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Aug. 7, 1996


By Mac McKinnon

Gone with the Wind'

ahead at the box office

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What movie do you believe outranks all others in history as far as box
office dollars, adjusted for inflation?
Suprisingly, the answer to that is "Gone With the Wind," which came out
in 1939. It is still watched regularly on video and is broadcast on
television occasionally. I'm sure that people from other countries had
an opportunity to view it during the recently concluded Olympics.
The total for that epic for the estimated gross in 1996 dollars was
$859 million. This figure and others to be listed were arrived at by
Exhibitor Relations, a Los Angeles firm that tracks box office receipts,
using today's dollars to calculate the grosses of movies old and new,
according to a report in U.S. News & World Report.
The second highest rated film is Star Wars, released in 1977, grossing
$628 million.
The following is the list with the year of release and the gross in
dollars adjusted for inflation.
3. The Ten Commandments, 1956, $570 million.
4. The Sound of Music, 1965, $568 million.
5. Jaws, 1975, $557 million.
6. E.T., 1982, $552 million.
7. Doctor Zhivago, 1965, $540 million.
8. Jungle Book, 1967, $483 million.
9. Snow White, 1937, $474 million.
10. Ben-Hur, 1959, $468 million.
11. 101 Dalmations, $458 million.
12. The Exorcist, 1973, $410 million.
13. The Sting, 1973, $410 million.
14. Jurassic Park, 1993, $375 million.
15. The Graduate, 1967, $372 million.
16. The Godfather, 1972, $368 million.
17. Return of the Jedi, 1983, $364 million.
18. Fantasia, 1940, $361 million.
19. The Empire Strikes Back, 1980, $361 million.
20. Forrest Gump, 1994, $346 million.
How many of these pictures have you seen? I've seen them all except for
The Exorcist and I've only watched part of Fantasia. And I've enjoyed
them all and wouldn't hestitate to see them again, except I have no
interest in seeing something as scarey as The Exorcist.
The only one I was really disappointed in was Jurassic Park which I
guess didn't fit the hype about the movie although it was enjoyable.
Which new movies will join this elite group? I don't know but several
this year are making big bucks including Independence Day and Twister.
I was really suprised a number of movies weren't on the list, including
Harrison Ford's series on Indiana Jones which all made big bucks and a
number of other Disney movies.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Mac McKinnon is editor and publisher of the Pecos
Enterprise. His column appears on Wednesday and Friday.


Winning lottery

can be too taxing

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What will you do if your six numbers come up and you win millions in
the lottery?

Drive to Austin, check into a plush hotel, show up at the claims office
bright and early in the morning, grab your check and set out on a new
life, which starts with telling your boss goodbye and sailing away on a
long vacation.


Not if you're smart and don't want to run the risk of sending your
children into bankruptcy.

The heirs of more than one Lotto Texas winner wish their relative had
carried out a little more financial planning before taking the first
check. And more than one of Texas' newest millionaires is worried about
what the future might hold for their families who initially seemed so

The problem is that if a lottery winner dies before collecting the
payments that are spread over 20 years, the Internal Revenue Service
comes along and expects the heirs of lottery winners to pay estate taxes
on the entire lottery jackpot all at once. That means family members
could be, and have been, required to cough up millions of dollars to
cover federal taxes even though it will be years yet before they receive
the money with which to do it.

Obviously, this was not what the lottery was set up to do, and a
solution must be found.

The easiest and simplest solution, naturally, is the least likely to
happen. That would be for the IRS to change its procedure to allow heirs
to pay the federal taxes in installments as they receive the winnings,
which probably would be more beneficial to the IRS in the long run,

Even though this would solve the whole problem, don't expect the IRS to
implement such a sensible change.

The next best thing would be for lottery winners to refrain from
immediately claiming their money until they have established trust funds
to shield most of their earnings from estate taxes.

But the Texas Lottery Commission can help, too. One way would be for
the state to provide heirs with a lump sum payment to meet IRS demands.
Another would be to follow the example of other state that allow a
winner to ``sell'' their future income to a financial institution, which
would give them a large sum to put in a separate trust for heirs.

Winning the lottery was meant to be a prize to celebrate, not a burden
to dread and a hardship to pass on to one's family.

-Abilene Reporter-News


Fighting poverty with welfare reform

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Everybody knows that the current welfare system is broken. The question
is how we can fix it. How do we keep the welfare system from destroying
families, eroding the work ethic, and trapping people in a cycle of
government dependency? Instead of providing a temporary safety net for
families going through tough times, our big-government welfare system
has become a hopeless trap for generations of men, women and children.
Last week, Congress passed welfare reform legislation that will sweep
away six decades of corroded federal welfare policy. While there was
bipartisan support behind this welfare bill, there are still some
welfare reform opponents who cry that this bill is another plan which
will starve children, freeze the elderly and leave people out on the
streets. This is not true. The truth is that opponents want to keep
their power by keeping the status-quo. The rest of us know that we must
act now to help the poor get out of the poverty cycle.
The current system hurts children and encourages family breakups.
Today's illegitimacy rate among welfare families is 50 percent and
rising. This is not acceptable. As Americans we should not stand for
this. The new welfare bill increases efforts to establish paternity and
fight out-of-wedlock births and gives states tools for reducing
out-of-wedlock births. The bill also gives states the tools they need to
crack down on absent parents and ensure they pay their obligations to
their children.
The current system creates disincentives to work. It doesn't take a
rocket scientist to understand that the best anti-poverty program is a
job. The new welfare bill will require able-bodied welfare recipients to
work after two years or lose benefits. This new approach encourages,
rather than discourages, individuals to take personal responsibility for
The best part about the new welfare bill is that it moves welfare
decision-making power and money to the states and the communities where
they rightfully belong. The bill replaces four federal welfare programs
with a block grant, giving states flexibility and control to design the
solutions that best fit their local needs. Finally Texans will decide
what welfare plan is best for Texas.
While we have a long way to go on the road to recover the welfare
system, we finally have a few new paths to choose from. We all know that
what works for Massachusetts does not necessarily work for Texas. It's
about time that Congress stop imposing `Washington-knows-best,
one-size-fits-all' solutions on Texas.


Publish your book

with `self publisher'

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Have you ever wanted to publish a book?

Maybe it's the great American novel. Or a family history. Or a book
filled with information for your clients.

Self publishing gives you an exciting new option to get your ideas and
yourself into pring.

Dorothy Kavka and Dan Heise have worked in the book trade in numerous
capacities, and now they have teamed up to publish their own book about
how to publish your own book.

The Successful Self Publisher tells you everything you need to know,
from getting started to names, addresses and publications you need to
know once you get your book printed.

You will learn about equipment and production basics, production,
editing and design, typesetting, design of cover and dustjacket, working
with a commercial printer, pricing, profits and discounts, developing a
marketing plan, developing your marketing tools, the marketing timeline,
identifying and reaching your target audience, distributors, wholesalers
and other outlets and the Internet and other less-known markets and

Published by Evanston Publishing Inc., 800-594-5190. ISBN:
1-879260-38-7, $19.95.

-Peggy McCracken
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Copyright 1996 by Pecos Enterprise
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
This page prepared in askSam
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