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Who Owns Texas .,, AUSTIN We reprint, with the usual incredulity we feel when we find the un-, varnished truth in an editorial in Texas daily newspaper, “Who Oww. Texas ?” from the El Paso Herald Post for Jan. 15 : IN THE FIRST FOUR MONTHS of the State’s fiscal yearSeptembei through Decemberthese amounts o taxes were collected’: On crude oil which is paid by the producers.. On gasoline which is paid by the people …. On natural gas which is paid by the producers . On cigarets which is paid by the people …. Well, who owns Texas, ture, and its government? One guess is enough. $46,587,87′ 55,550,47 13,255,52 15,525,0f its Legis1 GETTING ONE’S BEARINGS Poll taxes, $2,105,000 ; motor vehicle licenses, $56,096,000; fishing censes, $660,000 ; hunting licenses, $917,000. The breakdown of gross. receipts “passed to consumer”: Utilities, $5,835,000 ; telephone, $6, 651,000; express companies, $50,000; telegraph, $86,000 ; insurance companies, $24,257,000. What’s the cost of Texas state government? Well, the cost in 1957 exceeded costs for the same purpose in 1952 by more than a quarter of a billion dollars, according to state fiscal reports cited at the first commission meeting. For 1957, according to annual reports of the comptroller, the total of “governmental cost expenditures” was $872,680,661.77. For 1952, the total was $617,210,759.40. The difference: $225,210,902.37. Other reports cited indicated an increasing rate of spending for state government. For the first quarter of ‘,he current fiscal year, expenditures lion dollarsspecifically, $26,273,600. Spending exceeded receipts in the same quarter of fiscal 1956 by $19, 630,218. It was pointed out that the morethan-$26 million spent over income in the first quarter of fiscal ’57 occured despite a $28 million increase for the period in receipts of federal aid for highways and no reduction in crude oil production tax receipts. Now that you’ve looked to the rear, turn around and face forward again. Where are you headed? LYMAN JONES AUSTIN One way to augur out a destination is to imitate that bird of legend who flew backward from time to time so that he might see where he had been shooting, so to speak, a rear azi muth. As the state tax study commission continues the series of “fact finding” meetings it kicked off last week take a sight to the rear. As the Observer noted in a series of stories \(June 28, July 5, July 12, mission is being done by staffers of the Texas Research Leaguethe busMess-financed \(and mostly the petropast several years has done massive studies of this or that area of state government. Save for the $10,000 \(for two Legislature earmarked for the commission when it was created, TRL is paying all the commission’s bills. The commission has no offices and not even its own maildrop. “Where does the Texas state tax study commission get its mail ?” we asked of the Capitol Station postoff ice. “They don’t have a box,” we were told ; “we just throw it all in with the Texas Research League.” As for offices, the commission uses the offices of TRL, at 403 East Fifteenth Street, Austin. James McGrew, TRL’s research director, is also research director of the commission. Other commission staffers who also are TRL staffers are: Glenn Ivy, a research associate ; Allan Barnes, a research analyst ; James Hankerson, a legal analyst ; William Foster, a part-time research analyst ; and Claude Holloway, a research associate. Who pays these people ? “The Texas Research League,” McGrew told us, when we , asked that question. The study of state taxes was first suggested, in 1954, by former Gov. Allan Shivers. And in May, 1955, Hines Baker, president of Humble Oil’ arid` once TRL’s chairman, told a meeting of Fort Worth bankers : “Our research staff even now is quietly assembling tax data for use in such a study when the proper time comes.” In the 1956 annual report of the league appears this : Ct … the league is prepared to undertake a comprehensive study of the, state’s tax system if an official re. quest develops in 1957. In 1954 and again this year, Gov. Shivers urged the league to consider such a studY and several. groups have indicated similar interest. If this interest should result in an acceptable official 4 quest, this project would have first call on the league’s budgetary and manpower resources.” Texas Research League is the suc cessor to the Texas Economy Cont mission, first suggested publicly Shivers. The latter was set up by ‘a: small group of business leaders the help of Stuart MacCorkle, direc-‘ for of the Institute of. Public Affaiit; of the University of Texas, and If , conservative. 1 WASHINGTON Speaker Sam Rayburn, who made a special plea to the House of Representatives for a quarter of a million dollars to investigate the Federal Communications Commission plus other regulatory agencies, has now given his official OK to a whitewash. When the Rayburn-created commit, tee unearthed mink-coatism inside the FCC, of which Rayburn’s nephew, Bob Bartley, is a commissioner, Mr. Sam agreed that the probe should be diverted to other channels. However, this column has done some probing of its own and here are some of the operations which Mr. Sam doesn’t want investigated. One involves FCC chairman John Doerfer, Republican of Wisconsin, who took his wife on a cross-country trip to Oklahoma City in 1956, then to Spokane, Wash., then’ back to Washington, D.C. The first leg of the trip was paid for by Oklahoma City’s station KWTV. To cover expenses on the balance of the trip, the National Association of Radio and Television Broadcasters handed Doerfer $575. Doerfer presides over an agency supposed to be impartial and judicial in deciding who shall receive radio and TV licenses worth millions and whether these licenses shall be renewed. Doerfer compounded the impropriety by turning round and charging the taxpayers for his own travel from Oklahoma City to Spokane, then from Spokane to Washington, D.C. On top of this, he turned in vouchers to the government for $12 per diem expense money. Edgar Bell, manager of KWTV in Qklahoma City, was asked by this column how much Chairman Doerfer was paid to come to Oklahoma City. “T will tell you the same thing I told the congressional committee,” he replied, ,”This is none of your business.” When chairman Doerfer was called for comment, he avoided the Gallo On a second call, his secretary was told what the inquiry entailed and was’ asked whether the chairman wished to give any explanation. The secretary made it clear the FCC chairmaryklid not wish to comment. This is the conduct of the chairman of one of the most important agencies in Washington, which Speaker Sam of Texas’s Bureau of Business Research whose writings often reflect a conservative view of Texas business and economic conditions. Chairman Fly at the Dallas meeting seemed to be on the defensive about the relationship of the commission to the league \(although only the Observer has to date mentioned the interlocking the Dallas hearing with a statement of the commission’s purposes. Among the things he said: “I want to make it clear that these men \(he had just named McGrew and work for us.” “This commission will make up its Fred Schmidt, secretary of the state AFL-CIO, armed with official state fiscal reports, told the first meeting of the commission that Texas, in the fiscal year ending last Aug. 31, collected more than $649 million in “outright sales taxes,” “taxes paid by individuals without any regard for ability to pay,” or in “gross receipts taxes passed to consumer.” “Outright sales taxes,” said Schmidt, brought in a total of $263, 289,000. This was the breakdown: Admissions, $489,000 ; radio sales, $1,856,000; cosmetics, $713,000; playing cards, $31,000 ; cigarettes, $45, 283,000; liquor, $11,833,000 ; wine, $1,100,000 ; gasoline, $164,702,000; ale, $151,000 ; motor vehicle sales, $20,100,000 ; beer, $17,031,000. Taxes levied “without regard for ability to pay” were listed this way; Rayburn agreed to ignore despite the fact that he urged Congress to appropriate $250,000 for an investigation. Challenge to Lyndon Johnson The basic problem of the Demo cratic Party, one-man domination of its policies, was raised even before Congress convened by a freshman Senator, Pat McNamara of Michigan. He wrote Senate Democratic Leader Johnson a blunt letter reminding him, in effect, that Democratic Senate caucuses were supposed to be democratic with a small d, not dictated to by one man. The public doesn’t know it, but not since last January have Democratic senators held a caucus. Under previ Drew Pearson ous Democratic leaders,: caucuses were held every month or so to decide policy. When the late Alben Barkley was Democratic leader, he held caucuses every couple of months. Johnson, however, doesn’t relish discussion, decides party policy largely on his own. This was the chief reason why exPresident Truman, Adlai Stevenson, Senator Kefauver and chairman Paul Butler set up a Democratic Advisory Committee. They didn’t want the Democratic Party being dominated by one man, especially a man who bows to the oil and gas interests of Texas. So when Sen. McNamara received Johnson’s notice that a Democratic caucus had been called to “brief” the Democrats on the work of Johnson’s senate preparedness committee it raised some hackles on McNamara’s neck. No. 1, he figured there were other problems facing the Democrats than being briefed on Johnson’s preparedness committeeamong them more than 100,000 men out of work in Michigan. No. 2, he recalled that Johnson had chairmanned the Unpreparedness Committee for two years without doing anything about missiles ; and that it was Symington of Missouri and Jackson of Washington who had been the Senators to warn the nation long ago regarding our missile lag. So the blunt-spoken senator from Michigan who started life as a pipe fitter’s apprentice in Quincy, Mass., wrote a letter to Lyndon: “The current searching looks at Our it, certainly are important,” he said. “Without minimizing the importance, however, I am very disappointed that the ‘briefing’ is the only item listed on the agenda of an extremely rare conference of Democratic senators.” This was a direct dig at Johnson’s failure to call a Democratic caucus for a whole year. Then, referring to Johnson’s habit of deciding policy by huddling with a handful of cronies, McNamara continued : “Certainly there are other major issues of concern to the country. I am not naive enough to assume that the Democratic senators can reach Unanimity on every program or policy, but this should not rule out efforts to form a Democratic legislative program arrived at by a majority of us and not by just a handful.” Johnson promptly phoned McNamara in Detroit, assured him other problems such as unemployment and inflation, would be up for discussion at the caucus. Johnson went further and put them on the agenda. However, they were never discussed at the closed-door meeting. It will be interesting to see if Johnson calls another meeting to discuss them. Opposed to Education Now that there’s so much talk about the American lag in education, it might be a good idea for the voters to know just which of their congressmen voted against education last summer. Here are the congressmen from the State of Texas who voted to take tidelands oil away from the 48 states to benefit Texas, Louisiana, and California but who voted against aid to all the children of the nation : Bruce Alger, the lone Republican from Texas ; Jack Brooks, Omar Burleson, Martin Dies, John Dowdy, O. C. Fisher, Frank Ikard, Paul Kilday, Joe Kilgore, George Mahon, Wright Patman, W. R. Poague, Walter Rogers, J. T. Rutherford, Albert Thomas, Olin Teague, Clark Thompson, Homer Thornberry, Lindley Beckworth, all Democrats. THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 3 January 24, 1958 Present chairman of the league is J. D. Thomas of Fort Worth, president of Texas Electric Services. What does the league think of its involvement in the importantand certain to be highly controversial area of who shall pay the cost of state government in Texas for the balance of the 20th Century? Can the league, given its makeup; defend what Fred Schmidt, in his presentation of labor’s tax point-of-view at the Dallas meeting, called “value judgments”? “We realize the implications of it,” said. TRL’s executive director, Alvin Burger, to the Observer several months ago ; an objective study is intended, he said. Who’s on the commission ? Three state senators are on it : William S. Lufkin; and David Ratliff, Stamford. All three are conservatives. Lock, for example, is employed by the Ernest Kurth enterprises of East Texas. Two businessmen are on it : Hugo Lowenstern, an Amarillo real estate man who was “urged” for appointment to the commission, according to McGrew, by “some statewide real estate association,” and John McKee, an executive of the Ford Motor Co. in Texas. McKee’s from Dallas. McKee and Lowenstern are conservatives. Three conservative state representatives are on the commission : Richard Slack, Pecos ; John Huebner, Bay City ; and Frates Seelig -son, San Antonio. Ninth member of the commission is Dr. John Stockton of the University Rayburn OK’s FCC ‘Whitewash’