Bartlett /Wears Exclusively in the Texas Observer JOHNSON’S BOSWELL Let those flatter who fear, it is not an American art.JEFFERSON The People Still Carry the Burden eAllar for Attar, Wharo the alierence? 0 the hypocrisy ! Great Doubletake, how many times do we have to listen to Price Daniel say selective sales taxes are not sales taxes? As the Dallas News wrote in a fit of candor about its own hypocrisy, the cigarette and gasoline taxes are really “general selective sales taxes,” because “They produce more revenue than any other single tax classification. And together they probably touch more individual pockets.” Go ahead, said the News, and pass a tax on 50 or 100 items, “But, by specifically entitling it a ‘special sales tax,’ members of the legislature can go home with easy consciences to face their constituents.” Selective sales taxes are paid directly by consumers. They are regressivethat is, the poorer you are, the more of your income they take, proportional to what you have. They curtail consumer purchasing power. When they are taxes on things almost everybody uses, like gasoline, cigarettes, cars, \(all of which Daniel pro’dollar for dollar they are the same thing ethically as a J4.itt./.4! The Young Democrats of the state raised some hallelujahs to their ideals like young people are supposed to do last weekend. All the cloying attention Senator Johnson has been receiving in the Republican press has not dazzled them out of their liberal understandings. The Majority’s Leader’s razzamatazz, Treatment A, laying on of the hands, or whatever, blurs but does not hide his opportunism, his contempt for democratic processes, and his willingness to ignore his party’s platform when it is too liberal for him. We commend the Young Democrats for their good judgment, but also especially for their courage, in calling to heel this highly publicized symbol of a compromised liberalism. Young people understand better than most what he has ceased standing for. The youth wing of the Texas party also adopted a number of advanced and idealistic resolutions which make it clear that they stand well ahead of their seniors in social courage. One 1 7n an craw Writing a bad law to fawn upon the momentary and inconsequential convenience of one powerful man is unworthy of democratic men. The Bell bill does this. Senator Johnson does not want to be bothered running for renomination to the Senate in 1960 while he is trying to dominate the Democratic national convention, so the Bell bill would cut down the campaigning time for every other candidate ; put a premium on saturation TV and press ads only monied candidates can afford ; and deprive poorboy candidates of volunteer workers students, farmers, lawyerswhose free time falls in the summer. We do not believe the legislature would so affront the people’s intelligence nor so degrade lawmaking for the general welfare. Rep. Kilgarlin should demand a record vote on bringing out of the state affairs committee his bill for a 50 cents an hour state minimum wage. Anybody who will vote against such an elementary decency ought to have to answer for it to his constituents. general sales tax. They soak the poor and spare the rich. Tuesday night during the Governor’s telecast did you watch the pea the shells? Jon Ford : “Now, Governor, what is the real difference between a general sales tax and a mass of individual or so-called selective sales taxes such as we are paying already on automobiles, cigarettes, gasoline, liquor, etc., down the line ?” Daniel: “Well, there’s a big difference, Jon. A general sales tax is on everything you buy … Now, on selective taxes, they’re based more on abiltake cigarettes, and gasoline, motor vehicles, liquor, and beer … It’s better to go to the selective taxes because then you don’t hit everybody on everything they buy.” \(Where’s the more on gasoline than a cent on everything I buythat’s the difference.” \( Where is Now gentlemen, sell us out if you must, but don’t take us for fools. “How many times,” Governor Daniel asks us, “have you heard others who talk about this tax problem mention the most important principle of all ability to pay?” We have heard you mention it enough, Governor, to marvel that you keep stressing the principle you are violating. Frates Seeligson, of course, makes the valid case against this hypocrisy: a tax on consumers is a tax on consumers is a tax on consumers. But he wants to go all the way on the theory that if you’re going to skin the rabbit, you might as well boil him too. Is there no .way out? Of course there is. The crucial cliche the boys have dreamed up to fend off progressive taxes is an argument that consumers will get stuck no matter what tax is passed. \(If so why all the arguSam Wood, friend of the people and Cowboy Bill, and Price \(“Ability to Wood : “Governor, it’s often been said and I think it usually is true, that taxes ultimately are paid by the consumer. Don’t you agree with that ?” Daniel : “Sam, to some extent, that’s true, but not completely. It’s true, and I’ve heard that said recently, that the consumer is going to pay anyway. What your Governor wants to do … it to let the consumers of other states -share this thing with us.” \(Look out The truthah, the truth, so little in demand in the Capitol, dear readers is that the McGregor-Jamison personal income tax \(with all present ton corporate profits tax, or the Eckhardt graduated production tax on the 17 largest oil companies, are taxes based on ‘Ability to Pay; and the only reason they are not advocated by people like Daniel and Waggoner Carr is, they don’t have the guts. Published by Texas Observer Entered as second-class matter, April 26, 1937, at the Post Office at Austin, Texas. under the Act of March 3, 1879. APRIL 11, 1959 Ronnie Dugger Editor and General Manager Larry Goodwyn, Associate Editor Sarah Payne, Office Manager Published once a week from Austin, Texas. Delivered postage prepaid $4 per annum. Advertising rates available on request. Extra copies 10c each. Quantity prices available on orders. MARSHALL Of late the Johnson boom has exploded with such national violence that Senator Monroney thought it wise to apply the brakes in his Abilene address with the old chestnut that it was good the senator was not running for the nomination, in view of the work required of him. The speaker seems to be the only one in the Western Hemisphere who does not think the majority leader is running with all he’s got; and he’s got plenty. Until one reads in black on white the functions the Senate and party have surrendered to Johnson, they are unbelievable. He has been given a mountain of carrots and sticks with no checks whatever on their use. He completely dominates party policy, patronage, and honors in the Senate. Some consider this party strength and solidarity; the pragmatic know it for neo-fascism. A party which places so much power in one man loses the virility needed for fresh thought and ‘action. In the present Senate, the aspirants for the Democratic presidential nomination other than L.B.J. will soon find their hopes going the way of the ten little Indians. Mr. Big, we are oft reminded, gives the stop and go on bills brought up or passed. The floor We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. We are dedicated to the whole truth, to human values above all interests, to the rights of man as the foundation of democracy; we will take orders from none but our own conscience, and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth to serve the interests of the powerful or cater to the ignoble in the human spirit belongs to others at his sufferance, and a senator may look good, bad, or not at all, almost at his whim. The first little Indian to get a whiff of grape, along with all other civil rights liberals, was Senator Hubert Humphrey, at the very beginning of the session. The civil rights bill proposed carries the L.B.J. brand, and it is satisfactory enough to produce for its author the support of Congressman Adam Clayton Powell of Harlem if some conditions can be met. That the senator has the wherewithal to meet them if he wishes, while yet receiving the praise of the White Citizens’ Council-oriented Dallas News, is not to be doubted. Senator Kennedy is strong, but he will be stronger if his labor bill can be promptly passed; it will be his bill unless the LBJ brand is stamped on something a bit different. There are predictions this may happen, which may themselves change the slippery plans of the Texas Machiavelli. Even if the party nominates and elects ‘a liberal Democrat, the middle of the road miasma of the present congressional axis would have to be dealt with in 1961. This was recently predicted by Johnson’s Boswell, William S. White. In his syndicated column he gleefully pointed to what he calls the present `middle-road regency that is deeply lodged in control of Congress.” Whoever becomes president, he continues, the gracious permission of the Regency must be sought for his success. Otherwise, the elected executive will embrace defeat as he enters upon his duties, or, as Boswhite writes from his seat beside the throne in The Citadel, “This regency, in a word, has now and will long maintain so much power that it could paralyze and break any Democratic administration before it had been in office three months.” Bear in mind Lyndon’s Boswhite is no toss pot or romancer, as was his namesake ; and he speaks from cold calculating conviction, with much to bear him out. FRANKLIN JONES THE TEXAS OBSERVER Co., Ltd. HOUSTON OFFICE: 1012 Dennis, Mrs. R. D. Randolph. EDITORIAL and BUSINESS OFFICE: 504 West 24th St., Austin, Texas. Phone GReenwood 7-0746.
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