Polk County Enterprise (Livingston, Tex.), Vol. 101, No. 82, Ed. 1 Sunday, October 9, 1983 Page: 4 of 96
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PAGE 4A-THE POLK COUNTY ENTERPRISE, SUNDAY OCTOBER », IMS
Edi toria I
State Capital Highlights
Special session certain
By Lyndell Williams
U.S. patrols on the Mexican border rounded up
more than 1 million undocumented aliens trying
to sneak in during the last 12 months. Is that good
news or bad? Well, it’s good in sofar as it reflects
better apprehension techniques on the part of U.S.
patrols. It may even focus some needed attention
on our worsening immigration quagmire. But it’s
mostly bad - because it illustrates the utter failure
of U.S. policy. The numbers will keep rising until
Congress addresses the issue in a comprehensive
way - by passing the Simpson-Mazzloi bill.
All the patrols in the world cannot change the *
fundamental condition that draws illegals to the
United States. That condition is a lack of jobs at
home juxtaposed with an abundance of relatively
good jobs here. Simpson-Mazzoli would reduce the
pull at one end by requiring at lease a good-faith
effort by U.S. employers to identify (and not hire)
The bill has flaws - including a “limited”
amnesty provision that will cost billions ofrdollars
and add the lure of welfare and similar benefits to
Latin Americans deciding whether or not to sneak
in. Still, Simpson-Mazzoli is the only game in
town. And why must the perfect be made the
enemy of the good?
Ultimately, there’s a second half of curing the
causes of illegal immigration - creating oppor-
tunities to the south. Whatever the fate of
Simpson-Mazzoli, moving to the United States will
remain an attractive option as long as there is a
poor private economy at home.
Those opportunities won’t emerge until Mexico
and its neighbors decide to cut taxes, stop in-
flating and deflating the national currency, and
cut back on an enormous welfare state that
chomps 60 percent of national income in some
Latin countries. The United States could help by
dropping trade barriers against Latin goods. And
by telling the International Monetary Fund to stop
bullying the Mexicans into peso devaluations and
So far, however, Congress is sticking with the
more time-honored solution of sprinkling foreign
aid to corrupt governments and bail-out loans to
the IMF. It’s easier to please the bankers than to
offend U.S. producers and unions that want a pro-
tected market. And thus, instead of a business
boom to the south, we get an immigration boom in
the North. Such are the wages of spending and
As long as inertia rules on Capitol Hill, the
number of illegal immigrants caught, and of il-
legal immigrants not caught, will continue to rise.
AUSTIN—Governor Mark White said
last week that despite House Speaker
Gib Lewis’ prediction to the contrary,
he intends to call a special legislative
session in late ‘83 or early ‘84,
presumably to raise, teacher salaries.
The Speaker early last week had sug-
gested White would wait until May or
June before calling lawmakers back to
Either way, the Governor’s signals to
state legislators running for office this
spring are very clear; he intends to
make raising teacher salaries a cam-
paign issue this spring.
His timing is just the sort of timing
that legislators do not like.
Its bad enough that the Governor will
hold their feet to the fire on this issue,
but the deed will have to be done shortly
before an election.
The problem for lawmakers who
resisted the Governor’s wishes last ses-
sion is that a tax hike will probably be
necessary to pay for the salary in-
Now, if the Governor sticks to his
schedule, they will have to come to
Austin and take a stand on the issue,
then go back on the primary campaign
trail and justify that stand to the voters.
Needless to say, many incumbents
aren’t thrilled about the hard political
row ahead, and House Speaker Gib
Lewis, who opposed the tax hike last
session, has predicted that White may
delay the special call until after the
Lewis reasons that the few extra
months might give the Texas economy
time to recover enough to allow the pay
raise without the tax hike. Lewis also
pointed out that a key task force study-
ing the education issues is not expected
to report its findings to the Governor
But most important, he said, teacher
contracts are already signed and won’t
be renegotiated until next August, so
there’s no need to rush.
Even if the Governor did delay the
special call until after the primary elec-
tions, lawmakers may not feel that
much better off for it.
With the special session lurking only
a few days after the primary, every
candidate will still have to take a stand
on the issue of whether he or she will
vote for a tax hike.
Those incumbents who manage to
win the primary will have to follow
through on their promises in the special
session, then go back home and cam-
HISPR0MI5ED ME HE'LL
paign some more...this time to justify
that vote in a general election.
The U.S. Justice Department made it
three-for-three last week by approving
the Texas congressional redistricting
Earlier this summer the feds approv-
ed redistricting plans for the Texas
House and Senate which were passed
by the Legislature.
While federal approval was a major
hurdle, all three plans still face court
challenges from a coalition of GOP and
Both groups are opposed to the way
districts are drawn in Dallas diluting
both Republican and black precincts to
the advantage of white, liberal
Democrat incumbents. They plan to
The general manager of the Texas
Low-level Radioactive Waste Disposal
Authority said his group has picked two
sites in Texas from which to select a
waste burial facility.
The two sites apparently are in
Hudspeth County in West Texas and in
Dimmit County in South Central Texas.
The waste authority has no power of
eminent domain and must buy the land
from willing sellers.
The agency plans to decide on one site
in early January.
A precedent-setting land manage-
ment agreement was reached last week
when Land Commissioner Garry
Mauro agreed to lease over 9,000 acres
in Briscoe County with designated con-
servation improvements as part of the
deal. The deal includes soil and water
conservation, development of wildlfie
and game, and such improvements as
windmills, fences and water resources.
The dean of Austin’s political
forecasters, George Christian, says
that rural voters are still making
themselves influential in Texas races,
despite appearances to the contrary.
The former press secretary to LBJ
points out that last year the top 7 coun-
ties only contributed 30 percent to the
total Texas vote, down from 40 percent
This fact contradicts current folklore
which classifies both major parties as
. * ' " ' • h
Family, federal budgets linked
When Titus Tomescu, 17, came with his parents
to this country from Romania a year ago, he was
enthusiastic about his prospects in this legendary
land of opportunity. He was confident he would
find a job and earn lots of money.
Sure enough, Titus landed a part-time job this
summer as a grocery bagger in Chicago where
the family had settled. But he was wholly un-
prepared for that capitalistic pitfall native
Americans know so well as the payroll deduction,
commonly known as witholding.
Young Tomescu’s gross pay for his first 17
hours’ work totaled $63.75. But $63.74 of this was
deducted - all but 1 cent. Federal income taxes
took $4.41, Social Security $4.27 (Please note, the
SS tax for some wage earners now almost equals
federal income taxes); state income taxes ac-
couned for another $2.23 and insurance $2. The
rest went for dues to the United Food and.Com-
mercial Workers Union that he was obliged to join
as a condition for employment.
Even more galling than the 1 cent paycheck for
his first week of work, according to Titus, was
that “the whole store made fun of me.”
To be sure, this is a dramatic example of the
deductionitis that afflicts American paychecks.
After all, Titus took home the magnificent sum of
$3.08 after the second week and this amount will
increase after he pays off the union initiation fee
and the balance of back and future dues.
But, the natural fun-poking of fellow store
employees aside, Titus Tomescu’s experience of
taking home peanuts after a week’s work is not
funny. It’s pathetic. And it makes a big statement
about the current U.S. sociological scene. It suc-
cinctly summerizes an explanation about why
millions of Americans prefer welfare to work.
: / !• \
Do you have an opinion?
Ike Pott County Enterprise en-
courages neden to submit letters
voicing their views or opinions.
The letters win be published hi
the Enterprise’s Letter to the
Editor column hi Thursday’s or
Ike letter may be written on any
subject or Issue of Interest.
Letters which are submited
must be accompanied by a name
and address and will be subject to
normal editing such as grammar,
punctuation and spelling. Ike let-
ters must be written within the
confines of good taste.
Ike letters wfll also be subject to
editing for libelous or slanderous
statements and commercialism.
To submit letters, mal them to
“Letters to the Editor,” Pott Coun-
ty Enterprise, P.O. Hoc 1271, Liv-
ingston, Texas 77351.
By CHARLES D. VAN EATON
Distributed by PRS, 1983
Dr. Van Eaton is a professor of
economics at Hillsdale College In
A a general rule, economists tend to
reject arguments based on analogy bet-
ween the family budget and the federal
government’s budget. Such argument
from analogy is rejected on the grounds
that since the family does not have the
power to levy taxes or print money,
while the federal government does,
their respective budgets are not com-
patable and any effort to draw an
analogy between them in fruitless.
I understant all this, but I am going to
draw such an analogy anyway.
Virtually every family and every
financially independent individual
understands the meaning of what one
may call the “household budget.” Some
even go so far as to write out an explicit
budget which details, item-by-item, the
maximum amoving which can be spent
on specific items. While most in-
dividuals and families, I suspect, do not
go quite that far, they do operate on the
principle that since there is only a cer-
tain amount of income available at any
time, a decision to purchase one thins is
simultaneously a decision not to pur-
chase other things. It is simply not
possible, after all, to have everything
one might like to have.
Indeed, the meaning of the household
budget is so broadly understood that it
has an important place in the core of
microeconomic theory - as in the
phrase familiar to every economist:
“The well known household budget con-
straint asserts that....” (The blank is
filled in with numerous conclusions
which logically follow.) What are^opne
of the conclusions which logically
follow from “the well known household
First, the .amount of money which can
be spent is limited by income. No mat-
ter how much one migth like to have of
this or that, limits exist. Even when it is
possible for finance purchases by debt,
the colume of credit which can be ob-
tained is subject to a limit - a limit
determined by present and expected
Second, the household budget con-
straint demands that priorities be
established. Some expenditures have to
be given precedence over others in
terms of their contribution to individual
and family well-being. In the family,
expenditures on food, clothing, shelter,
and health care will rank first for no
other reason than that without these
things the very physical existence of
the family would be threatened. All
other things have to wait.
In brief, the familiar household
budget constraint imposes limits, and
demands that fundamental choices be
made. But, of course, mistakes are
made. Some expenditures fail to
generate real benefit. When that hap-
pens, rational people redirect their ex-
penditures in another direction.
Sometimes more debt is incurred than
can be supported by income and cur-
rent living standards have to be reduc-
ed until the debt is reduced to
manageable proportions. (Some people
never pay their debts - which means
that those we extended credit are forc-
ed to reduce their standard of living.)
Whatever the situation, the household
budget constraint defines limits beyond
which one may not venutre without
Why isn’t any of this applicable to the
federal budget? Because the federal
government can levy taxes and print
money. Unlike the family budget, the
federal budget is not constrained; there
are no meaningful limits except those
generated by political fears. 4
But it has not always been that way.
In a powerful little book published in
1977 (Democracy in Deficit, New York:
Academic Press), Professor James M.
Buchanan and Richard E. Wagner
argue that prior to the 1930s the spen-
ding proclivities of elected politicians
were effectively limited by two things:
the gold standard and the deeply in-
grained belief that the federal budget
ought to be kept in balance over the
range of normal business cycles.
Together these two forces formed what
Buchanan and Wagner call “our
historical fiscal constitution."
In the environment created by out
“fiscal constitution,” politicians were
not afraid to tall their constituents that:
“it is not government’s place to do
this”; or, “government cannot afford to
spend money on such things”; or, “if
we do this we will not be able to balance
the budget.” The limits imposed by the
“fiscal constitution” forced politicians
to behave like statesmen; they had to
stand above the mob and tell their con-
stituents that if more of one thing was
wanted by one group, less of somethig
else would have to be accepted by
another group. Politicians also had to
recognize that government’s income
was limited by the capacity of the
private economy to produce real in-
come. There fore the politicians knew
that any government program which
hindered the functioning of the private
economy also hindered government
We have lost those limits and the
country has suffered - just as the fami-
ly suffers when it ignores its budget
We would be better off if those old
limits were restored. That is why there
is real merit - political as well as
economic - in the call for a constitu-
tional limitation on federal spending
and the requirement that the budget be
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White, Barbara. Polk County Enterprise (Livingston, Tex.), Vol. 101, No. 82, Ed. 1 Sunday, October 9, 1983, newspaper, October 9, 1983; Livingston, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth790273/m1/4/: accessed February 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Livingston Municipal Library.