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August 03, 1973 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1973-08-03

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Summer Daily
Summer Edilion of
TIE MICHIGAN DAILY
Edited and managed by students at the
University of Michigan
Friday, August 3, 1973 News Phone: 764-0552
Bethlehem 's teal'
FOR MOST OF US, taxes were business as usual.
Every year, we, the people, the great ever-changing
multicolored bulk of American humanity, cursed and
sweated and scribbled and airmailed our tear-stained
1040 forms to the IRS by April 15 or a few days there-
after.
IF WE MISSED the mark by more than a few days we
would start to sweat even harder, because few things
in these United States are so unkind and unavoidable as
the Tax Man. At times we even list this dread Name in
the same breath with Rain and Death.
But not for Bethlehem Steel.
Over the past four years, while we sweated it out,
Bethlehem Steel didn't pay Uncle Sam a bloody cent.
SURE, THEY GAVE the government $45 million in 1971-
72, but that was no big strain after the company
picked up $66 million in refunds from IRS for 1969-70.
In four years, Bethlehem profited $675 million, and
topped it off with $21.9 million in federal income tax
refunds. "Taxes", that dirty word, somehow came to
mean a little extra icing on Bethlehem's annual cake.
The problem seems to lie with 'incentive. For quite
some time, we are told, it has been government policy
to provide economic incentive to large corporations by
giving them tax breaks on newly purchased equipment
and property, government contracts, losses taken in past
years, and other items. Hence, they expand economic-
ally.
NOW WE, THE PEOPLE, could certainly go for an idea
like that. No sweat, no strain; a dollar earned is
$1.03 gained. (That's no joke. Bethlehem Steel got three
cents from Uncle Sam on every dollar of profit for
1969-72.)
We, too, would like to expand economically.
T STARTS TO LOOK like our dollars pay not only
Richard Nixon's and H. R. Haldeman's salaries; we
apparently also have been shelling out the bucks for the
sirloin steak eaten by company Chairman Stewart Cort
and other Bethlehem officers.
It is high time we could afford some sirloin, or even
some ground beef. It is high time for some people-oriented
tax legislation.
And it is certainly high time for Bethlehem and
friends to sweat on April 15, just like the rest of us.
All power to the taxpayers.

Watergate session in the morning:
Villians, heros, cast of thousands

By GORDON ATCHESON
HE WALKED deliberately into
the crowded room. His face
was tough and uncompromising-
jsw set like a bear trap, e y e s
blinking, lips carrying an icy scowl.
Flanked by several of the coun-
try's most agile legal minds, he
marched quickly to a padded red
leather chair in front.
The villian had arrived.
On the bad guy's heels, Amer-
ica's latest folk hero sauntered
across the worn maroon carpet.
The whispy white hair and sagging
jowls tended the ancient figure a
benign air of paternalism. Sud-
denly the audience broke into a
round of spontaneous applause. He
smiled and bounced to the front
sitting face to face with his cur-
rent adversary.
THE SUPPORTING cast trooped
in - Baker, Inouye, Gurney, Weic-
ker, Montoya, Dash, and Thomp-
son. They sat behind a massive
oak table like the Grand Inquisi-
tors.
John Ehrlichman didn't seem in-
timidated.
Ervin's gavel fell. The session
started. The questions would flow
for hours.
"Some matters like the Penta-
gon papers break-inkwould need-
lessly occupy the President's time
or could be better handled by
someone else," he said slowly, re-
sponding to one question thrown
at him.
Daniel Inouye continued to inter-
rogate the witness in a soft, yet
firm and almost hypnotic voice.
Ehrlichman's balding head glis-
tened under the hot television
lights.
THE CAMERAS whirred away
continuously. The newspaper re-
porters began scribling furiously,
while NBC's Doug Kiker sat back
and casually read the Washington
Post.
The other TV news people seem-
ed little busier. Sam Donaldson
shuffled papers. Dan Schorr gaz-
ed at a monitor, thoughtfully puf-
fed on his pipe, and doodled on a
legal pad.
Sen. Ed Gurney raised his hand.
An aide quickly ran to his side
to do the boss' bidding. She re-
turned a couple of minutes later
with a glass of Coke.
AnsInouye continued his queries,
Smilin' Sam Ervin leafed through
a fat pile of transcripts. His eye-

AP Photo
EHRLICHMAN'S BALDING HEAD glistened
under the hot television lights.

brows danced in a strange Groucho
Marx parody while he turned the
pages.
Joseph Montoya and Minority
Counsel Fred-Thompjson just star-
ed blankly at the back wall. Per-
haps wishing it was all over. Gur-
ney sipped his drink. Howard Bak-
er took notes on something.
Heavy drapes were pulled over
the only windows closing out the
sun. Fourwgargantuan cut-crystal
chandeliers hung from the h i g h
ceiling, but most of the light was
provided courtesy of the television
networks.
THE GRACEFUL CEILING has
gold- and white inlays forming an
intricate floral pattern. The room
was typical of the artful architec-
ture that characterizes official
Washington.
Large pillars, made of cream-
colored marble swirled with pale
greensand blues, dominated t h e
walls. The electricity in the air
more than off-set the grim, mort-
uary image fostered by the marble.
Although the senators and press
at times seemed blase, the aud-
ience of several hundred "j ust
plain folks" jammed shoulder-to-
shoulder provided a crackling emo-
tional energy. They buzzed, laugh-
ed, and occasionally exhaled with
amazement as a single living or-
ganism.
They were mostly young people
dressed in jeans and T-shirts, who
had waited as long as ten hours
for the privilege of seeing t h e
downfall of the Nixon regime.
They couldn't cause that collapse
on Mayday or at the GOP conven-
tion in Miami but the disintegiation
has now started from within and
they wanted to participate in toe
process if only as observers.
ERVIN BEGAN his series of
questions. He smiled continuously
as if he were chuckling at what
must have been a private joke,
since he wasn't telling one of his
back woods homilies at the time.
While Ervin talked his cyes darted
around the room. He seemed to be
thinking three questions ahead.
Baker got up from the table and
drifted out the door past the se-
curity officers. He returned short-
ly with a cup of coffee. He stop-
ped and made a quip to Donaldson
who grinned politely.
All the . stars appear far more
mortal in person than they do on
the tube. Bsaker looks drawn and
haggard. His-hair shows gray high-

lights not visible to the IV aud-
ience.
"This is a tired committee," le
commented at one point when sev-
eral members began bickering
among themselves. He was fati-
gued too - a deep fatigue that
comes from not getting a good
night's sleep in two months.
Gurney seemedtmore gaunt than
normal. Weicker didn't ask ques-
tions with his characteristic vigor.
EHRLICHMAN ALSO felt t h e
strain during the fifth day before
the committee. He occasionaily ges-
tured in a mechanical manner to
emphasize his generally unrespon-
sive answers. But toward the noon
recess, he had taken to only nod-
ding his head whenever possible.
Majority Counsel Sam Dash then
zeroed in on Mr. "Deep Six," hit-
ting him with the most penetrating
questions of the day.
While Ervin talked,
his eyes darted around
the room. He seemed
to be thinking t h r e e
questions ahead.
Dash, however, didn't look as
imposing as his inquiries. He is
a small man. Fast balding, he
wears thick, black glasses. lHe
could be an accountant or an ortho-
donist but not a focal figure in the
nation's moot dramatic scandal.
DASH TALKED tough, and Ehr-
lichman responded in kind using
flat, measured tones belying his
anger.
Ehrlichman's attorneys rose en
masse to object to a question, hut
Dash could not be stopped. Then
Gurney and Thompson joined in the
chorus. The audience began to rum-
ble.
His blue eyes.sparkling brightly,
Ervin raised his hands,. as Moses
might have done to part the Red
Sea, smiled beneficiently and said,
"I think the 'chair can resolve
this problem.."
And he-'did.
Gordon Atcheson is a night edi-
tor for The Daily.

THE s sI sA : E ss,. JOURNA
'Ah'm jes a lil' ol country lawyer, Mr. Goliath, but lemme
show you this here trick ah larned. ..'

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