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dSy OI -3 H 3 :''• A, i A. •JOURNAL In The Driver's Seat? "•*«»»>.'iVWv»/r"<>. i • *t ,-•.»•». * -y : ^l r^v/vO j|j ^ .* i ^ .-•>»•«•.'•• - t > ' , F. 0. •« «i. 't»r i ^ ', Tmi 7MM . Kyll !«wd wire of Tto A»oa»tt4 Prtif »ivl Uniitd Pint InifmitiMjl ROBKHT R.'NORRIS Vicr Pimdrni- J. C. RICKMAN 01 d nijorxif: - -' *•"- ...... DAVID K. KN'APP h*tt'tHiv> Krtiinr BURLE PETTIT ; 1in >l"H Wilor JAY HARRIS Kditor KEiS'NKTH MAY AivKiiit Edrlnr PijeX, Section A Lubbock, Texas, S»turd»y Morning, April 4, l»7i 'U.S. Hwy. 114' Is Appreciated CREATION of a new "through-highway" number-U.S. 114-from Dallas to Lubbock and on into New Mexico is a minor matter in comparison with getting the route improved to a four-lane divided facility all the way. But, as Lubbock Chamber of Commerce Manager John Logan points out, "this will help." It will help speed the day when funding will be made available for those improvements. And, in the meantime, it will help create—in the public's mind and on maps—the concept that one doesn't have to "go out of his way" to drive through Lubbock if he's traveling East-West cross country. THE 1 ' TEXAS Highway Commission took the first step this week toward the U.S. 114 designation, which still must be approved by a national highway numbering committee before going into effect next Jan. 1. If implemented as expected, however, the number will be placed on segments of five different routes from Dallas through Bridgeport, Jacksboro, Seymour and Crosbyton to Lubbock and on westward through Levelland and Morton to Elida, N.M. Already, 122 miles of that route is a four- lane divided facility. The Texas Highway Commission has pledged 'to improve the remaining miles as traffic counts justify it and as funding becomes available. THE NEW NUMBER undoubtedly will encourage more traffic on this route, which will cut. off about 50 miles of the distance from Dallas to Lubbock through Abilene. Dallas and Lubbock, the state's second- largest and eighth-largest cities, have much in common. The Avalanche-Journal, joined by the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce, rates this direct highway link of first priority importance and will not rest until the Highway Commission fulfills its pledge. The new number is a good start and we appreciate it. Now we need additional right of way and paving! What Did Happen In Vietnam? WHAT HAPPENED to the collective "will to resist" of S.outh Vietnam's non- Communists is a question which is being debated furiously on both sides of the 'Pacific. And it will be a fascinating subject, down through the years, for historians. Some of them, inevitably, will compare the collapse in South Vietnam with the paralysis which gripped France when Adolf Hitler at last began his assault in World War II. Indisputably, a will to resist has existed. Otherwise, even with the massive help from the United States. South Vietnam would have fallen years ago to the Communist forces. ASSORTED FACTIONS in South Vietnam, . including the Buddhists and Catholics, have been well aware of what life under a Communist regime is like. They have been restive under censorship; political strictures and other wartime practices of the government headed by President Nguyen Van Thieu. However, they have been assumed to have enough sense to support resistance to conquest by the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong. UNTIL QUITE recently, a number of observers, both neutral and otherwise, were commenting on the apparent success of "Vietnamization." One reported that "the South Vietnamese Army, once ridiculed publicly or privately by virtually every American adviser, now fights well when outgunned and outnumbered." He added: "There are reasons for this new spirit. We have over the years developed in 'South Vietnam a viable government and economy, more and more influenced by -capable young men. We have done much to eliminate decadent generals and bring to the :fore younger officers less tied to the old corruption.'' A RECOGNIZED authority, Britain's Sir ' r LILLY: Robert Thompson, said recently that some of the South Vietnamese soldiers outclass some of America's. Recently-returned U.S. visitors agreed that the Saigon government had one of the best trained and equipped armies in the world. What has happened? How could province after province, city after city, fall to the Communists without a fight? Complete answers are not yet possible, but the disaster seems to have started with President Thieu's decision to abandon the Central Highlands. THAT OPENED the way to loss of the coastal cities. South Vietnamese troops had not even a small victory to boost morale. Disheartenment has a way of spreading unchecked. How much of it was caused by Congress' snubbing of pleas for additional aid is not known. But it seems clear that the bitter accusations of Saigon's ambassador to the U.S., Tran Kim Phuong, go too far. He has placed complete blame on the U.S. Understandably, he could not point out that when the great test came. South Vietnam's leadership was found wanting. DISASTER IN South Vietnam has been termed "irreversible." Most Americans, of course, hope for a "miracle," that South Vietnam's military command has a plan, that somehow at least a fourth of the country can be defended successfully. And many Americans wish that their government had given fresh support, short of military action, as a means of moral backing. When..the answers come, they will not show that this nation could be proud of its course in recent weeks. All a pickpocket will get from us is a handful of lint. Add to your dictionary of collective nouns: a-brush of artists. GOP's Reagan-Wallace Ticket Taken Seriously ; WASHINGTON — Could the Republican Party find happiness in embracing a 1976 ticket of President Ford and former California Gov. Ronald Reagan'' Don't laugh. That's a question being kicked around with utmost seriousness these days by some moderate and conservative leaders of the GOP. It would not be the perfect ticket, but those Republicans whose No. 1 priority is the party's survival as a viable political organization see a •Ford-Reagan partnership as a pragmatic option. •; AS TODAY succeeds yesterday, Reagan .•sounds and acts more and more like a man who .badly want.'; to run for the Republican Presidential nomination. Recently, he shared the platform -with Alabama's Gov. George Wallace at a 'Chamber of Commerce dinner in Cullman, Ala., seeking not only Southern support but that of blue- collar workers around the country who are .attracted to Wallace. It is significant that after the dinner, and a 15"minute private Reagan-Wallace chat, aides of both men agreed Reagan's appearance was mutually beneficial. Wallace did himself no harm among conservative Democrats who like peagan's style by greeting Reagan in his introduction as a man who was "among friends." .To many Republicans, the atmosphere at that love fest was redolent of the threat of a Reagan- Wallace third-party ticket. - MEANWHILE, many shrewd GOP leaders have concluded that while a conservative challenge to Ford is only a possibility, a challenge '4o Vice President Rockefeller is a near certainty. ; Thus there is sentiment in certain party quarters for a Ford move to throw the Vice •Presidential nomination open to the convention, to buy conservative support for his own nomination. •But some fear the',partjr,could not survive a convention battf o^iat'Wnf After all, the GOP has cent, of,.t£e national vote. A split i ''--'j^seriously endanger JM, defearnext year. So the talk continues about Reagan as Ford's running-mate. Nobody is clear about how this could be managed, but the answer is obvious. ?'ord would have to persuade Rockefeller to withdraw, and then either open the Vice Presidential balloting or throw his support to Reagan. To its advocates, the idea makes sense in three ways. First, it would eliminate a Reagan challenge to Ford for top banana. Second, it would wean conservative voters away from Wallace. Third, it would balance the ticket — that is, it would offer something for the moderates in Ford and something for the conservatives in Reagan. THE QUESTION is whether Reagan would accept the Vice Presidential nomination. . In California, he grew accustomed to being No. 1. To understate the case, he is not an enthusiastic Ford man. But running for President against the party's incumbent is a dicey business. Reagan is no longer a spring chicken. Moreover, while Ford could expect some support from moderate-to-conservative Democrats and independents, Reagan appeals only to the conservative vote — at least at this early date. THERE REMAINS George Wallace. Undoubtedly, he would be attracted to a ticket with Reagan's name on it. To a considerable extent, Reagan is Wallace's kind of politician, and vice versa. But Wallace is unpredictable. It would be like him to decide that he had a good chance against a GOP ticket that offered his supporters only half a loaf and a Democratic Presidential candidate who most likely will be merely distinguished, not celebrated. "It's hell," said a nuts-and-bolts man over at Republican national headquarters. "We lose votes if Ford keeps Rockefeller, but we could lose more votes if he dumps Rockefeller. Ford could still make it, of course. All he has to do is cure the economy, roll back prices to their 1937 level, settle the Middle East mess, and disarm the Russians." ROWLAND EVANS & ROBERT NOVAK: Wallace A 'Menace' WASHINGTON — Before the North Carolina legislature adjourns in midsummer, it is likely to repeal the state's presidential primary law — a MARIANNE MEANS: ERA Will Be Factor WASHINGTON — Does the Democratic Party have the gall to hold its 1976 Presidential convention in a state that has refused to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment to which the party is supposed to be committed? Sure, it does. The city that offers the best deal in money, accommodations and convenience will get the convention, no matter how unenlightened its state legislature. In the past, morality and principle have played no part in the site selection, and there is no compelling reason why such irrelevant niceties should be introduced to complicate the business now. The site selection committee for both the Democratic and Republican Parties held initial hearings this week. THE WOMEN'S movement tried to pass a resolution at the recent Democratic National Committee session that would prevent the convention from being held in any stale that had not ratified ERA. They failed, but a compromise was reached, which demonstrated both the growing clout of the women's movement and its limitations. A resolution was approved under which states that have ratified will be given preference — if all other competing factors are equal. The selection committee may defy it with impunity, but the fact the concession was made at all is proof that women's rights has become a major issue within the Democratic Party. AS A PRACTICAL matter, only three cities that are interested in hosting the convention in July of 1976 are located in states that have not passed the ERA. They are Miami Beach, Fla., home of the dismal 1972 convention; Chicago, 111., home of the even more dismal 1968 convention; and New Orleans, La. , It may seem like madness to the rational mind to wish to return to the scene of either crime, but both Chicago and Miami Beach have their proponents nonetheless. The women's move was aimed especially at Chicago, because Mayor Richard Daley is believed to want the convention to return there for his personal vindication. If Daley would pressure his puppets in the legislature, ERA would pass in Illinois. He has publicly declared his support for ERA and repeated this in a phone conversation to Democratic National Chairman Robert Strauss. But he has declined to lift a finger to help it along, and so the women felt a little political blackmail might be in order. SUCH PRESSURE tactics are fine, if you believe in the political school that says nothing happens until legislators are put on the racks or in the pits or at the stakes. But another school says persuasion and nudging so that things can happen without legislators' losing face are far more effective in the long run. The latter is the argument that'was used to defeat the original women's amendment and substitute the compromise. Strauss, who has'rhade calls faithfully for the past year or so to slate legislators pleading the cause of ERA, irritated the women by remaining neutral. . Strauss insists that Patrick Cunningham, the site selection chairman, has pledged to lobby for ERA as he negotiates with the cities and that this will be more effective than mandatory regulations with which they must comply. Cunningham, New York Gov. Hugh Carey's chief political lieutenant, has a past record of distinct discrimination against women in his political and professional dealings. His wife, however, is a college professor and an ardent advocate of the ERA. Strauss believes that Cunningham has recently seen the error of his ways and will now pursue the cause voluntarily as vigorously as if he were required to do so. EVANS quiet move now being duplicated elsewhere ta blunt Gov. George C. Wallace's menace to the Democratic party. Why North Carolina moderates and liberals want to kill the new primary law, used only once, is obvious: Wallace would sweep the state in a 1976 primary just as he did in 1972. By reinstating the convention system, the Democratic establishment would freeze Wallaceites out of the North Carolina delegation. TENNESSEE, which Wallace also won easily in 1972, is moving toward the same course, urged on by the party's liberal leadership. In Mississippi, liberals are helping block a new primary election which Wallace would certainly win. Outside the South, a primary repealer is expected to pass in Michigan — Wallace's most important 1972 primary win. Liberals in Maryland, another Wallace primary winner, have the same notion.. Wallace relies on personal popularity in primary states to offset organizational weakness in convention states and therebyiwin 500 delegates or more. To prevent that embarrassment, liberals are engaging in role reversal — particularly in the South — by espousing backroom politics over popular mandate. THE ANTI-PRIMARY strategy may indeed blunt Wallace's threat but not without risks. Repealing primary laws will not stop George Wallace's being the most popular Democrat not only in the South but in Northern states as well, certainly including Michigan. Denied the right to support him in a primary, Wallace voters may thunder their frustration in November. Wallace's dependence on'primaries explains why only 209 out of 608 Democratic convention delegates from 11 Southern slates voted for him in 1972. Except for Alabama and Texas, Wallace won large numbers of delegates only from presidential primary states — Florida, North Carolina and Tennessee. CONSEQUENTLY, Wallace strategists in Montgomery, Ala., long 330 planned to push for new primary laws throughout the South, and the first returns were encouraging. Kentucky and Georgia have new presidential primaries. Under Wallaceite pressure, the legislature has adopted a new .primary in Arkansas (which denied Wallace even one delegate in 1972). Wallace forces hope far a Louisiana primary and are jousting with Sen. Lloyd Bentsen over the shape of a new Texas primary. But Wallace has been stopped cold in efforts for a primary in Virginia, South Carolina and biggest disappointment of all — Mississippi. ALTHOUGH WALLACE indisputably was Mississippi's choice for President in 1972, he was shut out of the state's delegation thanks to the "loyalist" faction of white liberals and black civil rights leaders controlling the state party. But Wallaceite hopes of changing all that with a new primary law are being crushed by combined opposition from the "loyalists," Mississippi Republicans and Democratic Gov. William Waller (no liberal but no Wallaceite either). Conceding defeat, a Wallace strategist told us: "We can expect as many delegates from Mississippi as from the District of Columbia." ADD TO THIS primary repeals in Tennessee and North Carolina, and Wallace is threatened with no significant gain in Southern delegates this time. ... North Carolina typifies Wallace's problems with Southern Democratic' leaders. Primary repeal .is being pushed by allies of former Gov. Terry Sanford, no* president of Duke University. Sanford was humiliated by Wallace in his own state's 1972 primary, and his long-shot presidential campajgn would be ambushed again in any rematch. But even legislative leaders who regard Sanford's •ambitions as quixotic want no more primaries. , ' . ,. In repealing and preventing state primaries, anti-Wallace, Southern Democrats sidestep the heart of the problem: Wallace's massive support among frustrated, alienated voters in conservative Mississippi, moderate Tennessee and progressive North Carolina. By locking out Wallace delegates in those states, the Democratic party may only fatten that frustration and alienation.' HE1VRYI TAYLOR: S.S. Grab UNREVEALED, our Bi| Brother government has putus in (Social Security bind as reckless as it is disgusting, But who would know it? • When Bif Brother began deducting the Social Security taxes in the initial 1*37-49 period .the Social Security tax rate, shared'equally by employes and employers, was a combined — combined! — $60 a year, But, quietly, the Social Security tax rate has been increased more than 1,370 per cent! Yes, 1,370 per cent. BETWEEN 1950 and 1973 Social Security taxes increased 20-fold. Cash benefits increased 60-fold. Nor does this enfold expansion include the freat' 1974 increases or the disability and health insurance benefits, which are also going straight up like the Eiffel Tower. . • Congressmen, working their political abacus overtime, extended Social Security protection to surviving dependents of deceased workers. In 1972, these Washington Robin Hoods of the Red Ink linked Social Security benefits to the cost of living. Then in November, 1973,'they voted an 11 per cent benefits increase, with seven per cent to take effect in March, 1974. BEHIND THE scenes, .the expansion of Social Security benefits has far outstripped the growth of our economy and of wages and prices. During the 60-fold increase the nation's Gross National Product expanded only 4^ times. The consumer price index increased only 1,8 times. Social Security taxes grew from 12 per cent of Federal Revenue in 1950 to 31 per cent in 1973. It stood second to personal income taxes as a source of federal revenue. It was 69 per cent as large. It was also nearly twice as large as all corporate income taxes. THE MAXIMUM Social Security tax is now $825 per year. It is for millions and millions actually more burdensome than the federal income tax. With the 8.7 per .cent increase scheduled for July 1, the benefits will rise 8S per cent in only six years. At the same time, the cost of living rise is about 51 per cent. Yet, scheduled for January, 1976, the Robin Hoods have tossed in an escalator providing automatic — automatic! — raises in benefits. Accordingly; the Social Security tax is scheduled to rise to $895 a year in 1976 and to J983 in 1977. THIS IS WHY President Ford urged in his budget message that the 8.7 per cent increase be reduced to five. Congress, however, shows not the slightest sign of agreeing. Meanwhile, most workers think their hard- earned money, which vanishes from their pay envelopes and which they don't even see, goes into some kind of special trust fund which Big Brother holds for them. This is totally untrue; merely another illusion. The cash deducted is merely shoved into the U.S. Treasury like other taxes. It vanishes there a second time. THE WASHINGTON Robin Hoods, making thejr political hay. have borrowed every last penny of the Social Security money that belongs to you and spent it. The cash you gave Big Brother was replaced by government bonds — the government's own lOUs. Your cash is gone with the wind. Moreover, behind the scenes, benefits are beginning to exceed Social Security revenues. Time ;- catching up with the reckless Robin Hoods. ABOUT 31 MILLION people now draw Social Security benefits. But workers are retiring earlier and living longer. The ratio of those paying in and those drawing out is drastically changed. Only 10 years ago four workers paid in while' one beneficiary took out. Now the ratio is 3.1 to one. And the ratio is falling rapidly. The amount earmarked in goverment lOUs is supposed to be kept between 75 per cent and 125 per cent of a year's payout. It is now down to 72 per cent and is expected to fall to 51 per cent by 1978. And even the earmarked amount (145.9 billion) will have gone with the wind by 1980 if the present trends continue. The Social Security system, however, is not going broke. Governments do not go broke — they just print more and more money. But these are the facts, folks, and Big Brother is again selling us down the river. L M. BO YD: . . . Pass It On PALM Am asked the most useful of all trees. That's said to be the coconut palm. You can build a house out of it, then furnish said house out of it, too! With chairs, beds, mattresses, carpets, brooms, cups, saucers, even lamps. You can make clothes out of it and get both food and drink from it. AVERAGE MAN stops growing when he's 21 years 2 months old. Average girl stops growing when she's 17 years 3 months old. Or so the most recent studies indicate. LOS ANGELES police sometime back'set up an experimental race in four unmarked cans. Over a 10-mile stretch of the eight lane Hollywood freeway. Three of the cars were committed to go as fast as possible without changing lanes. The fourth was permitted to weave at will, switchinf lanes, jockeying for position, That fourth car made the trip in 15 minutes 30 seconds. The other three finished in another four seconds, 76 seconds and 82 seconds, that quickly. Illuminating. YOUNG LADY, what were the 10 most important items in your budget when you got married? The matrimonial counselors say the followinig are rated as such: Bedroom furniture, linens, living room furniture, refrigerator, automobile*washing machine, dinette set, television, radio and rugs. Their finding came from a survey of a sizable sampling of brides. Exactly M per cent of those girls listed bedroom furniture as indispensable. The remaining I per cent did not. • NOTHING complicated about a little sewing needle, is there? Still, it COM through the hands of about » craftsmen who give it more than that many manufactorimg pro DON'T FORGET, diamonds have bsm found in meteorites, sir. Address mail to L. M.Bbyd, P.O. Bra I7W», Port Worth, TX TOO.