NOVEMBER 12, 1946
NEW YORK, Monday—I have been watching with interest some of the Republican pronouncements that have come as a result of their victory last Tuesday.
First and foremost came an announcement from Senator Taft on economy. The Federal budget will be cut, he says, and while he was not as optimistic about an income tax cut as Rep. Harold Knutson, still cautiously he admitted that there might be a cut. One gathers that these economies in federal government are going to be effected through curtailing the President's war powers and doing away with wartime agencies. Of course, they are not going to affect in any way any of the services rendered by government that are of benefit to the people.
Senator Taft himself is committed to more and better housing, but, apart from that, very few things that affect the lives of the people have received his unqualified support. Therefore, it will be interesting to see how these economies are made.
Senator Vandenberg has given assurance to the foreign nations, some of whom were a little troubled, that there will be no change in our bipartisan foreign policy as a result of the change in the Congressional party in power. That must have calmed some fears! In another item I saw that Nelson Rockefeller had assured the South American countries that the program of goodwill now being carried on would most certainly be continued under Republican administration.
A third thing that several Republicans have announced in the press is their determination to see that labor is "brought into line." They have announced that there will be amendments made to the Wagner Act. In fact, it has been said that they have bills ready for introduction that would forbid strikes and the closed shop.
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Governor Dewey, in his New York State campaign, wept over the terrible conditions that he claims he had inherited in our state institutions for the insane and which he was now, at the end of four years in office, about to begin to improve.
We will wish him well in that attempt, but we also wonder what he expects to do with some of the other institutions in the state that are not really accomplishing the best possible results. I happen to believe that any institutions that deal with children and young people are of paramount importance. When a mature man goes to jail for a crime, there is very little you can do except to punish him. When a youngster starts downhill, however, there is a great deal that you can do to change his development and put his feet into better paths.
For us in New York State, it will be very interesting to watch the accomplishments of the Republican party in their second term of office.
The record of Senator-elect Irving M. Ives, particularly where international questions are involved, will be carefully scrutinized. He knows something of labor questions but has still to be tested about foreign affairs.
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Curiously enough, the Democratic party, which has been so split as a majority party, will in all probability be much more unified in the minority. Even though it is announced that the Republicans are still counting on a coalition with some of the most reactionary Southern Democrats, the few progressive Democrats are going to be working together in very much closer harmony than they have been in the past few years.