Every thoughtful American favors a defense program that will keep the U.S. free. The big defense job alone means high taxes. However, let’s leave that to one side. Let’s just look at the non-defense picture.
The federal non-military expenditures of our government in 1930 were $2.7 billions. Last year they were $27.8 billions. Ten times as much! Was government then times as useful to the people? And every dollar of taxes comes, one way or another from the earnings of the people.
The administration has encouraged the illusion that heavier taxation will reduce the inflation. That’s the natural idea for the power-hungry politicians around Mr. Truman to adopt. They get to spend the tax money. They spend all they get and more. If taxes do not take it, people can spend it themselves or save it.
Can you explain why it causes inflation for you to spend a dollar you earn, but does not cause inflation if the government spends it?
Suppose you buy a pound of hamburger. Sure, that’s demand against the meat supply. Could be inflationary.
Suppose you get a government job and from your tax-paid salary by a pound of hamburger. Is that less inflationary?
The right answer is fairer taxes and less spending, among other things.
No administration voice is raised for less spending. We heard Secretary of the Treasury Synder the other day insist that the people must be encouraged to be thrifty and buy bonds. He said not a word about encouraging the government to be thrifty.
The Hoover Report two years ago showed how $5.4 billions could be saved, just by improved government house-keeping. What happened. About $2 billions’ worth out of 300 definite suggestions were adopted by the last Congress. This Congress has adopted just one, and the other $3.5 billions still goes down the waste spout. Senator Byrd and other authorities say that $8 billions to $10 billions can be cut.
Plainly, the government does not have to cost $27 billions for non-military services. But it will go on costing that much and more as long as spending gets more votes than saving. Those who never protest are always counted in favor of spending.
How well does the administration know what it is doing? Last February, President Truman said that government would need $16 billions in new taxes to pay its way this year. In April, Secretary Synder thought $10 billions would do. Not the House has passed a politically designed bill for $7.2 billions – a bill that will encourage inflation, reduce the incentive to work, and that is thoroughly unscientific. It is now before the Senate.
The appropriations are still to come. Will the people get out their pens and pencils and tell Congress to stop throwing away their money?
Elections are only 14 months away! Now is a good time to be heard!