The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa on July 25, 1969 · Page 8
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July 25, 1969

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The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa · Page 8

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Des Moines, Iowa
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Friday, July 25, 1969
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W., JuV ». . • JOHN Cowi.lS, Chairman <>/ J/ic KKNNK.TH MAcDoNAt.n, /u///or nnrf Publisher DAVID KHUIDF.NIM, General Manager A. KnwARn HF.INS, Managing Editor I..UIU..N SOIK, KJiinrinl I'agc Editor Lous H. NORRIS, Btuincst Manager Higher School Taxes Hearts from school budget bearings in different Iowa cities tins month were ;ii;id' alike. Piibuquo i\ui an "unprecedented turn- r.;: " A:--e< had tiie largest bearing an- I'.k-rice "1:1 ;v.e::iory." I'rbandaie had to !''''d throe p.;:*'.ic ineetir.gs in e-ne week b-. t'.ire ro.!::v.:;i; Inuieet acreeiv.?: 1 .!. A s..'"'.f'O'.i !!'•.' "cavir.c 'litre as "ii'.e l> v .',cb- e^' :.". :v.y Co years as a s;;rer',v,'-."\"'.o:'.'. Those cw.rds had pr»p>!<ed 'i^-TO ip- or.i'.'."; biidcets up 13 to •.",' per eov.i over those for la>; uv.r. A pre!i:";:v.ry .-urvey by the Slate Departr.v::;; of T;;N lie Instruction indicates thai cos', •."•• '•reaf.es for all schools r/.ay .v. frv.pf close'to 13 per ce:u i:,stead e: ;':•.•; £ ;; ? per cent rise estimated las: :'. : .'.. xxo.s with rising enrollments. :-:^e.rr. £rr going well beyond 13 per co"t Still, on the average, scheo! «:•:*;,« v..; be rising less in 196?-70 r>. : .~ ;rifi did last year or the year biicco ,&*'. What is difterent this yea: :s :>: :.v;; that state aid is not boir.c :";ro A:•••:•: .-; f-. rate which can cushion :'::- :.:v:..:;; .v property taxpayers. Rising school costs r. ;^"-f,? •<*•:•" more than offset by a l;o >:r co:'.: •."• crease in state aid as a T.OA «-;".x! :.- nance law was put into :\-r:;.i! e-:!-;-;;. Putting the new law into tu ; .i <?::>;: ..". 1968-69 meant a 50 per cent jurr.p ::i school aid; this absorbed most of the cost rise for that year. These steps brought the state's share of school operating costs up from 15 per cent in 196667 to 31 per cent last year. It was to be expected under the new school aid law that a major share of increases (if they occurred) would have to be paid from property taxes beginning In 1969-70. This would have happened even if the Legislature had provided enough aid to keep the state contribution to schools at 31 per cent. The Legislature didn't do this, and the state's contribution to schools will probably drop below 30 per cent. SchiX-1 officials were well aware of the state aid picture from the t.une they be- p:i .«ettii\i: salaries \n ia'.e «nter. They .<::;! uvk steps ;ho\ <.v".s.sdert\i csw::'.i.»l to :".-i::t.5!"::ic vb? c>;'.:;y ?.:~>t pr^:A:v,s the;: «.v:v,r.v.::v.'.ics f \p-.v.t\J M-.x«'. US- is st.si . rriiinr srr,;.;. rr^jr:i.T,s. O.^rfSJ. iike- r;d of s Jin,- w : NX* i'.,f ro •,"..••;•:! mtfreit in s-c'i»;-i f::-.i-i.-; .5 :•:•: ;-.-,-::r.'-x to Jxa! school .••:ir-ri :.'.r;« S.;.r.f p:-:;cic« De-ed attention ;..••.•> 7."e prt-.vo-r: i~.i:e ?.:a appropriation "•;._: f- :'ir,r.'er. :c: example, if several :••..'.::". c."/..vrs d;ir.'; have io.be used to r.f'.p r.-.-e-o-t the abrvrma'.iy high costs of a^.c-:~a".ly srr.sil schools. A bill which would ;i.":it st3te aid Ln a fair manner — and encourage' reorganization and better education in the process — is pending in the Legislature. Maintaining property tai replacement from state tax sources requires an increase in state taxes. Unless assured of public support for this, however, legislators are going to be tempted to let the school financing burden slide back on property taxes. South Vietnamizing the War The United States still stands by its offer to withdraw American troops from South Vietnam if "North Vietnam does — "and the level of violence thus subsides, 1 ' the Johnson Administration added cautiously, thinking of the purely South Vietnamese guerrilla fighters. Since North Vietnam does not admit it has troops in South Vietnam, can withdrawal be done by both sides acting on their own, each with a sharp eye on the other? President Nixon said in May that would be acceptable. It could be what is happening now, though both sides deny it. Arthur Dommen of the Los Angeles Times, writing from Saigon, thinks the process started after the Midway summit meeting of June 8. Soon after President Nixon announced his intention to withdraw 25,000 Americans by Aug. 31, North Vietnam withdrew 1,800 men — the 36th Regiment of the North Vietnamese Army — across the Ben Hai River into North Vietnam. Soon afterward the United States pulled a Marine regimental landing team — 8,000 strong — out of the same area of extreme northern South Vietnam as part of the 25,000. Dommen notes that these withdrawals are in the proportion 2 to 9 — roughly the same as between North Vietnamese and United States armed forces in South Vietnam. North Vietnam has an advantage in any such game of mutual withdrawals 'without formal agreement. Americans go back to faraway Okinawa or Hawaii or the continental United States. But the U.S., Dommen writes, can "zero in with a few thousand tons of bombs almost overnight and restore the balance of forces in a particular district to the status quo ante." Another advantage for America is that when North Vietnamese forces withdraw, they leave the National Liberation Front organization exposed "to arrests, tortures and confessions, meaning the possible loss of years of patient political infiltration and propaganda." At an earlier phase of the war, Viet Cong forces were strong enough to protect these cadres, but not always now. However, this vulnerability works both ways. American withdrawals, unless effectively replaced by South Vietnamese forces, leave exposed to Viet Cong execution squads the government officials, school teachers, health workers, pacification workers, and families of soldiers. Years of "pacification" and "security" can be torn down in a single day. Both North Vietnam and the United States dare to proceed no faster in withdrawing than'they succeed in "South Vietnamizing" the war again, as it was before 1964. If South Vietnamese of both parties are weary of the long war, that could mean peace. If one set of South Vietnamese are weary and the other are not, it could mean a massacre. If both are bellicose, it could, mean back to civil war. But America would be out. Banished From the County The Dubuque county attorney has recommended, and the District Court has approved, placing a Dubuque man on probation and "banning" him from the county for five years. Judge John Oberhausen's sentence of Ronald Schmitz provides that Schmilz "shall not remain, reside, maintain employment, visit, or at any time be present within the limits of Dubuque County." The only exceptions are to testify at a trial, to attend a wedding or funeral or to visit a sick relative, up to 24 hours. Probation usually is granted when the court is convinced that society's best interests are served by keeping a man in his home community instead of sending him to prison. In this case, Schmitz, who pleaded guilty to malicious injury to a building, evidently was considered such a trouble-maker that Dubuque authorities wanted him out. of their hair. The recommendation that he be banished from the county apparently was also due to a desire to cut him off from his associates. The Iowa Supreme Court apparently has not ruled on the legality of banish- ment as a condition for probation. The Minnesota Supreme Court, however, ruled in 1967 that a sentencing judge erred in placing a convicted burglar on probation on condition that he leave Minnesota and take up residence in Nevada. The Minnesota court declared: "We are in accord with the great weight of American decisional law which holds that it is beyond the power of a court to impose banishment as a condition of probation . . . The condition is unauthorized by statute, is contrary to public policy, and -is repugnant to the underlying policy of the probation law, which is to rehabilitate offenders without compromising the public safety." Schmitz probably welcomes the sentence, undoubtedly preferring it to imprisonment. But that wouldn't prevent him from challenging its legality if he violated the conditions and his probation was revoked, as the Minnesota burglar successfully challenged his probation revocation/ Courts should be extremely wary of attaching conditions to probation that are open to attack by violators. In Training for Kingship In formally naming Prince Juan Carlos his successor, after 21 years of training him for the job, Chief of State Francisco Franco of Spain has tried to assure the continuation of his own policies beyond his lifetime. ' Franco has been worried ever since the Spanish civil war of the 1930s about what would happen when he died or became disabled. In spite of the constitution, laws and so-called elections, Franco has been a one-man ruler, holding all real power in Spain, He is right to worry. Spaniards are far from agreed what they want when he goes, but most of them do want to avoid another civil war Jike the frightful one of liWti-39. Many Spanish conservatives consider themselves monarchists, but they have been split three ways on the proper monarch, between Juan Carlos, his father, and the- Carlist prince, Carlos Hugo. Spain has not had a king since 1931 and nobody missed one much. Franco himself in calling the country a monarchy and himself regent carefully refrained from installing a king and ha has not done so now. Just a future king. Monarchy is a pretty old-fashioned form, found in fewer and fewer countries. The places where the monarchy is strongest are places where the king is most a figurehead: Britain, Scandinavia, the Netherlands. Even monarchists nowadays rarely want a king who wants to be a real king. Juan Carlos said on accepting the new title he didn't want to go back to the past. Maybe secretly he would like to. Francq wants him to preserve the present: Franco's present. Neither is historically possible. All there is is the future, and it is veiled. Juan Carlos is 30 now, and Franco is 76. Franco thinks he can trust him, but plans to continue training him some more and not let him be king yet. "Well, there goes Cairo Charges Pentagon With Policy of 'No-Think' By George C. Wilson WASHINGTON, D.C. - If nothing else, the recent history of the Pentagon should focus critical attention on the non-policy of no-think when it comes to military questions of life and death. The no-think syndrome is not peculiar to any one Administration or to military officers. A few examples: • Some unnamed government panel approved sending the U-2 over Russia on May 1, 1960, just before President Eisenhower was to meet in Paris with Premier Khrushchev — even though Soviet fighters desperately trying to knock down U-2s had • shown up on pictures from previous missions. Khrushchev scuttled the summit conference, using the U-2 overflight as one excuse. • President Kennedy approved the plan to invade Cuba without doubting its military wisdom. • The Navy, presumably with the concurrence of some civilian intelligence panel, sent the destroyers Turner Joy and Maddoz on an electronic eaves- Wilson is a Washington Post writer specializing in military affairs. dropping mission off North Vietnam in August, 1964, at the very time the South Vietnamese were attacking North Vietnamese island bases. The North Vietnamese fired at the American destroyers. President Johnson jumped right into the Vietnam quagmire, ordering the first bombing of North Vietnam in retaliation. • The Navy, first with the Pueblo and later with the EC-121 aircraft, sent men eavesdropping off North Korea at a time that bellicose nation was vowing revenge on "spies." The Pueblo was not even told about the desperate attack North Koreans made on South Korea's president's home 38 hours before the American ship was hijacked. • The Army is storing poison gas throughout the world with no Pentagon leader yet having explained how it could ever be used effectively in a war. • Then there is MIRV-that latest weapon, consisting of a cluster of H-bombs for mass incineration. The American technocrats built it because it was buildable. Defense Secretary Melvin R. Laird has not yet explained whether it is a weapon for massive retaliation in the 1970s or whether his references to hitting "hard" targets with MIRV mean the United States will build a first-strike force. Only in secret session does he detail the relatively small size and limited accuracy of MiRV bombs to stress their second-strike nature. But Who Needed It? But who needed MIRV in the first place? The Soviet missile defense did not require our building it — and still does not. The Russians are working on multiple warheads now, too. Laird contends we must build an ABM defense against them. Here we go again. ». The possible consequences of no-think on MIRV range all the way from giving the Russians an excuse to be intractable at any arms control talks to bringing back the nervous days of "counter- force." One side, figuring the opponent's MIRV might knock out its ICBMs in a surprise strike, might be tempted to fire first in a crisis. Congress Asking Why Military technology, in the absence of a thinking policy by government leaders charged with controlling its development and use, keeps getting the United States into trouble. The American government's system of checks and balances clearly is not working. Finally but belatedly, as the ABM debate shows, the Congress is beginning to ask the why of weaponry which looks so glitteringly irresistible to those who want to manufacture and deploy it. « Wishlniton POM Unfair Tax Burden on Poor From an editorial in the Milwaukee Journal. O NE of the cruel paradoxes of the American economic system is that at a time when the nation is trying to figure out how to get rid of poverty it actually imposes an excessive tax burden on those who are poor. A progressive income tax structure is supposed to prevent such injustice, and it does to an extent. But when the total burden of federal, state and local taxes is considered, the system is more regressive than generally realized. The President's Council of Economic Advisers recently estimated that households with income under $2,000 (government subsidies not included) paid 44 per cent of their earnings to federal, state and local governments in 1965. The average taxpayer paid 31 per cent of his income in taxes. Offset by Payments The burden on the poor comes mainly from regressive levies, such as sales taxes, property taxes and payroll taxes used to finance federal Social Security benefits. The same council study showed that households with incomes of less than (2,000 spent 13.2 per cent of their money on property taxes in 1965 and 10.7 per cent on sales or excises levied by state and local governments. These rates were 4.2 [percentage points] higher than the average rate paid by all households for property taxes and 2.8 [points] higher than the average for sales and excises. The aggregate burden is offset somewhat by government transfer payments — welfare, Social Security, unemployment compensation. "But aggregate comparisons tend to mask the hardship imposed on many households. Thia is why the Nixon Administration proposes a low-income allowance as part of its tax reform package. Meager First Step The allowance idea is really a meager first step in alleviating the tax-income problem for the poor. It would free some 2 million households officially designated as poor from having to pay any federal income tax. It also would reduce taxes for other low-income families by establishing a "phased" rate formula to preserve work incentives. For instance, a single person earning $1,699 a year would pay no taxes under the allowance plan. If he earned an extra dollar a year, he could be hit with a $117 tax bill under the current system. Obviousy there is little incentive here to work out of poverty. But under the plan, for each $2 a single taxpayer earned above $1,700, onjy $1 would go into taxable income. Even if Congress buys the allowance proposal, there would remain an estimated 24 million other poor people untouched by the plan because they do not earn enough income to pay income taxes. To aid these people, the Administration now seems to be setting its sights on a national minimum standard for welfare recipients and a special family security system, the new, more acceptable label for a modest form of negative tax or guaranteed income plan. EVERY TRUMP EXCEPT THE ACE— Soviet Space Program: Slow and Steady Published by arrangement with The Economist of London. L UNA 15 was the first moon-sliot Urn Russians had made for well over a year, and it raced the Americans to the moon as the Russians never raced before. For most of the past 19 years the Russians succeeded in dominating space and the moon while firing one rocket to every two of the Americans. They pulled off a steady list of firsts, just the same, from the first satellite In orbit to the first past the moon, the first round the moon and the first to land on the moon. They have put the first man, the first woman and the first team of astronauts into space. They have carried out the f,M link-up of two satellites in space. The first man ever to walk free there was a Russian. They have held every trump card except, perhaps, the last and highest. This has been deliberate policy. The Russian space program has concentrated in .keeping men near the earth and sending instruments on the long journeys. Spectacular Achievements The Russians have done great pioneering work (only recognized among scientists) in probes fired off to the planets and beyond, and they still devote considerable effort to these. But their spectacular achievements have, been in proceeding, step by logical step, towards the building of earth-orbiting space stations of formidable size with, even in their present crude nissen-hut form, accommodation for a crew of 12. Soviet cosmonauts have only recently confirmed that these are not adaptable for flights to the moon. This, as it happens, is what the text-books say a space program should consist of: the orbiting space workshop provides an easier base for manned flights to the moon and beyond than the Americans' Apollo with its cramped crew quarters. And the Americans in their next space program fully intend to build one —funds permitting. But, as Apollo is demonstrating, it is a longer, slower route to the moon. Slow Soviet Feedback One reason why the Russians are finding it long is the strain that their space program imposes on their resources. They and the Americans are both believed to be spending the same 3 per cent of their gross national product on research and development, both having doubled it this decade. The Soviet G.N.P. Is probably only half the American and if, like the Americans, the Russians are spending 1 per cent of their national product on space, this would account for the much smaller number of space shots they have fired. Rut a great deal of space expenditure is amAmted for by overhead and development costs, and (he Russians have been golni through the expensive process of developing a new, bigger, and reputedly highly temperamental space launcher to replace the workhorse space rocket which has served them so well in IWf PCrMVf AfflflMffliM "Raced the Americans to the moon as the Russians had never raced before the past. It is doubtful whether they have recently been holding down their space spending to as little as 1 per cent. The economic strain is bigger than the figures alone would suggest, for while the Americans can at least say that their space program has had some feed* back to their technically advanced industries, the Russians have not the same markets for highly advanced computers, process-control equipment and even consumer goods for their space technology to feed back to. One of the major concerns of Soviet economic planners at the present time is the slowness with which technology filters into Russian industry. Recovery Procedures All the same, a major American propaganda victory on the moon is something the Russians cannot ignore. What is happening to them this week may be due to a long run of technical troubles with their own space program, manned and unmanned. Their unpre- paredness for a manned moon-shot of their own could, as their commentators have suggested, be due to reluctance to take risks with lives where instruments can do the job at least as well. This sounds like sour grapes, but the Russians have done a lot of work on rescue and recovery procedures in space and give these a priority which makes one wonder uneasily just what they intend those massive earth-orbiting space stations for, and how many they intend to construct. RUSSIA'S JOURNEY TOWARD THE MOON Lunal Jan.,'59 First moon fly-by Luna 2 Sept,'5* First moon landing Luna 3 Oct.,'59 First photoe of moon's dark side Vostofcl Apr.,'61 First man in space Vostok 2 Aug., '61 Manned flight, first full day In space Vostofc 3 Aug., '62 First double flight (with Vostok 4) Vostok 4 Aug., '62 First double flight Luna 4 Apr.,'63 Failed Vostofc 5 June, '63 Second double flight (with Vostok 6) Vostok 6 June, '63 First (and only) woman in space Voskhod 1 Oct., '64 First three-man crew Voskhod 2 Mar., '65 First space walk (10 minutes) Luna 5 May, '65 Crashed on moon Luna 6 June, '65 Failed Luna 7 Oct., '65 Crashed on moon Luna 8 Dec., '65 Crashed on moon Luna 9 Jan., '66 First instruments on moon Luna 10 Mar., '61 First satellite In moon orbit Luna 11 Aug.,'66 Another moon orbit Luna 12 Oct., '66 Third moon-orbiting satellite Luna 13 Dec., '61 Instruments landed, special scoop on cantUevered arm Soyuz 1 Apr., '67 Manned flight; parachute fouled on re-entry, Colonel Komarov killed. Luna 14 Apr., '68 Another satellite la moon orbit Soyuz 3 Oct., '68 Docking practice with an unmanned Soyuz 2 Soyuz 4 Jan., '69 First docking of two manned craft (with Soyuz 5), first orbital laboratory Luna 15 July, '69 Crashed on moon. Victims of 'Freeway Mentality' By Sydney Harris CHICAGO, ILL. — An observer from another planet — inhabited by more rational creatures than we are — would be hard put to understand the behavior of Earthlings, if be hovered in his interplanetary spacecraft over any American freeway or expressway at 8 in the morning or 5 in the afternoon. He would see tens of thousands of cars inch- SVONBV ing f o r w a r d, bumper HARRIS to bumper, four or six lanes abreast, some taking nearly an hour to arrive at their destination — while, paralleling this freeway, there is a broad and totally empty surface street. Whichever city be drifted over, ha would find the same inexplicable traffic snarl, with the same almost-deserted avenue running alongside the expressway. And he would have to conclude that it was not speed but tome other desideratum that prompted millions of motorist* to move their cars onto expressways at these particular hours. Freeway: End in Itself But we would be wrong in assuming that Earthlings are as rational as the inhabitants of his planet. For we are what traffic engineers call victims of "freeway mentality." Because the freeways were built to relieve congestion on the surface streets, we have totally abandoned the surface streets and trans- ferred the congestion to the freeways. No longer a means to an end — getting there faster — the expressway hat become an end in itself. In a recent issue of the Journal, "Traffic Safety," a transportation official in Los Angeles warned that "freeways can be victims of their own popularity during peak hours, and many concerned authorities see the overloaded superhighways turning into bottlenecks." He points out that only 5 per cent of California roads are freeways, yet they carry 60 per cent of the traffic. During the six peak hours of the day - which is to say, about hah 1 of the daylight hours, when people do most of their driving — the average speed is only 30 miles an hour. Hardly a breath-taking velocity for a multi-billion-dollar road system. Obsolete on Completion Yet, the paralleling surface streets, would be just as-.fast, and Mmetimea much faster. Every motorist knows that one car out of commission in one lane of expressway can tie up traffic for • mile - and this is most likely to happen during the rush hours. But hardly anyone will give up the dubious status of riding the freeway and take a surface street to his destination. Freeways become obsolete almost from the moment they are completed; it s a part of Parkinson's devilish law that traffic mounts to meet the maximum capacity of the road, and there is no end to this process, until the country is entirely crisg-erossed with freeways and all traffic has ground to a halt -while kids play ball on surface streets

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