JULY 19, 1957
NEW YORK—It was interesting to note that the President said he was against tax cuts until 1958. This may be well and good, but it probably would be more sensible for him to set certain goals for himself without trying to set dates. For, as we know, the question of tax cuts is tied closely to the matter of inflation.
In this connection, a newspaper article the other day recalled that the Secretary of the Treasury in 1954 was anxious to increase capital investments and, as an aid to business, suggested certain tax cuts. In his testimony now he acknowledges that these cuts may have been the reason, or a contributing factor, in our present inflation.
The Secretary undoubtedly was warned of this possibility in 1954, because I remember hearing a number of people interested in preventing inflation speak of it at the time.
I think it is encouraging that the President is not only anxious to prevent tax cuts as an aid to big business—for big business hardly needs aiding at the present time—but that he recognizes the need to help small business.
I wish he had seen fit to back Senator J.W. Fulbright's proposal to increase surtaxes on corporate incomes of $25,000 and over and decrease them on lesser corporate incomes. This would not have meant a loss of revenue, for there probably would have been an increase from the surtax on corporate incomes above $25,000. But it is too much to expect, I suppose, that a Republican Administration would back a Democratic bill.
The first step in the consideration of the civil rights bill by the Senate has been taken and the big question now is whether the compromises on the bill's provisions will be so great that there really will be no use in discussing it.
If that happens, there will be great disappointment in many areas of the country and the feeling that little has been gained, except, perhaps, in the education of the public through the broad discussion that has been going on.
No one will deny that Senator Lyndon B. Johnson's task of finding some kind of compromise is a difficult one. If anyone can hold the Northern and Southern Democrats together on this issue, it is Senator Johnson, for he has become a past master in the art of compromise.
Some of us wonder if he can go on compromising forever, but all of us hope that time gained will lead to some fundamental changes in the thinking of those who oppose the bill.