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January 16, 1975 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1975-01-16

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E4e AMfi n Datly
Eighty-four years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Double taxation
with representation

Thursday, January 16, 1975

News Phone: 764-0552

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mi. 48104

Frisbee: New Pentagon toy

IT SHOULD COME as no surprise to
anyone that the Pentagon spent
a total of $376,000 on a scientific
study of the Frisbee for'possible bat-
tle use. It is perhaps a tribute to the
evil capacity of the human mind and
the wasteful expenditures involved in
many military programs.
An $80,000 contract was awarded to
Honeywell, Inc. and one for $109,000
to the Denver Research Institute to
develop a better aircraft-launched
flare for possible naval application.
The Pentagon itself spent $187,000 on
the ingenious little toy. The research
was started in 1968, but abandoned in
1970 after it was determined that
the flare had insufficient burn time
and the intricacy of the launcher re-
quired more money for development
and maintenance.
No doubt some military research-
er was intrigued by this unique and
harmless toy that has given so much
pleasure to children and adults. The
flare proposal was probably one of
many suggestions of possible mili-
tary use of the super saucer. Although
some have suggested that a steel
or razor-rimmed Frisbee would prove
a lethal weapon in close combat, pre-
vious tests with the boomerang, foot-
ball, and ping-pong ball had proved
so unsuccessful as to discourage an
attempt at that type of application.
TfHE TIME WAS that toy manufac-
turers copied the latest in mili-
tary equipment. There were models
of ships, planes, and tanks. A popular
doll soldier came with an impressive

and frightening array of realistic de-
structive devices. Now it seems that
the military imaginations of toy mak-
ers has, surpassed those of the Amer-
ican military. It appears the Penta-
gon now scours toy shelves for new
ideas in military hardware.
Of course, it is necessary for Ameri-
can military research to keep ahead
of the Russians and Chinese. Under-
cover agents from these two coun-
tries no doubt have smuggled micro-
filmed plans of the Frisbee out of the
country. Perhaps they have even been
successful in secretly transporting
actual working models to their coun-
This little expense should be kept
in mind when considering the mili-
tary's proposed budget of $95 billion
for next year. When badly needed
social programs are cut back as in-
flationary, the Pentagon seems to get
what it wants despite unbelievable
waste. The military's shopping list is
loaded with an array of expenses
for vaguely worded and poorly ex-
plained projects whose sole result
is the waste of tax dollars.
IT SEEMS that the Pentagon leaves
no stone unturned in providing
the most thorough defense of the
United States, not even ignoring the
utterly ridiculous. When wasteful ex-
penditures finally become known by
the taxpayer - if they ever do --
one doesn't-know whether to feel un-
reasonably safe or uncontrollably

ONE OF THE inequities that
currently exists in our tax
structure is the policy of double-
taxation on corporate dividends.
Dividends are, of course, a di4-
tribution of the profits that a
corporation makes to its share-
holders. As is justifiably t h e
case, taxes are imposed on pro-
fits, which has the obvious ef-
fect of reducing those profits.
The amount of profit that re-
mains after taxes is less than
the pre-tax profit, and dividend
rates to shareholders are reduc-
The post-tax profits are then
distributed among the share-
holders, who are again taxed on
the dividends they receive.
Thus the tax that they pay in
the dividends is a tl: on the
distributed profits of the ci-
poration in which they are part
owners - profits that have pre-
viously been taxed. The divid-
ends received by the stockhold-
ers are reduced for a second
To call for a reduin nf NIX-
es on dividends paid to s'ock-
holders would be m'oxe insquit-
able than the current system of
double-taxing. This is because
investors in corporations tend to
be from higher income classes,
and to reduce the am-nt of
taxes they pay would be re-
gressive in nature.
ON THE OTHER hqni, if the
amount of earnings used to pay
dividends with were declar ed
non-taxable, or if the corpora-
tions cotuld legally consider their
dividends as an exp)anse which
would he subtracted from pro-
fits before taxes, he benefits
from eliminating the doable-tr x-
ation would be quickly feir.
Dring the past year, the 30
million stockholders in Ame; Eca
have, for the most part, taken
a drastic beating. Prices of
even the most prev*gtotus cor-
porations have fallen to one-
third and one-fourth «f their
earlier highs. By eii-nin-ting
double-taxation, the dividen4s
rates on stocks wovild increase,
which would stimuulae buvrng.
This, in turn, would resilt in
higher stock nrices. While larse
investors such as hags and ir-
surance companies woid bene-
fit from increased di dend rates
and stock prices, more import-

antly, higher stock pri es would
heln the small investor and to
those on fixed incomes. Both the
big and the small ;.nve;tor will
be aided by stopping the double
taxing currently imposed on
their dividends, and at t h i s
point, any actions that would
have the effect of balting out
the small investor whose sav-
ings have deteriorated would be
SECOND, energy-field related
corporations have long crted
that high profits are necessary
for future research and explora-
tion. In order to realize these
high profits they have merely
raised their prices M consum-
ers in the past. With the e'irn-
ination of double-taxing, their
profits would be higier, and fu-
tnre excessive price rises would
not be necessary.
Finally, when profits increase,
cornorations can afford to em-
ploy more workers, 1i a time
when 8 Der cent unemployment
is on the horizon, changes in
tax laws that stimulare eiploy-
ment should be seriousty cor'sid-
The issle of double-taxatian
should not be confused with the
current debate on whethe- or
not corporate taxes should be
raised or not. The double-taa-
tion issue snecifies that taxes be
eliminated ONLY on those earn-
ings set aside for paymert of
dividends. Extreme price rises
that have lead to excessive pro-
fits in the cases of the oil and
sugar industries could still be
reduced with taxes on overall
A CHANGE in the current law
would increase depressed stock
prices that are at their lowest
point in 12 years, would aid in
petting a halt to the increasing
prices of consumer products,
and would act as a stimulus for
increased employment. In our
ctrrert financially ill era; t h e
time has come to end the un-
fair practice of double-taxation.
Alan Resnick is a staff writer
for *he Editorial Page. The Edi-
irrial Page staff encourages
members of the University com-
mnunity to type UP Atriple
s haceQQ and submit articles on
this topiic.

Thi'eu is still the boss
but resistance grows.

Ford WINs, U. S. LOSEs

his WIN button when he spoke
to the nation Monday night, but that
doesn't mean he has abandoned his
hope that the citizenry can somehow
solve their own problems without
too much government interference.
Biting the bullet has been refined
into hunkering down. This probably
means you should buy a car but you
shouldn't drive it too much.
An actual tax rebate, whether init-
iated by the president or Congress,
will be welcomed gladly by all Amer-
Ica. Unfortunately, higher gasoline'
prices, food prices and state taxes
will mean that the taxpayer can
only hope to sink slower into the
country's economic morass.
tic oil the president hopes to dis-
tribute the added cost more equitably
than a simple gasoline tax. Will the
driver at the pump appreciate Ford's
News: Gordon Atcheson, Mary Demp-
sey, Ken Fink, Cindy Hill, Judy Rus-
Editorial Page: Alan Gitles, Paul Has-
kins, Marnie Heyn, Debra Hurwitz,
Tim Schick
Arts Poge: David Blomquist, Chris
Photo Technician: Pauline Lubens
Staff Cartoonist: Tom Stevens

concern, or will the extra fifteen
cents per gallon further erode the re-
spectability of our weak president? If
the $30 billion Ford hopes to raise
from oil and windfall profits tax
can be used effectively, most Ameri-
cans will forgive him for picking their
A one year moratorium on new
federal spending programs would
help cure a severe budget deficit
problem but it might also leave too
many jobless people with no source
of income for necessities. Social pro-
grams will have to be scrutinized
very carefully in 1975, but if they are
found to be effective and necessary
they should be passed into law and
damn the deficit.
on federal salaries and pension
benefit increases is unfair unless the
private sector agrees to follow Wash-
ington's example.
Manipulating the incomes of fed-
eral employees is one of the few ac-
tions the president can take direct-
lv to balance the budget. The feds
will persevere as long as Ford doesn't
pull an Ike and delay entire pay-
But if results are not forthcoming
before the national election, Ford's
measures will be called failures. Now,
almost anything short of war looks

SAIGON Jan. 13 (PNS)-
The chief of all of Vietnam's
Buddhist nuns lies in a Saigon
hospital, reportedly in critical
condition. According to reliable
sources, Huynh Lien, the mili-
tant leader of the Women's
Committee for the Right to Live
and of the prison reform move-
ment, had been on a prolonged
hunger strike at her Ngoc
Phuong pagoda here and "may
succumb" as a result.
How Huynh Lien got out of
the pagoda and into the hospital
is something of a mystery.
Since early November, Ngoc
Phuong has been cordoned off
by the police and its approxi-
mately 40 nuns detained under
what has amounted to house ar-
rest, apparently to end their
participation in a series of
street demonstrations against
the Thieu government. Budd-
hists close to the principal nun
will only say, enigmatically,
that her removal from t n e
pagoda to the hospital was
On a small unpretentious
street directly behind the Na-
tional Assemblybin downton
Saigon, another police cordon
has been in place since early
November. Here Madame Ngo
Ba Thanh, the widely-known in-
ternational law professor and
chairwoman of the Women's
Committee, remains under
house, arrest, her communica-
tions links with the outside
severed by the Thieu police.
MDME. THANH's detention
and that of the Ngoc Phuong
nuns have not gone unprotested.
Early in December, some 20
nuns from various provinces un-
furled banners proclaiming their
own hunger strike in front of
Saigon's Central Market, where
they were joined by three op-
position deputies. They carried
their banners up the street to
the National Assembly. O n e
nun, seating herself on the
street behind a can of gaso-
line, proclaimed her intention
of immolating herself by fire
if Huynh Lien - her "teacher"
- was not freed from detention.
Whether this was the "miracie"
that brought the chief nun to
the hospital is not clear. The
demonstration ended abruptly
when police officials, who nad
rerouted both motor and peles-
trian traffic well away from the
site, reportedly offered to djs-
cuss the nuns' grievanccs.
But no one believes the affair
of the Buddhist nuns is at an
end. "There are nuns willing
to immolate themselves," says
Senator Vu Van Mau. For t h e
Thieu government, the orTblem
is that they may not always pro-
claim their intentibns in a-
the organized opposition to the
Thieu government and its pli-
cies has been exoilitly 'udd-
hist. Whether the issue was per-
petuating the war, dissolving
political parties, cornptinn ii

ernment response. T"his h s
ranged from substam1Lial assist-
ance to those willing to cr,°a
and maintain an officilv-sanc-
tioned church, financial "ncer-
tives" to local 3uddhist offilals
and to businessmen to induce
defections within An Quang, and
use of draft - and reli;ii"is oe-
ferrals - to punish recalcitrant
For example, last year, a
government spokesman, denying
that a substantial num'er of
monks in a pagoda near Saigon
had been arrested, insisted that
those involved were not monks
at all but draft resisters. A
number of young men, it Is
said, were moved back and
forth between Chi Hoa i:rison
and the induction center -be-
ing returned to jail each time
they refused induction.
tions have met with some suc-
cess. An open split has appear-
ed within An Quang ranks na-
tionally which they leadeship
is working actively to close.
Police repression has inde
the students relatively passive
over the past three year.;, ac-
cording to a prominent Buddh.st
political figure. Substantial num-
bers of student activists were
imprisoned at the time of the
1971 elections - as was Mdm.
Thanh herself - and a namber
are still in prison. And the se:ret
police, he charges, have spent
vast sums of money to infi!-
trate the schools and universities
to provide them with intelli-
gence on student organizations
and to forestall any new mili-
tant activity.
Events since the signing of the
Paris Accord in January 1373
have seriously impaired the Ad-
ministration's ability to mani-
pulate the non-Communist op-
position. Largely as a result of
the sharp decline in both U.S.
military and economic aid and
direct U.S. involvement in the
war, Thieu is today caught up
on the horns of a critical di-
SINCE THE official ceaseire,
the economy - already in a
painful slump since 1972 - has
plunged precipitously. W h a t
was once described by an AID
official as an koverneated
peacetime economy" in the
midst of war is now in a full-
scale post-war recession - but
with the conflict unaba'ed. Un-
fortunately for Thieu, his mili-
tary options are far more lim-
ited now than at any time since
the ceasefire. Over 1'he past nine
months his forces hIva n a t
only suffered substanial grrrd
losses, particularly ii Central
Vietnam and now, wish th fall
of the provincial canital of
Phuoc Binh, only 75 miles from
Saigon; they have lost even
more in the way or morale. And
- no doubt for this reason -
the PRG has reinstated its de-
mand that Thieu resign before
further talks are heJ either in
Saigon or Paris.
On another front, Cah eiic
father Tran Hn Thamh lan h-
ed his Peole's Anti C'orruptior'

to secure 1lgal rare tn'tatifn
for the dtained pub' ;hers. At
each step more group; i a v e
joined m i om the sid ites and
the police have steppao up their
activities - relying prmarily
on plainclothesmen - sup-
press the increasing puiiiz op-
position to the regime.
THANH CLAIMS h ns :xu-
ments detailing an op rtv'rI
codenamed Comet, c'tlng fcr
the use of terrorist methos,
among others, again.t h2 Op-
position. Buddhists sa" the ct-
ical injury of an Oov vI de-
puty in a street "aien! i
mid-November proves the oE-
ation is ender way.
Obser 'rs have noid that in
all this th Buddhis , as Bud-
hists,ehave maintained a low
profile. t, Quang pagoda in
Cholon -- once the sene o
many Lon~uontations -- v a s
described by a "S ' r+ inde-
pendent dalty as "e rrcrcinaI-
ily quiet.' The foreign pres n.s
speculartd that th:s low level
of activ-y indicatnd a relui,-
ance on the part of tie Budd-
hists to cooperate with the Cal-
olics In p_sbing for ga,,: rnrient-
al reform. In view ) fe tradi-
tional distrust between Buddhists
and Catholics - heightened
since 1965 when the Catho'ic
migrants from the North a,-
gressively aligned themselves
with the U.S. forces in the
South - this explaoa'ion h a s
some plausibility. C-tamnly, the
ultimate objectives of the Mi-
tant Buddhists h vs little in
cvornon with those oV the con-
servative Father Th Anh - an
old ally of the late President
Ngo Dinh Diem.
BUDDHIST leader;, whether
lay or sectarian, ofer a differ-
ent explanation for tais pernd
of relative quiescence, how.-
ever, blaming the government
for fomenting internlC dissen-
sion. At their Sixth CngrSss
convened in Saigon in late De-
cember,dAn Quang Buddhists is-
sued a call for unity among the
anti - government opposition,
while working among themsev-
es to close ranks within t 1 e
faction. The results of an elec-
tion held during the convention
indicate that the traaiticnal ac-
tivist element still holds the up-
ner hand, having gained support
fromh the return to public :ife of
Buddhist leader Thie iT
Quang - a major figure in anti-
government demonsvrazions n
1963 and 1966. Buddhist spokes-
men charge that he govern-
ment is actively engaged in try-
ing to prevent the lnimv move
from succeeding and even the
popular Thich Tri Quang faces
opposition in his return to lead-
ership from several high rank-
ing monks in the faction.
government can hardly fail to
realize that what started a few
months ago as a move to erad-
icate corruntion has grown at
an astonishing rate and now
includes the struggle for lowrer
prices,ahuman rights,ahr >ader
political participation and an
end to the fihtin. With the

A new Tale to be told
of a Nation Once Bold
GM, America, Chrysler and Ford
Just give us a product we cannot afford
And run off to Washington only to scream,
"What's happening to the American Dream
Of chicken in pots and cars in garages."
While workers must stand outside factory gates
I'm getting damn sick of their awful barages.
Just wanting some food for their family's plates.
The government cannot begin to make sense
While we can't eat a lunch -id still pay our rents.
We all can buy gold but what is the use
When we have to drink Tang and not orange -juice.
And the things that are happening to my dollar
Just make me want to get up and holler.
Take home wages are so often shrinkin'
It takes six Washingtons to equal a Lincoln.
And now we can tell a has-not from a has
By who can fill up his auto with gas.
While oilmen's profits increase and rise
Till I can't believe my very own eyes.
I might begin to trust William Simon
If only I could payoff the pieman.
It's getting so bad that I even do dread
Just buying some milk and some cheese and some bread.
Food prices are still going to go up
Till it's a major investment just to sup.
And rather than pay so much money for sugar
I'll go to the city to help feed a mugger.
Inflation, recession, downturn, and drop,
Money advisors are surely a flop.
The economy's in such a terrible mess.
It once was just bad but now it's depress.
Bob Seidenstein is a staff writer for the Editorial Page. He
Contact your reps-
Sen. Phillip Hart (Dem), Rm 253, Old Senate Bldg., Capitol
Hill, Washington, D.C. 20515.
Sen. Robert Griffin (Rep), Rm 353, Old Senate Bldg., Capitol
Hill, Washington, D.C. 20515.


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