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Satei 5axiny Orocerieo It is unthinkable that Governor Connally will permit the Texas legislature to place a sales tax on groceries in the midst of the national war on poverty. Sales-taxing groceries? Of course not! Yet the signs are unmistakable that powerful forces in and behind the legislature are preparing to try to do this. Lt. Gov. Preston Smith was quoted by one paper as favoring this means of raising new revenues. We do not take this report to be conclusive and hope he will not propose, in his own name, such an obscene offense against the poor. House Speaker Byron Tunnell told a news service in Austin last week that he “would think” the legislature would abolish some of the existing exemptions to the sales tax. There are only three of any momentgroceries, drugs, and farm equipmentand only the exemption on groceries is a large enough item to begin to provide the new revenues that will be needed. We hope Mr. Tunnell, coming from an area where many Negroes and poor whites live at the ragged margins of subsistence, will not commit his great influence in the House to literally taking food out of the mouths of the poor. The Dallas Times-Herald recently reported, vaguely, that most of the Dallas legislators seemed to favor repealing some sales tax exemptions. Again, euphemism, indirection. This journal calls on every jcurnalist in Texas to refuse to accept such euphemisms; to demand to know who is for and who is against sales-taxing groceries. This odious measure is gaining ground only and simply because many public figures who know better have so far lacked the gumption to advocate taxation that will fairly supplement our present sales tax pattern. Politically one of the most plausible of the alternatives is a graduated corporate income tax, designed to fall heaviest on the largest, most profitable companies. Surely the legislature will refuse to repeal the state property tax that falls mostly on business at this time when new revenues are badly needed! Surely the legislature will not double college tuitions at the very time when President Johnson is trying to increase the educational opportunities of the poor! Well, to be blunt and plain, the 1965 legislature is now shaping up as the one that will be remembered in Texas history for lowering taxes on big business and raising taxes on buying food and going to college. It is time now for some legislators, anyway, to step-forward and take their risks to propose that the sales tax pattern be complemented and off-set by a graduated personal income tax patternpreferably a simple percentage of one’s federal tax. Governor Connally can, with one simple statement, cut off this talk of sales-taxing groceries. All he has to do is say in advance he’ll veto such a tax. So forewarned, 2 The Texas Observer the legislature would be able to approach its fiscal problems within a framework more acceptable to the people. Meanwhile, we call on every citizen to let his or her legislators know that any man voting to sales-tax groceries will be held personally responsible for further impoverishing the poor. On Wale War In the inflammation called right-wing politics in America, in the increase of Goldwatery thinking in our midst, we are not dealing with a merely national phenomenon of episodic importance; we are dealing with a fundamental danger to the entire world. President Kennedy understood the world whole, and in his great American University speech, his opener in the quest for peace in nuclear times, he said to us plainly, and with his re-election campaign just a year away, that we must not so detest communism that we contend that any great nation is without virtue. We firmly oppose Russian communism, he said on that occasion, but we can admire the virtues of the Russian people, their brave deeds, their cultdre, their accomplishments in science and space. Texans, we must resist the hate of Russia and of China, wherever we find this hate, and we find it among us. Indeed, the Observer is not so sure, any more, that a two-party system in Texas is worth the price of fail Incorporating the State Observer and the East Texas Democrat, which in turn incorporated the State Week and Austin ForumAdvocate. 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. Editor and General Manager, Ronnie Dugger. Partner, Mrs. R. D. Randolph. Business Manager, Sarah Payne. Contributing Editors, Elroy Bode, Bill Brammer, Larry Goodwyn, Franklin Jones, Lyman Jones, Georgia Earnest Klipple, Willie Morris, James Presley, Charles Ramsdell, Roger Shattuck, Dan Strawn, Tom Sutherland, Charles Alan Wright. Staff Artist, Charles Erickson. Contributing Photographer, Russell Lee. Subscription Representatives: Austin, Mrs. Helen C. Spear, 2615 Pecos, HO 5-1805; Dallas, Mrs. Cordye Hall, 5835 Ellsworth, TA 1-1205; El Paso, Mrs. Jeanette Harris, 5158 Garry Owen Rd., LO 5-3448; Houston, Mrs. Shirley Jay, 10306 Cliffwood Dr., PA 3-8682; Lubbock, Doris Blaisdell, 25]5 24th St.; Midland, Eva Dennis, 4306 Douglas, OX 4-2825; Odessa, Enid Turner, 1706 Glenwood, EM 6-2269; Rio Grande Valley, Mrs. Jack Butler, 601 Houston, McAllen, MU 6-5675; ing to contend, with every resource we have, against the right-wingers’ attempts to intimidate us into silence as they spread hate of Russia and China. Hark back to what Kennedy said, that Russia and the United States can kill 300 million men, women, and children, in an hour or a day. That is what is at stake, here in Texas, and over there in Southern California,and everywhere else the rabid right has got down its roots deep in the daily American life we are a part of. Contend, Contend for the worst offender against humanity is not the man who advocates what he sincerely believes, even if it is hate that he sincerely believes, but the man who is silent; the man who does not resist; the man who sincerely believes something and fails to insist that his belief be considered. He was the silent accomplice at Dachau and he will be the silent accomplice when and if we turn this earth, in Kennedy’s words, into a flaming funeral pyre. y Aide A young professor from Yale, Joel Finer, rose without ado in Townes Hall at the University of Texas law school and delivered a speech in memory of John Kennedy. There had been no announcement, but more than 100 had heard he would talk and came. May we pass along a suggestion Professor Finer made? November twenty-second should be set aside each year in Texas as a day of intro spection. Those who wished could take a holiday on this day, and think things over. Nov 22, 1964 San Antonio, Mrs. Mae B. Tuggle, 531 Elmhurst, TA 6-3583; Tyler, Mrs. Erik Thomsen, 3332 Lynwood, LY 4-4862; Cambridge, Mass., Victor Emanuel, 33 Aberdeen Ave., Apt. 3A. The editor has exclusive control over the editorial policies and contents of the Observer. None of the other people who are associated with the enterprise shares this responsibility with him. Writers are responsible for their own work, but not for anything they have not themselves written, and in publishing them the editor does not necessarily imply that he agreeS with them, because this is a journal of free voices. The Observer publishes articles, essays, and creative work of the shorter forms having to do in various ways with this area. The pay depends; at present it is token. Unsolicited manuscripts must be accompanied by return postage. Unsigned articles are the editor’s. The Observer is published by Texas Observer Co., Ltd., biweekly from Austin, Texas. Entered as second-class matter April 26. 1937, at the Post Office at Austin, Texas, under the Act of March 3, 1879. Second class postage paid at Austin, Texas. Delivered postage prepaid $5.00 a year; two years, $9.50; three years, $13.00. Foreign rates on request. Single copies. 25c; prices for ten or more for students, or bulk orders, on request. Editorial and Business Offices: The Texas Observer, 504 West 24th St., Austin 5, Texas. Telephone GR 7-0746. Change of Address: Please give old and new address and allow three weeks. THE TEXAS OBSERVER A Journal of Free Voices A Window to the South 58th YEAR ESTABLISHED 1906 Vol. 56, No. 23 714Mig ‘ November 27, 1964