My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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WASHINGTON, Wednesday—I am becoming very familiar with the forms and applications which have to be filled out by people who desire to find some way of being useful to their government in the present crisis. Some of the people who turn up in Washington are able to support themselves and only wish to find someplace where they can contribute their efforts. Others must have a salary. Still others wish to be in the armed forces. If they cannot achieve actual combat service of some kind, they want at least to feel they are a part of the war effort, serving in some civilian capacity in the government.

I think there must be a certain amount of duplication in the information which is finally gathered on the various seekers of "opportunity." Occasionally some of the questions appear to be rather amusing and not to have much bearing on the ability actually to do the job in hand. I can see why a certain amount of information about people's personalities is necessary, but occasionally I feel we allow people rather little leeway as to privacy in their private lives.

I saw a decision in the papers the other day announced by Admiral King for the Navy, which points the way to a similar action perhaps for some of the rest of us. I wonder if we could all cut down on half the paper work we do. Admiral King thinks it will make it easier to fight the war. I think it might save everyone hours of time.

My decision to accept the opinion of the Treasury Department on joint income tax returns has brought me one of the most amusing editorials. They wonder how I dare to set myself up as a tax expert, and why I talk about something when I so obviously disagree in my final decision with many people who know much more about the subject.

The truth is that I am only too conscious of my lack of knowledge, but am trying to get my information from what I think is the best source and to interpret it as accurately as I can. Nobody is bound to agree with me or to accept what I think.

The only obligation I feel is to give an explanation as accurately as possible in the way it is given to me and to let that information reach people who then must decide for themselves as to what they think they must do. A joint income tax return, where my husband and I are concerned, will mean paying higher taxes for both of us. I do not feel that I can take exception to that if it is going to be of benefit to others.

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL