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March 11, 1966 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1966-03-11

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Seventy-Sixth Year

Legislature Neglects Fiscal Reform
by Brice Wasserstein


re OpinoPr al Free. 420 MAYNARD ST., ANN ARBOR, MICH.
T'ruth Will TPreva2iANADS.lANA oR im

NEws PHONE: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the inidividual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.
Th le, Leg Ilture Threatens
'U'Autonomy Again

THE BODY of men who allegedly
represent the interests of the
people of Michigan may be on the
verge of betraying their trust once
Once again, some legislators are
devising a way to wiggle out of the
delicate position of having to re-
form Michigan's tax structure so
that it will not be one of the most
regressive in the nation.
Unless the legislature finds a
way to wiggle and stay in the
black, fiscal reform will pass be-
cause the state will be on the
verge of financial ruin.
Despite the Democratic Party's
claim of being the party of the
common man, some of its strong-
est leaders are now backing a
program which would preserve the
state's reactionary fiscal policies
and use college construction ap-
propriations as a means of balanc-
ing the budget.
A MEASURE, introduced into
the State Senate this week by the
powerful chairman of the Senate
Appropriations Committee, Gar-
land Lane, would place the direct
control of all new construction for

state universities in the hands of
the Legislature.
By financing construction
through bonds authorized by a
higher education building coun-
cil (to be comprised of five sena-
tors and five members of the
house), the Legislature would be
able to avoid temporarily the
problem of having insufficient
revenue to adequately fulfill the
state colleges' need for new con=-
struction. As Lane freely admits,
one of the aims of his proposal is
to delay fiscal reform.
In the process of delaying fiscal
reform, Lane's proposal presents
a grave threat of University au-
tonomy. The power of the purse
is tremendously effective, and if
budgetary decisions were taken
away from the University admini-
stration and handed to the Legis-
lature, there is little doubt that
the Legislature would have tre-
mendous control over educational
FOR EXAMPLE, by having com-
plete budgetary control over con-
struction, the Legislature could
dictate which departments should

expand their plant facilities, Hy-
pothetically, if the Legislature
were antagonized by the partici-
pation of members of the sociolo-
gy department in the teach-in,
they could limit construction of
classrooms for that department. It
is apparent that in the long run
academic freedom would be nar-'
rowed and the tradition of liberal
education subverted.
And, the hypothetical example
above is not that absurd. After all,
the State Senate did recently ap-
prove a communist speaker-ban
The delegates to Michigan's con-
stitutional convention realized
that it is absolutely necessary for
an educational institution to
maintain its separation from ev-
eryday political squabbles. For
that specific reason the Regents
are elected to long terms of eight
years and are given the right to
control the internal budgeting of
the institution. In fact, if Lane's
bill is passed, there is a good
chance it will be declared uncon-
LANE'S SWIPE at autonomy is

not, however, unintentional. Be-
sides the fact that Lane -has al-
ways liked the idea of central
budgetary control by the Legisla-
ture, many Democrats are current-
ly fuming at the universities for
their attitudes on Public Act 124,
a more limited attempt at
Similarly, some Lansing observ-
ers say that Lane is also trying to
show Romney that the Legislature
has control over budgetary ap-
propriations, rather than being
merely a rubber stamp for the
Governor's recommendations.
YET LANE'S proposals do bring
up an important point. State reve-
nues are inadequate for the .needs
of the people of Michigan. The
surplus is likely to be wiped out
in thenext year, and the means of
raising funds under the present
tax system are simply inadequate.
Trying to set up bonds for all
of university building needs with-
out reforming the tax structure,
would be like putting the future
of the state in hock. As New York
City's current financial debacle
proves, the borrow-now pay-later
plan does riot work, if revenues in

the future are going to be inade-
quae. Furthermore, by maintain-
ing the present fiscal structure of
no graduated personal income tax,
the state is making the poor man
shoulder the burden of educat-
ing the middle class man's sons
and daughters.
GARLAND LANE obviously per-
ceives the financial inadequacies
of our present tax structure. Oth-
erwise, he never would have in-
troduced this bill. If Mr. Lane
realizes the necessity for reform,
why doesn't he push for a restruc-
turing of the tax base?
The answer to the question is
that Democrats like Mr. Lane are
afraid that they will lose control
of the Legislature if they bring in
new taxes. After all, no one likes
endorseinent of a regressive reve-
nue structure by the Democrats in
the Legislature, it would not really
matter if the Republicans were
Both parties are afraid to move.
And the state suffers.


SEN GARLAND LANE (D-Flint) appears
to feel that he has solved the complex
problems of state fiscal reform and long
range planning and financing of Univer-
sity construction all in one nice, neat
legislative package.
Lane recently introduced a measure in
the state Senate calling for the creation
of a higher education building council.
The council would be empowered to is-
sue $500 million in bonds following a
referendum and would be composed of 10
members, five from each house of the
Legislature. The proposal would further-
more require legislative approval for all
University construction projects and place
the building of self-liquidating projects,
such as dormitories, outside of the Uni-
versity's power.
LANE FEELS this proposal would allow'
the Legislature to meet the problem of
long range financing of capital improve-
ments for state universities through long
term bond issues, and allow the Legisla-
ture to take part in University long-range
planning-what little there is.
In addition, the proposal woul;d, sup-
posedly, allow the Democratic leadership
to easily slip away from their party com-
mitment!to.fiscal reform.
IF THE PROPOSAL is approved it would
eliminate $65 million from the state's
1966-67 budget, which will already have sa
large deficit and .be cutting deeply into
the state's surplus. The savings from the
issuance- of bonds, however, would be
only a temporary answer, if that, to the
need for a complete and thorough over-
haul of Michigan's tax structure.
Nevertheless, by allowing capital im-
provements to be financed through bond-
ing, Lane feels fiscal reform can be put
off for at least this session of the Leg-
islature. He has estimated that, if and
when fiscal reform is passed, it will in-
clude an eight per cent flat rate income
tax, as a graduated type of income tax
is strictly prohibited in the new Michi-
gan constitution. An income tax could
conceivably jeopardize the newly elected
Democratic Legislature's chances for re-
election this fall. Lane presumably would
like to keep his present position as
chairman of the Senate Appropriations
Committee, after a long period of time as
an inocuous,.ranking minority Democrat.
Michigan presently has one of the most
regressive and antiquated tax structures

in the nation, which Lane, as a Democrat,
should have enough political courage to
reform. However, the Democratic leader-
ship in both the House and Senate seems
to utterly ignore the resolutions favoring
reform, passed on innumerable occasions
at Democratic State Conventions over the
HOWEVER, more important than Lane's
specious assumption that his bill would
allow the Democrats to put off fiscal re-
form for this session and possibly save
their political lives in the fall session,
Lane's proposal seriously challenges the
University's right to autonomy. Under the
proposal, the University would relinquish
almost all of its authority and control
over classroom and dormitory construc-
The bill also appears to be in serious
conflict with Attorney General Frank
Kelley's opinion issued last fall. That
opinion stated that "the Legislature may
attach conditions to appropriations acts,
but such conditions will be deemed un-
constitutional and invalid if, by their ef-
fect, they take from the Board of Re-
gents any substantial part of the board's
discretionary power over operations or
educational policies of the University.'?
In a statement earlier this week, Lane
said he had gone over this statement and.
felt his bill was in accordance with Kel-
ley's opinion and constitutional. The
grounds for this belief are obscure.
THERE IS NO PLACE for a domineering
legislative committee in University
planning. The proposal clearly flaunts
the state constitution, which makes plain
provisions for an autonomous, independ-
ent University administration and Board
of Regents.
Furthermore, as one legislator aptly
put it, "the best way to keep the Univer-
sity out of the pork barrel and the petty
politics of the state Legislature is to keep
the state Legislature in its proper, consti-
tutionally appointed place."
IT APPEARS that long term bonding is
the solution to rising construction
costs and piecemeal planning. However,
Lane ought to realize both problems can
be alleviated without the permanent and
potentially annoying presence of the state

Inefficiency Plagues the Space Race

programs are operating at
such a rapid pace that they will
soon become impractical in view
of their more than $4 billion per
year cost. A review of our major
plans for space must be made soon
to determine if it is practical to
continue, or if the money could be
better spent on other programs.
It is important to make a deci-
sion soon because we will soon
become so totally involved in cur-
rent plans, especially in our con-
cern to reach the moon, that
there will be little chance to alter
them if economic or political con-
ditions change in the future.
THE FACTORS which cause
pressure to speed the project come
from such things as the competi-
tion between Russia and the Unit-
ed States. The two nations are in-
volved in what is termed a "space
race," with one constantly trying
to outdo the other.
Space research has, therefore,
become a sideshow on occasion, in
which the first country to accom-
plish anything from walking to
singing in space informs the
world (with appropriate fanfare)
of its achievement. Multiple
launchings and the "space spec-
taculars" have become prevalent,
yet have much less scientific value
than quiet, unhurried experiments.
Experts are continually trying

to analyze the progress of the
"race," and the results usually
depend upon what elements are
being viewed. Because the space
program is so diversified, there is
no sure way to measure the ad-
vantage one nation has over an-
other in terms of overall space
knowledge or potential. This di-
versification is often acause of
lack of organization, and com-
munication of the multitudes of
findings from numerous field ex-
periments is usually show.
BUT THE BIGGEST problem is
the waste which comes from the
abandonment of expensive pro-
grams before they become opera-
tional. Economic considerations
often make the highly technical
space programs less important
than emergency actions such as
the Viet Nam War.
A recent article in Science mag-
azine has presented some striking
examples of this type of waste
resulting from incomplete plan-
ning in the zeal to accelerate the
space program. Programs which
are omitted from the budget are
almost always scrapped because
by the time there are funds avail-
able again, another more refined
system is available and the old
one has no further value.
how our haste to get a program
into operation has resulted in

waste of a huge sum is the Atlas-
Centaur booster program which
was designed to launch a 1500-
pound payload into space. This
program was developed with high
priority in order to make it opera-
tional before 1967. It was omitted
because of budget difficulties, and
the plans were dropped in favor
of the new Voyager system, which
was essentially the same, but cost'
an additional $1.3 billion dollars.
The previously prepared Atlas ve-
hicles are now merely expensive
The Mariner C project is an-
other which has been dropped at
a loss because of bad planning.
This is the rocket which was suc-
cessful in carrying a capsule past
Mars earlier this year. It has now
been abandoned because of omis-
sion from the budget. If this is
the case, a $30 million Mariner
vehicle which was prepared for the
program is now obsolete, and the
money invested in it has also gone
to waste.
ANOTHER FACT, that should
be considered in the evaluation of
the speed of programs, can be
seen in compillations of facts on
American and Soviet probes of
Mars and Venus. The two nations
have sent up a total of nineteen
missions to these planets. Of these,
only three have been successful to
any extent and two-thirds were
total failures.

These failures, it may be noted,
are mainly in Russian vehicles
which were prepared in more
haste than their American coun-
terparts, in order to score "spec-
taculars." The few American ef-
forts have been much more effi-
cient, a direct result of thorough
pretesting before actual launch.
ALTHOUGH ALL these in-
stances point to the conclusion
that the "space race" is moving
too fast for its own good, there
has yet been no mention of drastic
change by space officials in the
participating nations. Many still
cry for more speed in the space
program and the plans continue to
move ahead.
Their main argument, in defense
of intense efforts to get space
knowledge, is that the moon is
militarily strategic. It has been
speculated that the first country
to reach the moon may set up an.
offensive site and dominate the
world. This, however, would take
several years to complete after an
initial landing, because establish-
ing a settlement there would re-
quire much more experience than
a mere landing would provide
If our goal in space is military,
we should either put forth a big
effort to get there first, or wait
until someone else lands there and
take advantage of the other na-
tion's experience. In either case,
there would be a great reduction

in cost over the present wasteful
THE SITUATION as it stands
now was viewed in a recent ar-
ticle in the New York Times. This
report states that, considering the
progress of both nations, it is
likely that both the tnited States
and Russia will reach the moon
within a few months of' each
other. Even if we are several years
behind Russia, there is certainly
no threat of Communist-bloc con-
trol of the moon before America
can arrive and claim a portion.
the space program need to con-
sider a reduction in the priority
of the "space. race." There are"
many other things for which the
billions from the space budget
could be used, which would pro-
duce much more tangible results.
Medical breakthroughs, which
could mean the saving of thou-
sands of lives a year, may be made
with only a portion of the yearly
savings. The rest could be used
to fight poverty, promote world
peace, or establish an internation-
al scientific community to make
research data available to all
To put the decision off for long
will find us even more involved
in the programs than we are now.
A plan can be formulated simply;
all that is needed is that someone
be willing to take the initiative.


Viet Nam: The Frustration of Globalism

A New Interpretation
Of Conscientious Objection
THE AMERICAN Civil. Liberties Union does not yet agree that political, social
this week proposed a motion to estab- and moral opposition to war qualify a
lish exemptions from the draft for non-. person as an objector under the inten-
pacifists who are opposed to war on mor- tion of the law.
al, social, and philosophical grounds, and Thus, a lengthy and expensive court
who oppose a particular war for any of battle will be have to be fought before an
these reasons. A person ,may presently individual can be exempted from military
qualify as a conscientious objector, if he service, if he feels that it is morally wrong
is able to prove that he objects to all war, to kill, or that a particular war is morally
at any place and time, on the basis of a wrong.
religious belief.

THE EDGINESS which has ap-
peared recently among the
President's principal advisers is a
symptom of the frustration which
is so pronounced in Congress and
in the country.
The frustration springs n o t
from any fear that the American
forces in Viet Nam can be defeat-
ed on the battlefield. The frustra-
tion springs from doubt that there
is any other course still open ex-
cept to escalate the war without
any genuine prospect of ending
The President is supported in
Congress and in the polls because
there seems to be no alternative
to what he is doing.
Once the President had raised
the stakes by investing 200,000
American troops, it made the fight
predominantly an American war.
He had, as one of his supporters
remarked recently, painted him-
self into a corner.
From the perspective of the
White House the pursuit of a mili-
tary decision could lead to a con-
frontation with China or thecSo-
viet Union or both. On the other
hand, the attempt to negotiate a

truce raised unavoidably the ques-
tion of whether President Johnson
was prepared to negotiate with
his enemies in the field, of whom
some 80% are Viet Cong.
IF FOR THE TIME being we
cannot do anything to dissolve the
President's predicament, we can at
least make an effort to under-
stand how for 12 years we have
slithered and now have slipped in-
to such a war.
In a preceding article I argued
that the containment of Red
China, which is a necessary objec-
tive of our policy, is being grossly
mishandled by the President's
principal advisers, Dean Rusk and'
Robert McNamara. Their way of
containing China has left us with-
out the support, and in certain
cases with the active opposition, of
every great power in Asia. Yet if
China is as expansionary as we
think she is and must be contain-
ed, it can be done only by a coali-
tion of great powers concerned
with Asia.
In the preceding article I said,
too, that the egregious result of
our policy was hidden from view

To day
by a piece of well-circulated po-
litical mythology - namely that
the outcome of the fighting in
South Viet Nam would decide
China's foreign policy and the fu-
ture of the Communist revolution
on this planet.
I VENTURE to believe that the
root of the Rusk-McNamara mis-
conception of'our foreign relations
is the myth, propagated since the
first world war by the naive and
idealistic followers of Woodrow
Wilson, that all soverign states,
whether big or small, are not only
alike in their human rights, but
alike also in their right to exercise
influence in the world. I believe
this to be a myth which falsifies
the nature of things and the facts
of life. It has rendered Rusk in-
capable of sound judgments in

foreign policy..
In the Senate hearings, for ex-
ample, Rusk discussed with great
moral fervor the conception of
spheres of influence in interna-
tional politics. They were inad-
missible, he said. Therefore, we
could not recognize that China,
too, might claim a sphere of in-
We were too pure for such
worldly old things as spheres of
influence. But on what grounds
we were doing what we have been
doing in the past few years in
Cuba, Guatemala, the Dominican
Republic and Panama, Rusk was
too dainty to say.
deny that we treat the territory
south of us as an American sphere
of influence, and that we did risk
a world nuclear war to prevent the
Soviet Union from entering it, and
that we have suppressed revolu-
tion in the Dominican' Republic
on suspicion of the intrusion of
foreign Communist influences-all
this is so blatantly contrary to the
facts that it is regarded every-
where else as extremely crude hy-

no serious and educated student
of international politics who at-
temps to deny that great powers
will insist on spheres of influence
which no other rival great power
may enter with its military forces.
This is one of the elementary facts
which every competent foreign
minister keeps in mind. It is a
fact just as the existence of two
sexes is a fact.
While the existence of spheres
of influence is undeniable, there
can be great differences in how
the great power exerts its in-
fluence. Historically there was a
revolutionary turning point in the
evolution of the concept of spheres
of influence w h e n President
Roosevelt declared that our Latin-
American policy would be the
Good Neighbor Policy.
He did not say that we did not
have a sphere of influence He
said that we intended to act with-
in it, not as lords and masters, but
as friends and partners with our
neighbors. This was the progres-
sive evolution of the classic con-
cept of spheres of influence.
(c), 1966, The washington Post Co.


This attempt at a major revision of
the philosophy of conscientious , objec-
tion may very well have been prompted
by the liberal Supreme Court decision
in the Seeger case in 1965, when the court
stated that it was not necessary for a
person to believe in a traditional supreme
being in. order to qualify as a religious
objector to war. Unfortunately, the ACLU
fails to realize that, while the courts' at-
titude toward the intention of the con-
scientious objection law may be becoming
much more liberal others are not. The
Selective Service System, and primarily
the local draft boards, which are the de-
terminers of whether an individual quali-
fies as a conscientious objector, do not
sharesuch a position.
quately demonstrated its conservative
attitude toward conscientious objection
in its action against the Ann Arbor sit-in
demonstrators. Its attempts to reclassify
the demonstrators shows that the System
~rrg£cbwu iti

THE CONSCIENTIOUS objection law was
originally established to allow any per-
son, who felt that he had a personal ob-
ligation not to kill another human being,
to exercise his constitutional right not
to be forced by the government to do so.
The restriction that he must believe in
a supreme being essentially means that
conscientious opposition to war requires
a belief that God, who controls our exist-
ence, tells us that we must not take an-
other person's life.
However, the recent Supreme Court de-
cision illustrates that this philosophy has
become outdated, and interprets "reli-
gious belief" to be any ordered pattern
of 'action on the part of the individual
that guides his life. This interpretation
would seem to pertain as well to those
who base their actions on the principle
that it is morally or socially wrong for
either an individual or a government to
wantonly take others' lives.
THE REAL CRIME lies in the fact that
the draft boards have failed to real-
ize that a re-evaluation of their philoso-
phy is necessary. Until this re-evaluation


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Playwrights Plot Revenge

r .
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I STUCK my fingers in bubble
gum fossils under my seat in
Hill Auditorium and realized that
maybe things hadn't changed too
Perhaps the quality of bubble
gum has become more chewy but
audiences can still produce the
same cacaphonous sounds as they
did in the boisterous theatres of
the 18th century.
The consumptives have been
plaguing the theatre since the
invention of the thimble. Oddly
enough, their spasms only seize
them in the tender part of love
scenes when the beau is just about
to wretch out his last words in
the clutching arms of his wilting
maiden; or when the violinist is
gnzing at his cagit fnndly ready


their oral areas, the less intense
and energetic spectators have
carefully propped themselves in
between fur coats and. pocket-
books. Soon to be asleep, the "zzz
section," (which usually comprises
no less than one third of the
audience) will quickly awaken to
give a bombast ovation to the
yawning performer.
As if these extraneous sounds
were not enough of an insult to
quivering earlobes, sensory devices
are further distraught by pungent

toxicated beaus swaggered with
their daggers, protesting the ac-
tors' performance by mortally
wounding an unfortunate cast
member. The=more timid viewers
also b'ought their vices' to the
theatre with them, as poker games
and gambling pervaded the aisles.
As a result, the efforts of the
playwrights were in vain, acting
companies were slain and the
audience was a pain. The 18thi
century dramatists responded to
their aggressors with verbose
pamphlets and articles reprimand-
ing them for their declining liter-
ary tastes and values.
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