JANUARY 24, 1948
HYDE PARK, Friday—The Republicans have apparently repudiated the Baruch Plan. First, they insist on supporting the Knutson tax-reduction bill. And then, ex-President Herbert Hoover comes out assailing a continuing plan for European aid, and wants to cut the aid requested by Secretary of State Marshall to $4,000,000,000 for fifteen months. He wishes to bar gifts of capital goods and to put into food the majority of what we send abroad. Since neither he nor the Republicans as a whole have made any suggestions as to holding down the prices of food, he is courting an increase in the cost of living and a consequent resentment on the part of the American people.
Naturally, the Republicans hope that the people would blame the Democratic Administration for the disasters that would follow these measures—in inflation and high prices at home and in discouragement in Europe. The Congress, in which the Republicans have a majority, would then escape the blame. It would be wonderful for them if the people of the United States had as little political knowledge as the Republicans suppose, but I doubt if that will prove to be true.
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To cut the President's budget figures so as to offset the tax cut which the Republicans propose will mean, of necessity, nothing done on the welfare measures proposed by the President. I should be very much surprised if both the intellectuals and labor and even some of the farm voters, having read Bernard M. Baruch's proposals, do not wonder why the majority in Congress insists on pursuing measures which must bring hardship both to our own people and the people of the world.
Perhaps the Republican high command thinks that Henry Wallace will take so many votes away from the Democrats, and so little from the Republicans, that it does not matter what the Republican Party does. Victory will be theirs, they assure themselves. When any political party gets this feeling, it is time for that party to beware.
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This column is a warning to the Republicans that the voters of this country are more intelligent than they evidently think. Why should I, a Democrat, warn the Republicans, when everything they do is a help to the Democrats? I certainly should let them go on riding high if it were not that the results of their policies will bring suffering to the little people of our nation, and to the people of Europe and Asia, who suffer enough as it is.
Mr. Hoover is evidently on the side of those who wish to build up again an uncontrolled industrial Germany. The Quaker in him does not believe in war, and yet he has been close enough to history to see how two wars have been brought about by a highly industrialized Germany.