beginning of his command ( 1964 ). his moves were scrutinized and often vetoed by then-President Lyndon Johnson and Defense Secretary Robert McNamara. Johnson especially wanted it understood the war would be manipulated by plainclothesmen. During a 1966 meeting with the President in Honolulu. Westmoreland remembers Johnson cautioning him not "to pull a MacArthur mi me." a reference to Hie \'-''H l.n»v,n habit nf I he !at r Douglas MacArthur to ignore or circumvent higher orders Westmoreland did suggest some MacArthur taeties if not •his insubordination At one point in t h e wa r . Westmoreland planned an amphibious hook into North Vietnam, a pin\ tie believed would demorali/e the enemy command as well as out border-st raddi i ng enemy troops between an allied vice. However, says West morel and. "Approval was denied But perhaps an even greater interference into the conduct of the war. says the General. was that of the American war resisters. He does not dwell on the argument that anti-war efforts gave the communists one But Not Forgotten staying power, rather he looks at what the situation did to the military itself. He says the large numbers of bright young people who dodged the draft, or fled the country, or wangled school exemptions, left the military with a> seriously depleted reservoir from which to draw young leadership. The result was the Army had to accept larger number s o f substandard junior officers. "I'm convinced." says W e s t m o r e 1 a n d . ''that something like My Lai would not have happened if the anti-war forces didn't almost force it to happen. Calley (convicted killer of noncombatants Lt. William Calley) would not have been accepted into the service under normal Times Herald, Carroll, la. —j Monday, May 6, 1974 / circumstances." As it was. Westmoreland intimates, the service had to fill slots, thus an unfortunate number of those slots was filled with second choice young men who could neither lead nor control their forces. Westmoreland hastens to add that his latler opinion is nol a rap on the majority of Vietnam combatants of whom "I was always proud." He was in fact more than proud of them, he was their advocate It was Westmoreland who established the one-year tour in Vietnam, and most of the comforts in the otherwise uncomfortable theater (hot meals on patrols, prolific pass rights) were the general's decisions. As a matter of fact, says Westmoreland. "I'm still thinking of the V i e t n a m veterans. I svould like to see them treated better here at home." Westmoreland says he recently sent a letter to the Veterans Administration asking for the facts on the GI benefit controversy, and got back "the worst bunch of gobblydegook I ever saw " D e s p i t e V A g o b b 1 e . Westmoreland believes the Viet vets do suffer from that unpopular war. "In terms of real dollars, they aren't getting enough." And as for that unpopular war itself, now that Americans are physically out of it. Westmoreland still maintains the light at the end of the tunnel will not dim. fCL SAVINGS 11 Come To B & H For A Large Variety Of Plants At Our Low Prices! 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