Daily Independent Journal from San Rafael, California on May 5, 1969 · Page 20
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Daily Independent Journal from San Rafael, California · Page 20

San Rafael, California
Issue Date:
Monday, May 5, 1969
Page 20
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DAILY 20 ^jtòej)cnòent#0oumal ^ SI R VINO All OF MAMIN COUNTY Est. 1861 EDITORIAL PAGE San Rafael, Calif. Monday, May 5, 1969 TODAY'S EDITORIAL Government Trapped By Own 'Inflation Curb' In 1865. with the national economy thrown into shambles by the Civil War. the U. S. Treasury offered to pay 7.3 per cent interest to those who would invest in its notes. Last week, the U. S. Treasury off e r e d $6.800.000.000 in seven-year notes at an interest rate of 6.5 per cent. This was the highest i n t e r e s t offered by the f e d e r a 1 government in 104 years — since that 1865 Civil War note sale. A STATE OF CALIFORNIA bond issue went begging a few weeks ago when there was no offer at 5 per cent interest, the maximum the state can legally pay to b o r r o w money. State Treasurer Ivy Baker Priest was relieved and pleased when three bids came in just below 5 per cent on re­ offering the issue last week. Sales of school bonds in California in recent months have often found Bank of America the only bidder — at the legal maximum 5 per cent interest limit — because of that bank’s longtime policy of bidding on all school bonds. There are rumors the bank may abandon that policy unless the in- t e r e s t rate on school bonds is increased. Increasing interest rates on private boiTOwing have slowed home building and improvements and imposed a curb on business expansion. Interest on construction m o n e y constitutes a much greater share of the cost of a new home built today than it did of one built a few years ago. NO CIVIL WAR has upset the economy this time. The U. S. adventure in Vietnam, horrible and costly though it is. cannot be compared in its effect on the economy with the fratricidal struggle of the i860s. And though its cost contributes to the inflation reflected in high interest rates, it is not great enough to produce such a resuit alone. Other reasons must be sought to explain the spiraling cost of borrowing money that threatens to dry up private investment and bring governments to the point where not even “printing press money” can pay their bills. A PRINCIPAL REASON is indicated in the 15th edition of “Facts and Figures on Government Finance,” just published by Tax Foundation, Inc. Combined expenditures of federal, state and local governments in fiscal 1969 will exceed $300 billion for the first time, the foundation reports. This comes just four years after the combined expenses of governments in this country topped $‘200 billion for the first time. It comes only 16 years after the $100 billion mark was reached. Even the tremendous increase in taxation over the last 16 years coupled with the decline of the dollar has been unable to provide enough funds for this mushroom growth of government spending. This is illustrated by another table in “Facts and Figures on Gov* e r n ment Finance” which shows a steady increase in the government debt per capita. For 1968, the gross debt of federal, state and local governments was $2,355 for every man, woman and child in the United States. This is approximately the same as the total per capita income. In other words, government owes all you'll earn this year. THE RESULT is that the citizen pays such a large share of his income in taxes to run the government, and — this not being enough — the government borrows so much additional, that the “money market” runs short and there is not enough for private investment. This sends up the interest rate. The federal government’s approach has been to encourage higher interest rates to “curb inflation.” But now it is caught in its own trap — as the 6.5 per cent interest offering on Treasury notes illustrates. The solution is not to keep worsening the situation by forcing interest rates higher and higher. The solution is to reduce government spending to free more money. “Patience. Giikl! I ll Get the Hang of This Soon** WHAT OUR R EADERS SAY Muskie Joins Our Staff Across the page from this editorial appears a column of comment on national events by a new writer — but scarcely an unknown one. Sen. Edmund S. Muskie of Maine, w h o was Democratic candidate for vice president last year, is making his national debut as a columnist today, with the Independent-Journal among t h e newspapers introducing his column. He calls it "So Goes the Nation,” AFFAIRS OF STATE but we will run it simply under the name of its author, which became so well known during last year’s campaign. Senator Muskie’s initial column deals with a decision facing Congress which may have profound affect on the future of the United States and on world peace: the anti-missile missile system. His subsequent columns will appear once each week on this page. Senator Points Out Danger In Tax Anticipation Notes By HENRY C. MacARTHl R SACRAMENTO (CNS) - Reconsideration of the proposal by Ivy Baker Priest, state treasurer, to use "bond anticipation notes’' to finance continuation of capital construe- CYNIC'S CORNER tion projects in California is being urged by Sen. H. L. Richardson, R-Arcadia. A “bond anticipation note-’ is a note based on the anticipation of future sale of bonds which have already been au- BY INTERLANDI “Well, Governor Reagan is worried about people flocking here for welfare beneiits, light. thorized but are not immediately saleable because of a five per cent limit on the interest rate allowable. Senator Richardson, who is an economist, attributes the plan to State Director of Finance Caspar Weinberger, who is also director of the budget. “If the people refuse to pass the bond issue interest rate raise, and if the bond market does not go down by June of 1970, then the governor would have committed the one thing he criticized the past administration — deficit spending.” points out Richardson. He stated that between now and June, 1970, approximately $500 million worth of capital will be needed to continue programs authorized by the people of the state. As the maximum interest rate is frozen in the state constitution. it is not possible to sell state bonds at a higher rate at present. It is being proposed that a constitutional amendment be submitted at the state primaries in June, 1970, to raise the maximum rate, and to sell anticipation notes in the interim if necessary. However, the senator points out the people night not approve lifting the maximum, and the state would be stuck with a large block of notes which it could not redeem. County Planning Improvements Noted Your editorial of Thursday, April 24. enumerated some county planning lacks from the past, and criticized our present director for not correcting them. It is certainly not my intent to declare any planning department, past or present, free of error, dilatoriness, or plain inability to foresee the future perfectly. It is even more certainly not my intent to defend Paul Zucker for deeds that were none of his doing. The important question is, as you suggest, what is he doing now about: INADEQUATE ACCESS BETWEEN OLD SUBDIVISIONS IN TIBURON. Obviously, most of these are long since out of county jurisdiction. Within the county it is now and has been our standard practice in new subdivisions to require safe access to schools, continuous circulation from one subdivision to the next, and review by fire districts of all tentative maps. I know of no instance under Mr. Zucker where these requirements have not been met. TRIBULATIONS OF NOVAT O BUSINESS DISTRICT. Once it was thought good planning to encourage neighborhood shopping centers. Most of the commercial zonings you describe as having "blighted Novato’s commercial growth” were created during this time. Now it is county policy to protect and revive old central business districts wherever possible. You will find this policy reflected in: the Fairfax General Plan; the rezonings in the Kentfield business district, and staff proposals for its redevelopment: removal of obsolete commercial zones in Almonte, Tam Valley, and northeast Novato. All were accomplished under Mr. Zucker. LACK OF SUCCESS IN LURING INDUSTRY. Our county planners demand high standards in our industrial zones, and perhaps in a way that "discourages” applicants. Or perhaps Northgate does better than Hamilton Industrial Park because it started out well (the first two buildings there went in under the county). . . . BATTLE OVER DRIVEWAYS IN GREENBRAE AND OAK MANOR: Bum rap. Rolled curbs and gutters, which caused the problem in the first place, have been prohibited in the county for the last six years. LACK OF PLAN FOR RICHARDSON BAY. There is an adopted master plan, done by Mary Summers. There is an ordinance. "Resort and Commercial Recreation.” initiated by Mr. Zucker. There is. what’s more, a refinement of the master plan, also Zucker. which demonstrates in greater detail how the basic concept can be applied to individual ownershops, and which we use as a guide in considering applications. FAILURE TO CONTROL LOGGING. The county has never written an ordinance to control logging, because the state has pre-empted the field under tis Forest Practices Act. Unfortunately the state does very little controlling. . . . INADEQUATE CONTROLS OVER TIDELANDS. Actually we have pretty good controls over our submerged acres, in large part because of rezon­ ings initiated by present staff (at Novato Airport, Black Point, Day’s Island, Richardson Bay). They consist either of the subdivision ordinance or various planned districts, under any of which filling, excavation, density and lot design are regulated. But we would do better, I quite agree, to have an ordinance specifically written for the tidelands. . . MARGARET AZEVEDO County Planning Commissioner Tiburon Action Against Bay Fill Needed More and more people in the Ross Valley area are witnessing the rather shocking and saddening sight of the logging trucks, loaded with a dozen or so freshly cut trees, rolling from West Marin to the lumber mills. We, the public, were surely caught unaware by the loggers — there’s that much beauty which will no longer delight the eyes of thousands. There is another part of environment, even more vital REMEMBER WHEN? 10 YEARS AGO May 5, 1959 San Rafael City Council voted to annex the 1.090-acre F'reitas ranch north of Puerto Suello hill, expanding the city’s land area by about 20 per cent. Gov. Edmund G. Brown signed into law a measure which freed $1 million for expansion of Tamalpais State Park. THE DRUMMONDS Heavy Mail Against ABM Not Necessarily Spontaneous By ROSCOE and GEOFFREY DRUMMOND than those trees, that is in grave danger of exploitation: San Francisco Bay. The legislature in Sacramento quibbles and dallies, while the developers and lobbyists for bay fill interests are working quietly and furiously for the defeat of all bills that will permanently protect the bay. Unfortunately, the bill by Sen. Jack McCarthy, by being weak and non- regulatory, would play right into the hands of the bay-fill people. Write to Sacramento, urging passage of Petris Bill SB 347! This is the best bill before the legislature, as it contains the principles essential for the minimum protection of the bay. in time, trees may grow again on Inverness Ridge — but the bay, once filled, is lost forever. FRANK J. BERTO CONSTANCE B. BERTO San Anselmo Sees Power Play In Zucker Case Answering (DA.) Strassman’s letter (I-J “Readers Say,” April 25): Furious because people wanted Zucker canned. But with the powerhouse gang firmly entrenched appointees have only to answer to their masters: MCCA’s Behr, Stocks tad. Bruce, Schultz, Summers. Wornum and ilk. Knock off that majority of people rescue bit — only majority speaks at the polls. San Rafael voters showed as results of last election they don’t like appointees. Mary Summers has to be one who visited Gnoss and flipped him message: “Aye” or “Recall.” Power-house gang sure is uptight! Sadly Gnoss bowed his head at last few minutes of meeting to whisper “Aye.” Hardly demonstration of man proudly cedeing to wishes of his electorate. More like happy American rescued(?) by Cong . . . MRS. J. J. FENTON Santa Venetia WASHINGTON - The senatorial opponents of the ABM are getting worried. They like their mail — but they don’t trust it. They like their mail because it is running 10-to-l against the ABM. They don’t trust it because they know it is largely the result of an organized, mass letter-writing campaign and is so counter to the mounting pro-ABM public opinion as to lack credibility. Both the Gallup and Harris polls show the country approves the ABM by 2-to-I and the trend has been upward since President Nixon's ABM decision. In the face of this mounting public support, we are witnessing one of the more lopsided jobs of testimony before Congress and artificially stimulated mass pressure on Congress. HERE’S WHAT’S happening: 1 — Only two out of 12 nongovernmental witnesses testified before the Senate foreign relations subcommittee in support of the Safeguard antimissile system. And this is hardly accidental. The committee staff knows in advance how its witnesses are going to testify, and many of the nation’s most eminent nuciear scientists and civiiian and military foreign policy experts have not been called. Not a very honorable operation. 2 — The first volume of testimony the subcommittee is making public — and is putting into the nands of senators for their guidance in deciding how to vote — will inevitably reflect this calculated imbalance. More and different testimony may be forthcoming, but the first impact of the subcommittee proceedings will be tilted against the ABM. It wou'd seem to be planned that way. 3 - THE VOLUME of mair most senators are getting against the ABM is not spontaneous. It is stimulated. The Mothers for Peace are TRY AND STOP ME By BENNETT CERF A SHELTERED little debutante eloped with a stalwart he-man who, unbeknownst to her, was one of the leading mobsters on the eastern circuit. That night rival “business men” threw a bomb into the mobster’s domicile, blowing out every window in the building, and destroying the basement completely. "What was that?” shrieked the terrified bride. Her husband hastily reassured her, “Mice.” OVERHEARD: Doctor to patient: “I advise you to skip your vacation this year and get a good rest.” TV salesman to housewife: pleading with people: "Sit down today and write to your two senators .., against the ABM.” The National Council of Churches wants “the Wrhite House and the Senate deluged” with tens of thousands of letters. Numerous anti-ABM groups are providing mimeographed form letters to make it easy. DURING ITS recent meeting here the Federation of American Scientists — a kind of an­ timilitary7, anti-industrial complex — deployed members all over Capitol Hill to assure congressmen the ABM could never be made to work — like many of them said the hydrogen bomb would surery be a bust. Organized letter-writing campaigns are nothing new. They are fair game in a free society and we cite their use in connection with the ABM only to show why Congress is getting so much mail against the ABM at a time when public opinion is showing itself increasingly in favor of the ABM. SEN. THOMAS J. DODD (D-Conn.), who like some other senators has not yet decided how he is going to vote, has protested to the Senate subcommittee on the imbalance of witnesses. “I do believe,” he w'rote, “it would have been preferable if this first volume of printed testimony could have been divided more or less evenly on the pro and con side of the ABM debate. I say this because. by the nature of things, this first volume of testimony is bound to be considered a basic reference source in every Senate office in the coming weeks." Don't forget that it was the perky, show-me Harry Truman who overruled the unanimous judgment of his science advisory committee against building a hydrogen bomb on the ground it wouldn’t work. The Soviet Union was busy on its hydrogen bomb as it is today on its ABM. EDMUND D. MUSKIE Is Safeguard Safe? Or Is It Further Courting With Disaster? “This set was made to order for you: it interferes with your neighbor's vacuum cfeaner.” The debate over the anti- balfistic missile system will center on questions of military and diplomatic security. The outcome of that debate will also help determine whether we halt the arms race and apply more of our resources to peaceful pursuits, ending poverty and disease, providing more and better educational opportunities, restoring o u r communities and cleaning up pollution. President Nixon's proposal for a "Safeguard” ABM program means a major change in weapons systems which threatens our arms control efforts. We can question its bargain price tag. because we have learned that first estimates in weapons building seldom come close to final costs. BEFORE we make a decision on the risky “Safeguard" program we must answer four hard questions. First. What does the administration really propose to do with “Safeguard?” The President, in his March 14 announcement, stressed his options to restrict the ABM system. but Deputy Secretary of Defense Packard justified the system in terms of fulf deployment. On April 18, commenting on the ABM debate, President Nixon said “if we allow Soviet plans for the SS-9 missile to 1972 or 1973 to go forward without taking any action on our part, either offensively or defensively, t o counteract them, they will be substantially ahead of the United States in over-all nuclear capability.” He went on to say he did not want to see the United States in a “second class or inferior position.’’ Those comments gave no weight to arms limitations and implied fuiï deployment of the ABM. WHAT WOULD the Congress buy if it were to approve "Safeguard?” Would it be two batteries of missiles, 12. or many more? There is nothing in the record to guarantee against a steady growth toward the thick ABM system which sends shivers down the spine of everyone concerned with the survival of mankind. Second. Do we need "Safeguard'?" The administration has said it needs the ABM because of the Soviet SS-9 missile. But the SS9 would have to overcome severe problems of accuracy and be available in very large numbers before the Soviet Union could rely on it for a first-strike weapon. That is not a strong justification for a major escalation in the arms race. T h i r d. Will “Safeguard" realty work? Will it protect a significant part of our retaliatory force? THOSE WHO argue for "Safeguard" say dispersal of our Minutemen missiles is not enough to protect them. But "Safeguard” depends on tiie missile-site radar <MSR) system to provide guidance and control for interception of enemy missiles. MSR must be above ground and unshielded to do its job. That weakness does not justify optimistic forecasts on which we are asked to spend billions of dollars. Fourth. What will “Safeguard" do to weapons development and our arms control negotiations? There is a real danger that "S a f e g u a r d,” based on the expectation of a bigger arms race, will be a self-fulfilling prophecy — at grave risk to us all. Soviet defense planners can use the same arguments used by President Nixon — “We don't know what their intentions are, but we have to base our policy on their capability." — to justify an expansion of their missile systems. COUNTRY PARSON "Adults, like crying babies, may be mad about something entirely different than what they are disrupting.”

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