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September 23, 1976 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1976-09-23

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

.... .

4e fi r t an aans
Eighty-Seven Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, M1 48109

Taxation: All-American non-issue

Thursday, September 23, 1976

News Phone: 764-0552

Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Watch the debates

You wouldn't know it from watch-
ing President Ford and Jimmy Carter
so far, but yes, there are some is-
sues in the 1976 race for the White
House. While it is inevitable that
many voters will cast their ballots in
November on the basis of the Geor-
gian's disarming smile or his oppo-
nent's reputation for niceness, the
truly informed segment of the elec-
torate will base their decisions on the
candidates' stands on economic af-
fairs, national defense, abortion, tax
reform and dozens of other subjects.
The trouble is, however, that many
voters simply cannot summon the ef-
fort to read through the party plat-
forms, position papers, or even news-
Editorial Staff

Rob Meachum

Bill Turque

Jeff Ristine.......Managing Editor
Tim Schick ...................Executive Editor
Stephen Hersh.........Magazine Editor
Rob Meaenin ................Editorial Director
Lois Josimvvich Arts Editor
STAFF WRITERS: Susan Ades, Susan Barry,
Dana Baumann, Michael Beckman, Philip Ba-
kovoy, Jodi Dimick, Chris Dyhdale, Elaine
Fletcher, Larry Friske, Debra Gale, Tom Go-
dell, Eric Gressman, Kurt Harju, Char Heeg,
James Hynes, Michael Jones, Lani Jordan,
Lois Josimovich, Joanne Kaufman, David
Keeps, Steve Kursman, Jay Levin, Ann Marie
Lipinski, George Lobsenz, Pauline Lubens, Stu
CcConnell, Jennifer Miller, Michael Norton,
Jon Pansius, Ken Parsigian, Karen Paul,
Stephen Pickover, Christopher Potter, Don
Rose, Lucy Saunders, Annemarie Schiavi, Kar-
en Schulkins, Jeffrey Selbst, Jim Shahin, Rick
Soble, Tom Stevens, Jim Stimson, David
Strauss, Mike Taylor, Jim Tobin, Loran Walker,
Laurie Young, Barb Zahs.
Sports Staff
Bill Stieg..............,.........Sports Editor
Rich Lerner... .... ....Executive Sports 1"'"or
Andy Glazer...........Managing Sports ' 'or
Rick Bonino . . . .... . Associate Sports Ed itor
NIGHT EDITORS: Tom Cameron, Enid Goldman,
Kathy Henneghan, Scott Lewis, Rick Maddock,
Bob Miller, John Niemeyer, Mark Whitney.
STAFF WRITERS: Leslie Brown, Paul Campbell,
Marybeth Dillon, Ernie Dunbar, Henry Engel-
hardt, Jeff Frank, Cindy Gatziolis, Don Mac-
Lachlan, Rich Ovshinsky, Jim Powers, Pat Rode,
John Schwartz.
Business Staff
Beth Friedman .............. Business Manager
Deborah Dreyfuss .,........ Operations Manager
Kathleen Mulhern Advertising Manager
David Harlan ................. Finance Manager
Dan Blugerman .................. Sales Manager
Pete Peterson ... Advertising Coordinator
Cassle St. Clair Circulation Manager
Beth Stratford ...... Circulation Director
Photography Staff
Pauline Lubens .............. Chief Photographer
Scott Eceker ................. Staff Photographer
Alan Bilinsky ...............Staff Photographer

paper accounts of the candidates'
stands on the issues. And it's not
easy when those issues are buried in
stories headlining drivel such as the
Democrat's admission of normal sex-
ual impulses or the Republican's love
affair with the Wolverine football
For those people, tonight offers the
first of three golden opportunities to
painlessly learn a little more about
Carter and Ford and their positions
on critical issues of importance for
the next four years. It's a live, na-
tionally - televised debate between
the two candidates - and it may
very well be the deciding factor of
the November 2 election. One hun-
dred million Americans will be tun-
ing in, and all three networks plan
to carry the 90-minute program.
Watch the debates. Tonight's which
will focus on domestic and economic
affairs, begins at 9:30 p.m. It's your
best chance to see Ford and Carter
as they truly are, in conditions over
which they have very little control.
More than any speech, commercial or
song, it will undoubtedly be issue-
The League of Women Voters,
whose Educational Fund is sponsor-
ing the debates, is to be commended
for their long and generally thank-
less work in bringing the idea for
debates to fruition. Unfortunately,
their refusal to permit minor party
candidates, such as Eugene McCar-
thy and Lester Maddox to get in on
the forensic showdowns was an ir-
reversible, tragic error - all opin-
ions in this campaign deserve to be
For those voters in the "main-
stream" of American politics, how-
ever, tonight's debate should not be
News: Phil Bokovoy, Elaine Fletcher,
Ken Parsigian, Ann Marie Schiavi,
Bill Turque, Margaret Yao
Editorial Page: Rob Meachum, J e f f
Ristine, Tom Stevens, Mike Beck-
Arts Page: Lois Josimovich, Tom Go-
Photo Technician: Pauline Lubens

- taxes - has again come to the
forefront of the Presidential race. Car-
ter started the current uproar with his
proposal to shift more of the tax bur-
den from the "lower" income people to
the "higher" income people. Ford and
Dole immediately jumped on this, as-
serting that Carter's definition of "high-
er" - more than the median income,
as far as anyone can make it out -
meant that he wanted to increase taxes
for half of the taxpayers in America.
Back came Mondale, charging the Re-
publicans with being 'for the loopholes
and against working Americans."
All this makes for an interesting po-
litical, situation, with Dole railing the
Democrats, Mondale railing the Repub-
licans, Ford criticizing Carter, and Car-
ter trying to cover his tracks. However,
no one has seen fit to make any con-
crete proposals on tax reform, with poli-
tics being the name of the game until
next January.
CARTER FOR NOW has settled into
standard demogogic form: say you'll
tax the rich to give to the poor, be-
cause the poor have far more votes.
Mondale has followed suit, proposing to
get those big rich baddies by closing
tax loopholes.
Both approaches, if you can tell them
apart, ignore a fundamental tenet of
political liberty: equal treatment of all
before the law. Jimmy and Walter pro-
pose to persecute the rich (because
"they can pay more") so they can ap-
pear the good guy to the majority.
They ignore considerations of equity so
that they can further their own politi-
cal ambition.
More practical problems confront this
approach. Assuming he backs off from
his statement, as it appears he is now
doing, Carter will concentrate his tax
increases on the high income earners,
the rest to be apportioned among the

upper-middle class. The same reason
that makes this tax approach politically
feasible, namely, there are few rich
people, makes it pragmatically unfeasi-
ble, since not much more revenue can
be generated without either making be-
coming rich pointless or extending the
increases into the middle classes. What
revenue that would result would spread
very thin over Carter's proposed bene-
TO THE RESCUE of alarmed middle-
class voters come Ford and Dole. After
telling them the mean things the Demo-
crats propose to do, the President has
promised them more tax relief at the
expense of federal expenditures. Liberal-
ized estate taxes and tinkering with the
income tax structure head his propos-
Alas, while the liberalized estate tax
idea is well and good, even overdue,
the Republicans still miss the point with
income taxes. Whereas the Democrats
play cool with low-income groups and
labor, the other major party courts its
own traditional constituency: the con-
servative middle class. While not as pun-
gent as Carter's approach, it still stinks
of special-interest politics.
Both sides of the tax issue fistfight,
Carter and Mondale especially, ignore
the country as a whole, concentrating
on giving bones to sympathetic groups.
This is hardly surprising of the Demo-
crats, who have long been obsessed with
political blocs and empire-building. Both
sides are falling back on familiar politi-
cal strategies while ignoring concrete
The fundamental problem with present
income tax law is its sheer complexity.
Edmund Burke anticipated this when he
stated, "Refined policy is ever the parent
of confusion." Those who are clever
enough to find loopholes, and those rich
enough to hire them, get off easy; the
rest of us pay through the nose.
suggests, would only redirect the ef-

forts of tax lawyers and accountants
towards finding new ones. To avoid that
would take junking the offending tax
deductions altogether. In fact, we should
trash nearly all deductions and exemp-
tions except personal, dependent, and.
hardship deductions.
This would surely call the special-in-
terest groups to arms, making it an un-
likely possibility. Nevertheless, it is the
direction in which we must go, although
neither party is likely to do much about
it. Can you imagine the uproar weal-
thy Democrats living off trust funds
would make if Congress took away their
tax-exempt status? Republicans have
their own sacred cows among tax de-
ductions. Thus, a pork-barrel atmo-
sphere pervades the hodgepodge collec-
tion of special income tax laws. Per-
haps repealing them one at a time can
give this reform a chance.
When faced with repeal of a tax shel-
ter, the beneficiaries will undoubtedly
call Congress' attention to the worthy
activities the shelter gives incentive to
and how its repeal would endanger the
"public interest" if not the entire coun-
try. Supposing these people honest and
true (no, I do not doubt their integri-
ty), then I ask them "why have taxes?"
Are taxes to discourage certain activi-
ty? Should people who do not live off
trust funds be penalized?
No, taxes are not to give incentives
or disincentives but to raise revenue,
plain and simple. We tax income be-
cause it seems the most equitable basis
on which to tax. Basing our tax laws
on equity removes the justification for
nearly all deductions other than the
personal and dependent ones.
ANOTHER AVENUE of tax reform is
in removing tax brackets. The pre-
sent system arbitrarily divides people
into different income groups (brackets)
and taxes them at different rates. Thus,
someone earning an amount just below
the cutoff who gets a raise above it,
thus entering a higher income bracket,

may well find a decrease in his after-
tax income. A far better method is
taxing income up to certain sum at
one rate, tax only add. :al income at
a slightly higher rate, anu so forth. This
preserves the progressive nature of the
income taxwithout the arbitrariness of
separate brackets.
Also, the income tax should have only
moderate progression. It is very tempt-
ing to tax the rich to no end so you
can benefit those who are less well off,
but one forgets the vast magnitude of
the multitudes that would receive the
boon. Such proposals usually fail to make
much difference to the beneficiaries
while being confiscatory to the rich,
who have rights just likettherest of
us, and should pay only their fair
share. Saddling any group with an un-
due tax burden violates all concepts of
Finally, saving the best for last, we
should increase the personal and de-
pendent deduction from the present pal-
try sum, thereby benefitting all tax-
payers, especially the lower-income peo-
ple who are already cheated by the
welfare system and who do not need
the IRS on their backs as well. One
proposal by an eminent economist fixes
a new deduction at $1,750; but even
that is a bit stingy. A sum of $2,000
for each person in the household would
warm many more hearts towards the
So much for daydreaming. The pros-
pects for real tax reform appear very
dim even after the election. The Presi-
dent continues to play to the middle
class; Carter continues to unconscion-
ably try to turn the tax issue into a
class squabble.
Meanwhile the election goes on: Ford
will try to wow farmers and business-
men; Dole will sound more and more
like a broken record; Mondale will con-
tinue tripping off into fantasyland; and
Carter will out-waffle Aunt Jemima.
Real issues fail to interest them; they're
too controversial.



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Contact your reps
Sen. Phillip Hart (Dem.), 253 Russell Bldg., Capitol Hill,
Washington, D.C. 20515.
Sen. Robert Griffin (Rep.), 353 Russell Bldg., Capitol Hill,
Washington, D.C. 20515.
Rep. Marvin Esch (Rep.), 2353 Rayburn Bldg., Capitol Hill,
Washington, D.C. 20515.
Sen. Gilbert Bursley (Rep.), Senate, State Capitol Bldg.,
Lansing, MI 48933
Rep. Perry Bullard (Dem.), House of Representatives, State
Capitol Bldg., Lansing, MI 48933.
lm y,"r: ? 7 v: .ir X;}:imy:?i:~:$?v : <^ % s m i m i # R+ % . . P "O +v.c:. j".'

Health Service Handbook . .

QUESTION: I have strong
reason to suspect I have anal
gonorrhea. I've develeped some
mild rectal pain, and my stools
have some pus coating them.
But my rectal culture was
negative. What does this mean
and what should I do? I am
not a student.
A N S W E R: Answering
your question gives us the op-
portunity to announce that
Health Service, under a con-
tract with the Washtenaw
County Health Dept., now has
a VD clinic for the treatment

of both students and nonstu-
dents. Students may elect not
to go through this clinic and
may prefer to use the regular
Health Service channels for
diagnosis and treatment of
gonorrhea and syphilis. How-
ever all non students are en-
couraged to come to our newly
established facility, and we
would suggest that you be re-
tested here for your condition.
Occasionally, a culture for
gonorrhea (from the rectum,
throat, or penis) will result in
a false negative. That is, one

t,^ -
i o

... AIN A oNE

may indeed have gonorrhea,
but the culture fails to demon-
strate the gonococcal bacteria.
This may be because an inade-
quate specimen was obtained
on the cotton swab, the culture
medium may have been defec-
tive, or the culture plates were
processed under less than per-
fect conditions. In the cold win-
ter months there are many
more false negative cultures for
gonorrhea than during the sum-
mer. This is thought to be due
to the cold temperature destroy-
ing the gonococcal bacteria
while being transported to the
lab. No one knows for certain
what the percentage of false
negative tests are and so if you
are still worried, you should be
retested. There is a possibility,
of course, that what you are
describing is not gonorrhea but
some other type of infection.
For reassurance, have it check-
ed out.
QUESTION: What causes
moles? Are they dangerous? In
the past six months or so I've
gotten a whole lot of new moles.
Are they anything to worry
A N S W E R: Dr. Paul Sei-
fert, being a leading authority
on moles and other such crea-
tures, was tempted to answer
that what causes moles is Dad-
dy and Mommy moles. How-
ever, realizing, at the last mo-
ment, the medical nature of the
question, he presents the follow-
ing learned answer:
A "mole" or "birthmark" is
the commonest benign tumor
found in human beings. The av-
erage person has approximate-
ly 20 of these lesions scatter-
ed over the body surface. Moles
are present at birth but may
not become apparent until later
in life often in response to cer-
tain stimnli such as sun expo-

skin cancer) do appear to arise
from pre-existing moles. Con-
sequently, it is important for
everyone to be aware of the
changes in moles that could
represent danger. These in-
Increase in size or pigmen-
tation; Iitching or pain; Irrita-
tion or discomfort induced by
shoes, collars, bra straps, shav-
ing, etc.; Bleeding, crusting in-
fection or ulceration: Elevation
and enlargement of a flat le-
sion: and Development of "sa-
tellites", i.e., small pigmented
lesions appearing adjacent to a
previously present mole.
In general, moles are more
likely to become malignant in
blond individuals. Also, moles
in certain locations such as on
the feet, genitals or beneath
the nails ,are particularly dan-
In light of the information
outlined above, the most impot-
rant point to be made is that

although a cancerophobic at-
titude (fear of cancer) about
moles is not justified, a realis-
tic approach to questionable
lesions is mandatory. Excision
of all a person's moles is nei-
ther practical nor necessary.
Excisional biopsy (complete re-
moval of the lesion with micro-
sconis analysis of the removed
tissue by a Pathologist) of sus-
nicious moles, on the other
hand, may be life saving. When
in doubt, see a physician. Moles
and melanomas will not go
away by themselves but anx-
iety about them will with a
simple outpatient surgical pro-
cedure done promptly when in-
Please send all questions on
health related concerns to:
Health Educators
U-M Health Service
207 Fletcher

Ann Arbor


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