Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
Sunday, November 1, 1981
The Michigan Daily
AV Z 1l(r
Vol. XCII, No.46
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor,, MI 48109
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Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board
Another Tisch plan
IF ROBERT TISCH had a dog and it
died, he'd probably kick it.
Beating dead dogs seems to be a big
part of, the Tisch plan. The tax-cut
crusader told the Daily, in an interview
Friday, that' he plans to submit a third
property tax relief plan to the voters in
1982-despite the fact that his last two
plans failed miserably at the polls.
It should be evident to the
Shiawassee County Drain Com-
missioner that the majority of
Michigan voters aren't willing to ac-
cept a tax cut if it means drastically
cutting back in state services. But he
seems-determined to put such a plan on
the 1982 ballot.
But perhaps Tisch has another
reason for -devising a third tax cut
plan. He's running for governor. And
what better way to get
volumirius-and free-publicity than
threatening once again, to butcher the
After all, tax cutting is how Tisch
got his name. Prior to his 1978 tax slash
plan, its's doubtful that much of
Shiawassee County, let alone the state
of Michigan, had heard of him. But
today, Tisch is a household word
throughout the state.
Of course, Tisch does have a point.
Many citizens throughout the state do
feel that their property taxes are too
high. But right now, as Lansing is con-
tinually forced to trim the state's
existing budget, a tax cut seems
almost unthinkable to most citizens.
However, proposing such a cut can get
one's name in a lot of newspapers.
Maybe Tisch really isn't beating a
dead dog. He might just be exercising
extreme political prudence.
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Will 'newfederalism 'backfire?
NDICATIONS ARE coming from
Washington that one of the most
sacrosanct of the Reagan campaign
pledges-the one that the federal
budget would be balanced by 1984-is
about to be broken.
Treasury Secretary Donald Regan
testified before a Senate committee
last week that he believes it is "not
probable" that the 1984 budget will be
:The admission comes as just one
more reminder that the Reagan ad-
ministration's economic program is
in .serious trouble and faces the
prospect of not meeting even its most
In the last few months government
services have been cut, and they will
be cut further as the administration in-
creases defense spending while cutting
While the administration is cutting
personal and corporate income taxes,
it is being forced into selective tax in-
creases just to Keep its head above
These proposals may lead Congress
to rescind parts of the personal tax
cuts-scheduled for 1982 and 1983-ap-
proved last summer.
All of the deviations from the
original Reagan proposals are in-
dications of the severe difficulty the
government is having with the
economic program. The changes are
making it more apparent every day
that the essence of the Reagan- ad-
ministration policy is not so much a
reduction in spending at the federal
level, but a huge shift, in the allocation
of federal funds from social programs
to the military.
This military spending is extremely
inflationary, wasteful of the
nation's-indeed the world's-resour-
ces, and threatens world peace. If the
economy is to be saved from further
deterioration and the world saved from
a disastrous arms race, Congress must
mutter the courage to stand up to the
Regan's subtle admission of failure
on Friday may just help Congress to do
By Alan Ramo
On the same day President Reagan an-
nounced his plan to revive the nation's
nuclear industry, a federal appeals court, in
the spirit of the president' s new
federalism," dealt that same plan a severe
In early October a three-judge panel of the
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Fran-
cisco unanimously upheld California's
"nuclear laws," stating that the state has the
power to regulate or prohibit nuclear power
for economic, environmental or any reasons
other than protection against radiation
"THE COURT HAS explicitly recognized
the states' ability to decide if they want to
pursue nuclear power," explained Kathryn
Dickson, special counsel for California's
Energy Commission in the case. "It should
have An impact in all 50 states."
The state's highest nuclear laws include a
moritorium on new nuclear power plant con-
struction until the state Energy Commission
certifies that there is a federallynapproved
nuclear waste disposal method. No method
yet has been approved.
California utilities had challenged the laws
on the basis that they were pre-empted by the
U.S. Atomic Energy Act and its amendments:
setting up the Nuclear Regulatory Com-
mission. Two lower federal district courts in
San Diego and Sacramento had agreed,
striking down the statutes.
BUT JUSTICE BETTY Fletcher, writing
for the court, diagreed, siding with the
Energy Commission and the National
Resources Defense Counsel position that
Congress -did not intend to pursue nuclear
power "at all costs."
"Inherent in the states' regulatory.
authority," she wrote, "is the power to keep
nuclear plants from being built, if the plants
are inconsistent with the state's power needs,
or environmental or othor interest."
The court's decision thus allows any state to
enact legislation prohibiting nuclear power
plants-an assertion of states' rights that
normally would please conservatives. But the
economics of nuclear power and strict state;
regulations like California's have put conser-
vatives supporting the nuclear industry
behind centralized federal regulation.
"THE CASE presents an interesting con-
trast to traditional cases of states' rights,"
said Dian Grueneich, deputy general counsel
to California's Energy Commission.
The nuclear industry claims that state and
public participation in licensing procedures
and a sea of overlapping regulatory agencies
have increased the costs of nuclear power to
the point at which it no longer is feasible to
build new plants. Reagan's program clearly
was a response to these industry complaints.
He directed that waste disposal facilities be
put into place swiftly and that the regulatory
and licensing process of the NRC be
streamlined so that plants could be planned
BUT WHATEVER hope the industry still
had that improved economic conditions and
leadership from the Reagan administration
might change the fortunes of nuclear power
has been nearly dashed by the Ninth Circuit's
affirmation of states'.rights.
Justice Fletcher explicitly placed her
opinion in the framework of the, "new
federalism" philosophy by concluding with a
quote from the Supreme Court's leading
proponent of federalism, Justice William
"Time may prove wrong the decision to
develop nuclear energy," Rehnquist stated in
the case of Vermont Yankee, Nuclear Power
Corp. vs. Natural Resources Defense Coun-
cil, "but it is Congress or the states within
their appropriate agencies which must even-
tually make that judgment."
IN DECISION AFTER decision,
Rehnquist has forged a majority that has
articulated this more restrictive role of the
court. In 1975, Rehnquist held with a plurality
of his colleagues that Congress improperly
extended minimum wage and maximum hour
protections to state and municipal employees
because it interfered with "state sovereign-
In 1976, Rehnquist wrote for a majority of
the court that a lower federal district court
has exceeded its powers when it ordered the
'Philadelphia police to set up a civilian com-
plaint procedure. Rehnquist stated that the
.court violated principles of federalism by not
respecting the integrity of local government.
In 1980, Rehnquist adhered to his principle
of federalism even though it produced an ex-
tension of what usually are considered liberal
principles of free speech. Rehnquist led a
majority of the court in upholding a California
Supreme Court decision allowing petitioning
in shopping centers, even though the federal
rule allowed shopping center owners to
prohibit it. Rehnquist said the federal Bill of
Rights did not "limit the authority of the state
to exercise its police power or its sovereign
right to adopt .., individual liberties more
expansive than those inferred by the federal
THIS NEW federalism, as it is voiced in the
courts, fits the administration's ethic of in- 0
dividual liberty, states' rights, and decen-
tralization. But now these same principles
have been turned against the administration
and one of its pet constituencies.
The long-delayed Diablo Canyon Nuclear
Power Plant in San Luis Obispo, Calif., still
faces at least one more hurdle beyond the
temporary delays recently imposed by
federal nuclear regulatory authorities.
The plant must obtain a state permit
allowing it to discharge heated coolant water
and certain pollutants into the ocean. The
regional branch of the state water control
board now has a clear statement from the
federal courts that it has the power to shut
down the plant if it sees fit.
Ramo is a California lawyer. He wrote
this article for Pacific News Service.
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MAKE ALLThE PUM STATEMENT6
NEES$AY AROUtP HERE,
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A protester carries food and provisions to
his campsiteduring demonstrations last mon-
th at the Diablo Canyon power facility near
San Luis Obispo, California. President
Reagan's "new federalism," when applied
through the federal courts, may enable the
state of California to prohibit operation of the,
and built in six to eight years instead of 10 to
MANY EXPERTS believe the nuclear
revitalization plan probably would have had
rouble saving the industrry even without the
Ninth Circuit's decision. A report of the House
Government Operations Committee released
last. month states that delays due. to the
regulatory process are "grossly
Physics professor Joel Primack, who was
an NRC consultant during its internal review
after the Three Mile Island accident, also
discounted the importance of the regulatory
process. "A rapid escalation in construction
costs, a drop in the rate of increase in elec-
trical consumption, and the cost of
engineering each plant individually has made
nuclear a less desirable option to utility
owners," he said.
Across the country the trend away from.
nuclear power has been evident: No plants
have been ordered the past four years and
nearly three dozen have been canceled.
LFTTERS TO THE DAILY:
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a J- ' 'r
Ufer brightened so many lives
To the Daily:
It finally hit me. Suddenly I
became aware of the differences
in ages of those seated around
me. Suddenly each. tear I had
seen swell in my mother and
father's eyes became extremely
important to me. Suddenly, I
thought I had relating to
Michigan was a thought that had
been influenced by one man. One
man whose enthusiasm never
wore out. One man whose en-
dearing love for something he
truly believed in was respected
and admired by all who knew
moment with all of the vigor and
enthusiasm that you can possibly
muster, to push yourself, to
"The guts and glue of the maize
and blue ...
"General Bo Patton ... "
Dr. Strangelove and his
ber about Robert Pormann Ufer.
Bob Ufer was, and more impor-
tantly is the spirit of Michigan. I
feel fortunate and extremely
thankful to have shared in his
spirit as it will always live within
God bless his cotton-pickin
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