DECEMBER 8, 1958
NEW YORK—I have literally been on the road the last few days, but I have enjoyed it in spite of the fact that a trip to Wilkes-Barre, Pa., which I intended to take by air, had to be made by car in a snowstorm. The three-and-a-half-hour trip turned into one of nearly five hours, but I arrived in time for my scheduled speech.
Next morning, fog blanketed the entire Wyoming Valley of Pennsylvania. Again I had to motor back, this time making the trip in three and three-quarter hours. In the afternoon I was off to Boston, and all went well for flying. I returned next night a little late, but still within reasonable limits. I very much enjoyed my visit to Simmons College in Boston, where I met my friend, Mr. St. John, head of Choate School, at the meeting of New England School and College groups on Friday morning. Now I am home with no trips scheduled for a little while, but with plenty of work ahead.
I notice that our latest rocket again failed to reach the moon. I don't really care one way or another about this just now. I am more concerned about what happens here at present, though the future may be more affected by what we discover when we finally do touch the moon. A significant item in the news this morning, for example, really affects us more. I refer to the speech made in New York by the Director of the Budget, who stated that "there would be significant cuts in the `60 U. S. budget" which would be made in the non-defense items.
Cutting the budget is probably essential in both Federal, state and local expenditures. A very knowledgeable financier writes me: "There is only one way to stop inflation, and that is for the Federal government and every sub-division of our government to stop spending money which they haven't got, but particularly to stop issuing indebtedness upon which amortization of the principal and interest have to be paid, unless accompanied by the tax to do so."
The trouble, of course, is that when you cut expenses, each department feels that its job is the most important one to be done, and nobody wants to take a cut. The general public will have to do some hard thinking on this. I believe we are willing to pay taxes when we are convinced that our money is carefully spent and not wasted, and that the things we buy are the things we really want. We certainly should spend more, if possible, on schools and on the care of our children. We certainly should not cut down on the care of the aged. But a complete revision of our whole farm policy might save considerable money; and in foreign aid I think we could cut down on military aid and do more of our spending through the U. N., so that the value of money put into economic aid would be enhanced by the contributions of other countries. This whole subject needs careful study and careful explanation to the people of our country.