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April 07, 1978 - Image 4

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Michigan Daily, 1978-04-07

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Page 4-Friday, April 7, 1978-The Michigan Daily
Eighty-Eight Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Vol. LXXXVIII, No. 149
News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
Ending needless loan defaults

Israel gets the arms shaft

D EFAULT. OVER the years, as
costs of living have risen, that
word has increasingly become part of
the vocabularies of businesses, cities,
and most notably, students.
Often, default is the only way out for
college and vocational students who
have received low-interest loans from
the federal government for their
education, and discover upon
graduating that they have neither the
funds -nor the employment - to keep
abreast of the payments.
The - Guaranteed Student Loan
program makes it possible for
thousands of students to continue their
education when they would otherwise
have to quit. Last year alone, the
Department of Health, Education and
Welfare (HEW) supplied over $1
billion in loans to students. And it was
hit with more than $151 million worth
of student defaults. In the past ten
years, a total of $750. million worth of
student loans have been defaulted.
The government can only do so much
to retrieve that money once student
bankruptcy has been declared. The
ultimate loser, of course, is the tax-
payer, and possibly the entire loan
program itself.
In some cases, it is understandable
that a student would be forced to
default. But there are many students
taking out loans from the federal
government who, even as they sign the
Affirmative acti
S OMEDAY VERY SOON, the name
Alan Bakke may spell the dif-
ference between acceptance or rejec-
tion at graduate school for thousands
of applicants., Ever since Bakke
proved victorious over affirmative ac-
tion programs in California, the United
States Supreme Court has had the im-
petus to sanction the dismantling of all
affirmative action programs.
When Bakke was denied admission
to the University of California-Davis
Medical School for the second time in
1974, he was encouraged by an ad-
missions officer to file a suit against
the university claiming he was
qualified for admission but that he was
rejected because of his race - white.
The university filed a countersuit
requesting a decision on the con-
stitutionality of its special admissions
program that reserves 16 spots out of
100 for minority and underprivileged
applicants.
In 1976 the California State Supreme
Court greed with Bakke that he had
been discriminated against, and
declared the special admissions
program at Davis unconstitutional un-
der the equal protection clause of the
14th amendment.
Now the case has been heard in an
appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court and
an opinion will be made imminently. If
this body rules with Bakke, affir-

loan forms, have no intention of paying
the government back. In many ways, it
is easier today for a student to default
than to make the sacrifices necessary
after college to repay the loan. The
program is being abused.
For this reason, HEWrhasdrawn up
new rules for the loan program which,
they hope, will reverse the growing
number of defaults. No drastic
changes have been proposed; just
some simple preventive actions on the
part of the banks and the government.
Interviews with applicants will
become mandatory, as will formal
notification of a student's graduation
or withdrawal from school, and banks
will be forced to follow certain steps to
collect loan payments before dumping
the problem on the governent. New
provisions are also being considered
which would make setting up their own
guaranteed loan programs more at-
tractive to individual states.
Considering the major losses in-
curred by HEW over the years due to
defaults in this loan program, the new
program of regulations seems rather
mild. Perhaps officials are seeing
how a relatively minor "crackdown"
will effect the default epidemic, before
resorting to a major redesigning of the
guaranteed loan idea. If this is the
case, some commendation is in order.
Default may be-a convenient "out"
for financial problems, but it is not an
honorable one.
on needs support
mative action may be mortally woun-
ded.
Affirmative action is necessary in
this society. Historically, white males
have had all the advantages over other
groups in our country - particularly in
education and employment. Conscious
steps must be taken to offset this in-
justice.
These groups have been oppressed
for hundreds of years and a defeat of
affirmative action programs will
sustain inequality in America.
The issue of "reverse
discrimination," and in fact the entire
Bakke case will only serve to further
alienate blacks and whites,,males and
females, and all other groups that have
a personal stake in the effects of affir-
mative action.
Tomorrow, April 8, has been selected
as a national day of protest to demon-
strate against the Bakke case and its
inequalities, and to demonstrate for
the maintenance and expansion of af-
firmative action and the struggle for
equality.
We encourage members of the
University and Ann Arbor com-
munities to participate in local
protests tomorrow at noon on the Diag,
at the park at Huron and Main Streets,
or at the Federal Building after 12:30.
Show your support for affirmative ac-
tion, and help offset years of injustice.

The former peanut farmer
from Georgia and his close
southern associates indthe White
House have dropped another
bombshell in their attempt to
achieve a just and lasting peace
in the Middle East.
The Carter Administration,
already packed with foreign
policy mistakes, recently
proposed to Congress the sale of
60 F-15 fighter jets to Saudi
Arabia, 50 F-5E's to Egypt and 75
F-16's to Israel. Congress can
block the proposed sale by
passing resolutions of disap-
proval in both houses within 30
days of the Administration's
request. If such approval is not
expressed, the sales are
automatically authorized.
SECRETARY OF State Cyrus
Vance has made the arms
decision more dsifficult for
Congress, announcing that the
Carter Adminstration would can-
cel its sale of fighter planes to
Israel should Congress block the
other requests now before them.
But if Congress approves the
sale, it will have disasterous im-
plications in the peace
negotiations.
Israelis argue that the Saudis
would use their Tabuq airstrip -
200 km. and six minutes flying
time from the Israeli port Eilat -
as a base for the F-15s. The Ad-
ministration disagrees, conten-
ding the F-15's would only be used
in an air defense role over Saudi
territory to protect their oil fields
from foreign invasion.
"Saudi military planning
stressed dispersal of defensive
air and ground units throughout
the kingdom with concentration
in the Dhahran area (to protect
the oil facilities), at Taif, to
defend the Mecca-Medina-Jedda
complex, and at Khamis
Mushait, to defend the southern
border," the Administration
stated in a memo to Congress.
The Administration also
believes the "Saudi army has
never played a significant role in
an Arab-Israeli war". It fails to
realize that during the 1973 Yom
Kippur War, the Saudis sent a

mechanized infantry brigade to
the Golan Heights, which fought
in the Tel Shams-Tel Antar
region and suffered casualties.
The Saudis also sent 38 Mirage
fighters to Egypt who used them
against the Israeli air force in
1973.
SAUDI ARABIANS face no real
threat to their precious oil fields.

By Michael Arkush

including 20 C-130 military tran-
sport planes, 12 aerial recon-
naissance drones, six long-range
photo-reconnaissance camera
systems, trucks and jeeps worth
approximately $350 million
dollars as well as technical exper-
tise and licenses for the repair of
egypt's 200 Soviet-supplied MiG-
21 fighters. Also, the United
States helped Egypt clear the

Tying the sale of arms to Israel into
a package deal with the other arms
sales puts Israel on the same level
with its Arab neighbors. What kind
of "special relationship" is that?

Iraq is deterred by its strained
relations with Syria, by hundreds
of miles of desert and by Iran. As
well, the Saudis are not likely to
assume a direct military role in
northeast Africa and an attack
from Iran is unlikely. More likely
is an internal coup against the
monarchy, a move which could
place the F-15's in radical hands.
The Carter Administration
wants to ensure Saudi
cooperation in the setting of
future oil prices. The Ad-
ministration believes the Saudis
have behaved well thus far by
setting moderately low prices.
This point is challenged by the
American Public Affairs Com-
mittee which argues, "Saudi
moderation in oil-pricing is a
myth since its oil policies hace
actually been self serving and
damaging to the West."
Those approving Egypt's
request for F-5E's argue that the
United States must offer Egypt
some tangible signs of support as
President Sadat continues his
peace initiative. But how far does
the United States have to go?
They have already supplied
Egypt with more than $4 billion
dollars in various forms of
economic assistance since 1973,

Suez Canal and rebuild the war
town cities along its banks.
ALTHOUGH WHITE House of-
ficials contend that Israel would
be able to cope with the less
capable F-5E's, last January U.S.
News and World Report states,
"The supposedly inferior F-5E's
have fought superior F-14's and
F-15's to a deadly draw."
Carter is also worried that
failing to supply these two coun-
tries with arms will disrupt the
whole Mideast process. He
believes by opening these new
committments, he will enhance
the opportunities for peace. Has
he thought about Israel con-
tinuing the peace process? Has
he thought about the United
States' arms commitment to
Israel?
In 1975, the United States
promised Israel in writing, to
provide the country with advan-
ced aircraft in return for Israeli
withdrawal from strategic
passes (Gidi and Mitla) in the
Sinai. As New York Times
columnist William Safire reports,
"The Israelis withdrew,
fulfillingtheir part of the deal;
but now Carter has made
delivery of some of the aircraft

contingent on congressional ap-
proval of sales of the same air-
craft to Saudi Arabia."
Apparently that once "special
relationship" that existed bet-
ween the U.S. and Israel is defun-
ct. The 1975 agreement provided
for the sale of 50 F-15's to Israel,
25 of which were approved last
year. Israel had been seeking
U.S. approval fo the second op-
tion for 25, but the Carter Ad-
ministration has proposed that
Israel receivehonly an additional
15 of these fighters. The U.S. has
backed down on its former com-
mitments to the only democratic
county in the Middle East seeking
commitments.
HOW VIABLE will U.S.
guarantees be in the future?
Tying the sale of arms to Israel
into a package deal with the other
arms sales puts Israel on the
same level with its Arab neigh-
bors. What kind of "special
relationship is that?
So what should the Ad-
ministration do?
A rational U.S. policy in the
Middle East would realize that
Saudi Arabia does not need arms.
The U.S. must also honor its past
commitment to Israel or risk
damaging its international
prestige. The U.S. should reward
Anwar Sadat only with continued
economic assistance, a most im-
portant need in Egypt. American
officials should also consider an
agreement to defend Saudi oil
fields from any attacks by Iran
and Iraq. They should also insure
that the peace process continues
- but not at the expense of
saacrificing Israel's security.
After all, an F-15 from the
Saudi air base in Tabuq can
easily threaten Tel Aviv, Israel's
largest city. Unless Jimmy Car-
ter becomes more perceptive in
his Mideast dealings, he may be
forced to return to the peanut
business in 1981.
ich'i rkishi i Daily

Ann Arbor roads:
We are not alone
By Howard Benedict

t~ T cc

D

WASHINGTON - Many of America's
streets and highways are going to pot.
Frequent freezes and thaws of last winter
made them worse, and a highway trade
organization estimates there now are 116
million potholes around the country. Put them
all together, it says, and you have a crater
one-quarter mile in diameter and 50 feet deep.
That's in addition to cracked and fractured
pavement, worn out shoulders, washboard
rural roads and tens of thousands of defective
bridges.
Deteriorating roads have caused accidents
and deaths and raised hob with autos. Far-
mers complain it's costing them more to
transport their goods to market, with
resulting higher consumer costs.
Hundreds of truckers earlier this month
staged a 10-hour slowdown on Interstate 70 in
Pennsylvania, protesting potholes that broke
springs and flattened tires.
In West Virginia, bad roads last year
prompted a wildcat strike by coal miners. In
New York City, union leaders complain that
many bridges are in such terrible shape that
repair crews are in danger. As a result, high-
way users and builders are pressing for a
huge, long-lasting federal program to
rehabilitate and maintain the nation's streets
and highways. The Carter administration ap-
pears willing to go far in that direction.
The United States has invested more than
$270 billion in its road system. But much of the
3.8-million-mile network has existed more
than 60 years. More than half of it - 2 million
miles - is not paved.
The Federal Highway Administration
estimates that roads and streets are wearing
out 50 percent faster than they are being
replaced and that 900,000 miles of roads
urgently need repairing or upgrading. A total
of 105,500 bridges - almost one in every five
- are classified as rickety, too narrow for
safety or otherwise deficient.
Even the interstate highway system, the
pride of the nation, is in trouble.
When work began in 1957, the entire 42,500-
mile interstate system was to have been com-
pleted in 1972 at a projected cost of $37.5
billion. Today, about 38,700 miles are open
and another 3,200 are under construction.
Work has not begun on segments totaling
about 600 miles.
So far, $63.7 billion has been-spent, and
Transportation Secretary Brock Adams

An industry group, Protect America's
Roads, estimates than 28,000 miles of inter-
state do not meet current highway standards,
especially safety standards, and that 5,000
miles are badly in need of resurfacing.
Some of the worst interstate stretches are
near Pittsburgh; Washington, D.C., and
Detroit, and in Iowa and eastern Pen-
nsylvania.
The federal government is committed to
financing 90 percent of interstate highway
construction costs. The states are to pick up
the remainder and maintain the highways.
Roads and streets
are wearing out
fifty percen t
faster than they are
being replaced.
But the states say they can't afford the
repair task. One reason is that they have lost
$2.3 billion in gasoline-tax revenues since 1974
because of the 55-m.p.h. speed limit and the
slackening of auto travel after the Arab oil
embargo.
To offset this loss, many states have tried
to increase highway funds by raising gasoline
taxes. Of 31 such attempts in legislatures last
year, only 8 succeeded.
The Carter administration seems resigned
to the fact that in the years ahead substantial
federal funds will have to be committed to
highway maintenance and rehabilitation.
Secretary Adams has proposed winding up
the interstate program quickly and moving on
into road rehabilitation. His plan, which
seems to have congressional approval, would
force states to commit themselves on building
controversial missing segments by 1982 or
else lose federal funds.
"I believe we must get on with the job so
that we can shift more of our attention to the
resurfacing, restoration and rehabilitation
needs, not only of the interstate but our total
highway system," Adams said. "One thing I
want to avoid is letting the existing highway
system collapse."
President Carter's budget for the fiscal

0 4
1 vN-
What would it cost to rehabilitate the
nation's highways? The Federal Highway
Administration calculates that as much as
$329 billion weight be needed just to get the
road network back to the shape it was in three
years ago and to keep it there through 1990.
Although the federal commitment
probably will be heavy, the main burden
would still fall on state and local governmen.-
ts

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