Page 5


Our Youth, Good Syntax, And Dirksen MARSHALL It has been eight years since the Great Crusade moved in on Washington, waist deep in piety and platitudes. Now this has passed, and as it passes we all know we may have need of a boy scout, or an ex-boy scout, in the White Housea tenderfoot of eighteen months’ service and not one of those inveterate plodders with a horse blanket full of merit badges. His inauguration began with a snowstorm, moved on to a traffic snarl, and reached a climax in a ceremony that resembled a group of mad hatters playing musical chairs, without the doormouse or a pot to put him in, an ending characterized also by a Catholic cardinal, in the tradition of blood raw East Texas Protestant evangelism, talking fire out of the lectern. B UT AS THE YOUNG SENATOR spoke for the first time as president, even an untrained ear could understand the literary value of his address ; if there was a ghost writer here, his haunts were halls of study. Later, it was eminently gratifying to learn that there had been no ghost, that the penciled notes for this remarkable inaugural address, already a part of our historical lore, as well as the first draft, were in the hand of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, and safe under lock and key. The boy scout image faded, and I breathed the hope as the president spoke that our press might find more to emphasize in the future than his youth. For it is because of his very youth that we should take heart. Senility has gripped us as a nation long enough. Worst of all, it has seeped into our colleges, where most students should be wild young radicals, with far too ample time for cerebral ossification and social obsolescence as maturity deepens. A fresh approach has appeared, and instead of Davy Crockett, or his intellectual counterpart, being king of the wild frontier, we should welcome the discoverer of a new frontier in ideas. How cornforting to note that fear and conformity will not be given a welcome entry beyond its borders, but that boldness and pragmatism may go the limit. Even a high official in the FBI said in Dallas last week that one is not a communist simply because he believes we should recognize Red China . . . 1 T WOULD BE unfair to say that Lyndon had foreknowledge that most government contracts might be let through the secretary of the navy, and that all Brown and Root personnel are being taught to sing “Anchors Aweigh.” Maybe he has been uprooted from these connections and has shed them as Pres. Kennedy shed his security holdings. Let us so believe until the contrary appears .. . As the public scene changes there are, of course, some deep regrets. Lovers of the modern art form will regret that both Ike and Casey Stengal are leaving the limelight at the same time, for who will do battle with old solid syntax in their absence, who will espouse the scattered sentence? Then there is Sen. Dirkson and his visits to the White House. He came away deploring the beating of an old bag of bones while Mrs. Luce was being considered for service, and warning against thrashing old straws when Mr. Lewis F. Strauss was being pushed for appointment. Within the month he remarked that Ike was like the old cow without pedigree, he always gave all the milk he had. It might have been added : low in butter-fat content perhaps, but nonethe less all. FRANKLIN JONES The Tax Committee AUSTIN By all odds the most important committee in the two houses this session, because of the pressing need for additional revenue and also because of the historic circumstances under which moderates and liberals have been summoned to control it, is the committee on revenue and taxation. It begins its hearings early next week, confronted at the start with the governor’s “emergency” deficitretiring proposals. How far will it accompany the governor in his temporary measures? More crucial in long-range terms, what course will it choose in meeting permanent revenue demands? In general there are five broad alternatives before it, to be used either separately or in some feasible combination : a general sales tax, a personal income tax, an increase in selective sales taxes and new selective levies, the payroll tax, and increased taxes on natural resources. The latter approach would in itself raise a central question : should the Texas independents , or the large majors bear the increases? This early in the session, in a situation now marked mostly by its fluidity, it might be well to ponder the political allegiances and voting records of each man on the committee : Charles Ballman of Borger, chairman, is widely respected on both sides of the aisle. Quiet-spoken moderate, with conservative voting record on taxes, he has been very close to Phillips Oil in past sessions. He was a surprise choice to many, who had expected veteran gas-taxer George Hinson would get the job. Voted last time against the abandoned property measure, corporate profits tax, severance beneficiary natural gas tax, as well as against amendments offered by Rep. Pearcy of Temple in first and third special sessions killing the $50 and $100 deductible sales taxes. “This is one of the most independent committees the legislature has ever seen,” he told the Observer. He said he is not committed against any tax and will reserve judgment to “see what solutions are offered.” George Hinson of Mineola, moderate liberal, is one of the East Texas “populists,” an old-line governor’s man who carried Daniel’s pipeline tax in the last session. Has just introduced the governor’s three percent increase in the gas production tax. Supported abandoned properties in 1959, voted against the corporate profits tax and sales taxes. “I’ve seen enough to know we don’t need to have a general sales tax,” he said this week. Deficit retirement program should emerge from committee “as quickly as possible.” George Preston of Paris, another “East Texas” liberal, voted against corporate profits tax, for abandoned properties in regular session but against it in first special session, and for pipelines tax. Ronald Bridges of Corpus Christi, moderate liberal considered to be more “practical” after LBJ fashion, generally a governor’s man, he cast votes last time against abandoned properties, corporate profits, general sales taxes, supported the severance beneficiary tax. Max Carriker of Roby, former president of the Farmers’ Union, is solid liberal on practically all issues, including taxation. Voted in ’59 for escheats, corporate profits, severance beneficiary, against sales tax. Sam Collins of Newton in East Texas, moderate liberal, is business “acclimated” but has a definite rapport with House liberals. Voted in last session for escheats and pipelines tax, against corporate profits and sales taxes. Jim Cotten of Weatherford, generally considered a moderate conservative, has tactical approach to all issues; as one member said, “he finds flaws in most affirmative positions.” Known to have no allegiance to the lobby, but his tax stands cannot be predicted. A “small spender,” as chairman of powerful appropriations committee will have a strong conser vative influence. Publicly non-committal at this stage on tax programs, he says the committee is “a pretty good cross-section.” Voted against abandoned property and sales tax, favored corporate profits and severance beneficiary. Bob Eckhardt of Houston, an outstanding liberal leader generally conceded to be one of the two or three top authorities in House on oil and gas taxation. Chosen “outstanding freshman legislator” in 1959. Introduced graduated oil production tax last session, has tax package this time consisting of that measure, state tax on stocks and bonds, corporate net profits tax coupled with repeal of the present franchise tax, and tax on dedicated reserves. Situation is different from ’59, he said. “This House will write the tax bill. Last time the House only had the choice of going with their governor or their speaker, but no choice of their own.” Against sales tax last time, he favored pipelines tax, escheats bill, corporate profits. Wilson Foreman of Austin, moderate conservative, former president of UT student body. As with rest of the Austin delegation, his politics are under constant watch of home constituency, especially state employees eager for pay raises. For this reason, he may be likely to vote for any strong tax measure with chance of passing. Supported escheats and pipelines tax in ’59, opposed corporate profits, favored $50 deductible sales tax, opposed $100 deductible. Tony Korioth of Sherman, solid liberal with most liberal vote in House in ’59he researched and led the gutting of HB 727, which taxed everything from footpowder to barnyards. Has two taxes of his own : a “utilities excise” and expansion of franchise tax to include national banks. “I heard the lobby groaning in the gallery when the committee was announced,” he said. Against sales tax in ’59, for escheats, pipelines, corporate profits. Minton Murray of Harlingen, older and well-liked, staunch conservative and active member of the Waggoner Carr team in last session. Against escheats first time but for it second, against pipelines tax, voted for sales taxes. Bill Pieratt of Giddings, moderate liberal, close to Speaker Turman, friendly with more liberal members, he voted in ’59 against escheats and sales tax, for corporate profits and The Senate AUSTIN Lt. Gov. Ben Ramsey didn’t hum “The Yellow Rose of Texas” on his comb. And none of the senators was nervy enough to introduce a companion resolution praising Thomas P. Hughes of Williamson County who, despite the hoots of the fuzzy patriotic mob in the gallery and the insults and threats of his colleagues on the floor, was the first of only eight men to vote No at the Secession Convention in Austin on Feb. 1, 1861. Otherwise, the Senate’s commemoration of the Secession centennial this week was about perfect. It gave Sen. Dorsey Hardeman of San Angelo a chance to work into his resolution a close comparison between the Yankee government of that day and the federal government of this, whereasing: “The present trend and practice has resulted, and is resulting, in the violation of ‘independent authority of the states’ and the patent substitution of a ‘government of men for a government of laws’ through the invocation of government by injunction through judicial usurpation of constitutional guarantees and by the prostitution of legislative enactments” et cetera. The rest of it was of such a tone that one old newsman whispered down the press table, “If Dorsey only Remembers had a saber, I do fear the U.S. Postoffice would fall today.” But Sen. George Moffett soon grabbed the colors out of Hardeman’s hands and continued the charge up Politician’s Bluff, while the Girl Scout visitors in the gallery sat popeyed. In one rhetorical flourish Moffett conributed a new definition of nobility. He said : “This struggle has been properly described by no less eminent a historian than Sir Winston Churchill as being ‘the noblest war of all’ for it was a war where families were often divided, and brother fought against brother for principle and not for profit.” Three University of Texas ROTC cadets marched around the Senate chambers in Civil War uniforms and some senator rose to decry the fact that UT didn’t have enough money to outfit more than 14 ROTC “Rebs.” Sen. Doyle Willis of Fort Worth responded : “I’ll write out a check right now for one uniform if the university will use the money to buy a private uniform. I’ll do that in memory of my grandfather and his two brothers who were, so far as I can find out, the only privates in the Confederate army.” B.S. THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 5 Feb. 4, 1961 Sketches of Twenty-One pipelines tax. Mauro Rosas of El Paso, liberal, described by one member as “solid as Gibraltar,” he opposed sales taxes, favored liberal program. Charles Sandahl of Austin, Turman conservative, is hometowner like Foreman, may be amenable to any effective tax plan. Voted 1-1 on escheats in ’59, favored sales tax, against corporate profits, for severance beneficiary. Dick Slack of Pecos, the most conservative member of the committee, is close to the oil and gas lobby. Favored escheats and sales tax, opposed pipelines tax, corporate profits. Franklin Spears of San Antonio, another liberal leader who led San Antonio liberals to near-sweep last spring. Co sponsoring governor’s franchise tax. “The problem,” he said, “is to try to separate the deficit taxes from the permanent ones. We don’t want to use up any good permanent tax measures on the deficit.” Against sales tax in ’59, favored liberal proposals. Ted Springer of Amarillo, laborliberal from a generally conservative constituency, regarded by House liberals as “brave” politician. Voted 1-1 on severance beneficiary, against sales tax, fcr corporate profits, escheats. Vernon Stewart of Wichita Falls, labor-oriented moderate liberal, voted with House liberals on tax measures last session. Maceo Stewart of Galveston, mod , erate liberal, one of two freshmen on committee, former president Texas Young Democrats. Has a tax package, one-third excise, one-third franchise, one-third natural gas, coupled with repeal of various selective sales taxes. Also has a 3 percent hotel-motel tax earmarked for tourist and industrial programs. Murray Watson of Mart, moderate conservative, voted against escheats bill and sales tax in ’59, favored pipelines tax and corporate profits. Charley Wilson of Trinity, moderate liberal, is the other freshman. An Annapolis graduate who came home on furlough to campaign, he believes the “big lobbies will have little influence” on this committee, says that although the committee as a whole is “unfavorable” to a sales tax, he personally will not discount it because “the state has such a great need for increased appropriations that we’re past the point where the source of these funds is critical.” W.M.