Harry S. Truman
January 21, 1946
Early in 1945 the Congress made available advances to State and local governments for planning public works projects, and recently made additional provision to continue these advances through the fiscal year 1946. I believe that further appropriations will be needed for the same purpose for the fiscal year 1947.
The Congress has already made provision for highway programs. It is now considering legislation which would expand Federal grants and loans in several other fields, including construction of airports, hospital and health centers, housing, water pollution control facilities, and educational plant facilities. I hope that early action will be taken to authorize these Federal programs.
With respect to public works of strictly local importance, State and local governments should proceed without Federal assistance except in planning. This rule should be subject to review when and if the prospect of highly adverse general economic developments warrants it.
All loans and grants for public works should be planned and administered in such a way that they are brought into accord with the other elements of the Federal Program.
Our long-run objective is to achieve a program of direct Federal and Federally assisted public works which is planned in advance and synchronized with business conditions. In this way it can make its greatest contribution to general economic stability.
(1) National housing program.
Last September I stated in my message to the Congress that housing was high on the list of matters calling for decisive action.
Since then the housing shortage in countless communities, affecting millions of families, has magnified this call to action.
Today we face both an immediate emergency and a major postwar problem.
Since VJ-day the wartime housing shortage has been growing steadily worse and pressure on real estate values has increased. Returning veterans often cannot find a satisfactory place for their families to live, and many who buy have to pay exorbitant prices. Rapid demobilization inevitably means further overcrowding.
A realistic and practical attack on the emergency will require aggressive action by local governments, with Federal aid, to exploit all opportunities and to give the veterans as far as possible first chance at vacancies. It will require continuation of rent control in shortage areas as well as legislation to permit control of sales prices. It will require maximum conversion of temporary war units for veterans’ housing and their transportation to communities with the most pressing needs; the Congress has already appropriated funds for this purpose.
The inflation in the price of housing is growing daily.
As a result of the housing shortage, it is inevitable that the present dangers of inflation in home values will continue unless the Congress takes action in the immediate future.
Legislation is now pending in the Congress which would provide for ceiling prices for old and new houses. The authority to fix such ceilings is essential. With such authority, our veterans and other prospective home owners would be protected against a skyrocketing of home prices. The country would be protected from the extension of the present inflation in home values which, if allowed to continue, will threaten not only the stabilization program but our opportunities for attaining a sustained high level of home construction.
Such measures are necessary stopgaps—but only stopgaps. This emergency action, taken alone, is good—but not enough. The housing shortage did not start with the war or with demobilization; it began years before that and has steadily accumulated. The speed with which the Congress establishes the foundation for a permanent, long-range housing program will determine how effectively we grasp the immense opportunity to achieve our goal of decent housing and to make housing a major instrument of continuing prosperity and full employment in the years ahead. It will determine whether we move forward to a stable and healthy housing enterprise and toward providing a decent home for every American family.
Production is the only fully effective answer. To get the wheels turning, I have appointed an emergency housing expediter. I have approved establishment of priorities designed to assure an ample share of scarce materials to builders of houses for which veterans will have preference. Additional price and wage adjustments will be made where necessary, and other steps will be taken to stimulate greater production of bottleneck items. I recommend consideration of every sound method for expansion in facilities for insurance of privately financed housing by the Federal Housing Administration and resumption of previously authorized low-rent public housing projects suspended during the war.
In order to meet as many demands of the emergency situation as possible, a program of emergency measures is now being formulated for action. These will include steps in addition to those already taken. As quickly as this program can be formulated, announcement will be made.
Last September I also outlined to the Congress the basic principles for the kind of decisive, permanent legislation necessary for a long-range housing program.
These principles place paramount the fact that housing construction and financing for the overwhelming majority of our citizens should be done by private enterprise. They contemplate also that we afford governmental encouragement to privately financed house construction for families of moderate income, through extension of the successful system of insurance of housing investment; that research be undertaken to develop better and cheaper methods of building homes; that communities be assisted in appraising their housing needs; that we commence a program of Federal aid, with fair local participation, to stimulate and promote the rebuilding and redevelopment of slums and blighted areas—with maximum use of private capital. It is equally essential that we use public funds to assist families of low income who could not otherwise enjoy adequate housing, and that we quicken our rate of progress in rural housing.
Legislation now under consideration by the Congress provides for a comprehensive attack jointly by private enterprise, State and local authorities, and the Federal Government. This legislation would make permanent the National Housing Agency and give it authority and funds for much needed technical and economic research. It would provide additional stimulus for privately financed housing construction. This stimulus consists of establishing a new system of yield insurance to encourage large-scale investment in rental housing and broadening the insuring powers of the Federal Housing Administration and the lending powers of the Federal savings and loan associations.
Where private industry cannot build, the Government must step in to do the job. The bill would encourage expansion in housing available for the lowest income groups by continuing to provide direct subsidies for low-rent housing and rural housing. It would facilitate land assembly for urban redevelopment by loans and contributions to local public agencies where the localities do their share.
Prompt enactment of permanent housing legislation along these lines will not interfere with the emergency action already under way. On the contrary, it would lift us out of a potentially perpetual state of housing emergency. It would offer the best hope and prospect to millions of veterans and other American families that the American system can offer more to them than temporary makeshifts.
I have said before that the people of the United States can be the best housed people in the world. I repeat that assertion, and I welcome the cooperation of the Congress in achieving that goal.
(j) Social security and health.
Our Social Security System has just celebrated its tenth anniversary. During the past decade this program has supported the welfare and morale of a large part of our people by removing some of the hazards and hardships of the aged, the unemployed, and widows and dependent children.
But, looking back over 10 years’ experience and ahead to the future, we cannot fail to see defects and serious inadequacies in our system as it now exists. Benefits are in many cases inadequate; a great many persons are excluded from coverage; and provision has not been made for social insurance to cover the cost of medical care and the earnings lost by the sick and the disabled.
In the field of old-age security, there seems to be no adequate reason for excluding such groups as the self-employed, agricultural and domestic workers, and employees of nonprofit organizations. Since many of these groups earn wages too low to permit significant savings for old age, they are in special need of the assured income that can be provided by old-age insurance.
We must take urgent measures for the readjustment period ahead. The Congress for some time has been considering legislation designed to supplement at Federal expense, during the immediate reconversion period, compensation payments to the unemployed. Again I urge the Congress to enact legislation liberalizing unemployment compensation benefits and extending the coverage. Providing for the sustained consumption by the unemployed persons and their families is more than a welfare policy; it is sound economic policy. A sustained high level of consumer purchases is a basic ingredient of a prosperous economy.
During the war, nearly 5 million men were rejected for military service because of physical or mental defects which in many cases might have been prevented or corrected. This is shocking evidence that large sections of the population are at substandard levels of health. The need for a program that will give everyone opportunity for medical care is obvious. Nor can there be any serious doubt of the Government’s responsibility for helping in this human and social problem.
The comprehensive health program which I recommended on November 19, 1945, will require substantial additions to the Social Security System and, in conjunction with other changes that need to be made, will require further consideration of the financial basis for social security. The system of prepaid medical care which I have recommended is expected eventually to require amounts equivalent to 4 percent of earnings up to $3,600 a year, which is about the average of present expenditures by individuals for medical care. The pooling of medical costs, under a plan which permits each individual to make a free choice of doctor and hospital, would assure that individuals receive adequate treatment and hospitalization when they are faced with emergencies for which they cannot budget individually. In addition, I recommended insurance benefits to replace part of the earnings lost through temporary sickness and permanent disability.
Even without these proposed major additions, it would now be time to undertake a thorough reconsideration of our social security laws. The structure should be expanded and liberalized. Provision should be made for extending coverage credit to veterans for the period of their service in the armed forces. In the financial provisions we must reconcile the actuarial needs of social security, including health insurance, with the requirements of a revenue system that is designed to promote a high level of consumption and full employment.
Although the major responsibility for financing education rests with the States, some assistance has long been given by the Federal Government. Further assistance is desirable and essential. There are many areas and some whole States where good schools cannot be provided without imposing an undue local tax burden on the citizens. It is essential to provide adequate elementary and secondary schools everywhere, and additional educational opportunities for large numbers of people beyond the secondary level. Accordingly, I repeat the proposal of last year’s Budget Message that the Federal Government provide financial aid to assist the States in assuring more nearly equal opportunities for a good education. The proposed Federal grants for current educational expenditures should be made for the purpose of improving the educational system where improvement is most needed. They should not be used to replace existing non-Federal expenditures, or even to restore merely the situation which existed before the war.
In the future we expect incomes considerably higher than before the war. Higher incomes should make it possible for State and local governments and for individuals to support higher and more nearly adequate expenditures for education. But inequality among the States will still remain, and Federal help will still be needed.
As a part of our total public works program, consideration should be given to the need for providing adequate buildings for schools and other educational institutions. In view of current arrears in the construction of educational facilities, I believe that legislation to authorize grants for educational facilities, to be matched by similar expenditures by State and local authorities, should receive the favorable consideration of the Congress.
The Federal Government has not sought, and will not seek, to dominate education in the States. It should continue its historic role of leadership and advice and, for the purpose of equalizing educational opportunity, it should extend further financial support to the cause of education in areas where this is desirable.
(l) Federal Government personnel.
The rapid reconversion of the Federal Government from war to peace is reflected in the demobilization of its civilian personnel. The number of these employees in continental United States has been reduced by more than 500,000 from the total of approximately 2,900,000 employed in the finalmonths of the war. I expect that by next June we shall have made a further reduction of equal magnitude and that there will be continuing reductions during the next fiscal year. Of the special wartime agencies now remaining, only a few are expected to continue actively into the next fiscal year.
At the same time that we have curtailed the number of employees, we have shortened the workweek by one-sixth or more throughout the Government and have restored holidays. The process of readjustment has been complicated and costs have been increased by a heavy turn-over in the remaining personnel—particularly by the loss of some of our best administrators. Thousands of war veterans have been reinstated or newly employed in the civil service. Many civilians have been transferred from war agencies to their former peacetime agencies. Recruitment standards, which had to be relaxed during the war, are now being tightened.
The elimination last autumn of overtime work for nearly all Federal employees meant a sharp cut in their incomes. For salaried workers, the blow was softened but by no means offset by the increased rates of pay which had become effective July 1. Further adjustments to compensate for increased living costs are required. Moreover, we have long needed a general upward revision of Federal Government salary scales at all levels in all branches—legislative, judicial, and executive. Too many in Government have had to sacrifice too much in economic advantage to serve the Nation.
Adequate salaries will result in economies and improved efficiency in the conduct of Government business—gains that will far outweigh the immediate costs. I hope the Congress will expedite action on salary legislation for all Federal employees in all branches of the Government. The only exception I would make is in the case of workers whose pay rates are established by wage boards; a blanket adjustment would destroy the system by which their wages are kept aligned with prevailing rates in particular localities. The wage boards should be sensitive now, as they were during the war, to changes in local prevailing wage rates and should make adjustments accordingly.
I hope also that the Congress may see fit to enact legislation for the adequate protection of the health and safety of Federal employees, for their coverage under a system of unemployment compensation, and for their return at Government expense to their homes after separation from wartime service.
(m) Territories, insular possessions, and the District of Columbia.
The major governments of the world face few problems as important and as perplexing as those relating to dependent peoples. This Government is committed to the democratic principle that it is for the dependent peoples themselves to decide what their status shall be. To this end I asked the Congress last October to provide a means by which the people of Puerto Rico might choose their form of government and ultimate status with respect to the United States. I urge, too, that the Congress promptly accede to the wishes of the people of Hawaii that the Territory be admitted to statehood in our Union, and that similar action be taken with respect to Alaska as soon as it is certain that this is the desire of the people of that great Territory. The people of the Virgin Islands should be given an increasing measure of self-government.
We have already determined that the Philippine Islands are to be independent on July 4, 1946. The ravages of war and enemy occupation, however, have placed a heavy responsibility upon the United States. I urge that the Congress complete, as promptly and as generously as may be possible, legislation which will aid economic rehabilitation for the Philippines. This will be not only a just acknowledgment of the loyalty of the people of the Philippines, but it will help to avoid the economic chaos which otherwise will be their heritage from our common war. Perhaps no event in the long centuries of colonialism gives more hope for the pattern of the future than the independence of the Philippines.
The District of Columbia, because of its special relation to the Federal Government, has been treated since 1800 as a dependent area. We should move toward a greater measure of local self-government consistent with the constitutional status of the District. We should take adequate steps to assure that citizens of the United States are not denied their franchise merely because they reside at the Nation’s Capital.
III. THE BUDGET FOR THE FEDERAL PROGRAM FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1947
SUMMARY OF THE BUDGET
For the first time since the fiscal year 1930 the Budget for the next fiscal year will require no increase in the national debt.
Expenditures of all kinds, authorized and recommended, in the next year are estimated at just above 35.8 billion dollars. Net receipts are estimated at 31.5 billion dollars. The estimated difference of 4.3 billion dollars will be met by a reduction in the very substantial balance which will be in the Treasury during the next fiscal year.
A large part of the activities outside defense and war liquidation, aftermath of war, and international finance, classified as “other activities” in a following table, is still due to repercussions of the war. These “other activities” include more than 2 billion dollars for aids to agriculture and net outlays for the Commodity Credit Corporation—almost double the expenditures for the same purposes in prewar years. This increase is due mainly to expenditures for purposes of price stabilization and price support resulting from the war food production program. Other increases in this category are due to the fact that certain wartime agencies now in the process of liquidation are included in this group of activities. If all expenditures for those activities which are directly or indirectly related to the war are excluded, the residual expenditures are below those for corresponding activities in prewar years. In making this comparison account should be taken of the fact that, while prewar expenditures were affected by direct relief and work relief for the unemployed, the postwar budgets are affected by the considerable increase in pay rates and other increases in costs and prices.
To elaborate, the Budget, as I have remarked above, reflects on both sides of the ledger the Government’s program as recommended by the Executive. It includes estimates not only of expenditures and receipts for which legislative authority already exists, but also of expenditures and receipts for which authorization is recommended.
The Budget total for the next fiscal year, the year that ends on June 30, 1947, is estimated at just above 35.8 billion dollars—about a third of the budgets for global war, although nearly four times the prewar budgets. This estimate is based on the assumption that a rapid liquidation of the war program will be associated with rapid reconversion and expansion of peacetime production. The total includes net outlays of Government corporations.
The estimated expenditures in the next and current fiscal year compare as follows with those of a year of global war and a prewar year:
Total Budget expenditures
Fiscal year: (in millions)
1947…. $35, 860
1945…. 100, 031
Although allowances for occupation, demobilization, and defense are drastically reduced in the fiscal year 1947, they will still amount to 42 percent of the total Budget. The so—called “aftermath of war” expenditures account for a further 30 percent of the total. The total of all other programs, which was drastically cut during the war, is increasing again as liquidation of the war program proceeds and renewed emphasis is placed on the peacetime objectives of the Government.
On the other side of the ledger, net receipts are estimated at 31.5 billion dollars. This estimate assumes that all existing taxes will continue all through the fiscal year 1947. Included are the extraordinary receipts from the disposal of surplus property.
As a result, estimated expenditures will exceed estimated receipts by 4.3 billion dollars. This amount can be provided by a reduction in the cash balance in the Treasury. Thus, after a long period of increasing public debt resulting from depression budgets and war budgets, it is anticipated that no increase in the Federal debt will be required next year.
FEDERAL BUDGET EXPENDITURES AND BUDGET RECEIPTS
Including net outlays of Government corporations and credit agencies (based on existing and proposed legislation)
|Fiscal year Expenditures||1946||1947|
|Defense, war, and war liquidation||$49,000||$15,000|
|Aftermath of war: Veterans, interest, refunds||10,813||10,793|
|International finance (including proposed legislation)||2,614||2,754|
|Activities based on proposed legislation (excluding international finance)||250||1,500|
|Excess of expenditures||28,620||4,347|
The current fiscal year, 1946, is a year of transition. When the year opened, in July 1945, we were still fighting a major war, and Federal expenditures were running at an annual rate of about 100 billion dollars. By June 1946 that rate will be more than cut in half. The Budget total for the current fiscal year is now estimated at 67.2 billion dollars, of which more than two—thirds provides for war and war liquidation. Since net receipts are estimated at 38.6 billion dollars, there will be an excess of expenditures of 28.6 billion dollars for the current fiscal year.
For all programs discussed in this Message I estimate the total of Budget appropriations and authorizations (including reappropriations and permanent appropriations) at 30,982 million dollars for the fiscal year 1947. Of this amount, present permanent appropriations are expected to provide 5,755 million dollars, principally for interest. This leaves 24,224 million dollars to be made available through new appropriations, exclusive of appropriations to liquidate contract authorizations; 900 million dollars in new contract authorizations; and 103 million dollars through the reappropriation of unliquidated balances of previous appropriations. The appropriations needed to liquidate contract authorizations are estimated at 1,113 million dollars.
In the Budget for the year ahead only over—all estimates are included at this time for the major war agencies and for net outlays of Government corporations. Detailed recommendations will be transmitted in the spring for the war agencies; and the business—type budgets of Government corporations will likewise be transmitted in accordance with the recently adopted Government Corporation Control Act.
Similarly, only over—all estimates are provided for new programs recommended in this Message; detailed recommendations will be transmitted after authorizing legislation has been enacted. It should be recognized that many of the estimates for new programs recommended in this Message are initial year figures. These figures will be affected by the date the legislation is enacted and by the time needed for getting a program under way. New programs, such as that for a national research agency, will require larger amounts in later years. The estimates exclude major elements of the proposed national health program since the greater part of these will be covered by expenditures from trust funds.
The Budget total includes expenditures for capital outlay as well as for current operations. An estimated 1,740 million dollars will be expended in the fiscal year 1947 for direct Federal public works and for loans and grants for public works.
THE ECONOMIC IMPACT Of THE LIQUIDATION OF THE WAR PROGRAM
Government programs are of such importance in the development of production and employment opportunities—domestic and international—that it has become essential to formulate and consider the Federal Budget in the light of the Nation’s budget as a whole. The relationship between the receipts, expenditures, and savings of consumers, business, and government is shown in the accompanying table.
Considering the whole Nation, total expenditures must equal the total receipts, because what any individual or group spends becomes receipts of other individuals or groups. Such equality can be achieved on either a high level of incomes or on a low or depression level of incomes.
Tremendous orders for munitions during the war shifted production and employment into high gear. Total goods produced and services rendered for private as well as for Government purposes—the Nation’s budget—reached about 200 billion dollars in the calendar year 1944. Federal, State, and local government expenditures represented half of this total.
Corresponding estimates for the past 3 months depict the national economy in the process of demobilization and reconversion.
The wartime annual rate of Federal expenditures has been reduced by 32 billion dollars, while the Nation’s budget total has dropped only half as much. The drop in total value of production and services has been less drastic because increasing private activities have absorbed in large measure the manpower and materials released from war production and war services.
The largest increase in private activities has occurred in business investments, which include residential and other construction, producers’ durable equipment, accumulation of inventories, and net exports. Under conditions of global war, expenditures for private construction and equipment were held to a minimum and inventories were depleted. With the beginning of reconversion these developments have been reversed. Residential construction and outlays for plant and equipment are on the increase; inventories, too, are being replenished. International transactions (excluding lend—lease and international relief which are included under war expenditures) showed an import surplus under conditions of global war. In the past 3 months private exports have been slightly in excess of imports, for the first time since 1941.
Consumers’ budgets show a significant change. On the income side, their total has declined but little because the reduction in “take—home” pay of war workers is, to a large extent, offset for the time being by the mustering—out payments received by war veterans and by unemployment compensation received by the unemployed. On the expenditure side, however, consumers’ budgets, restricted during the war, have in creased substantially as a result of the fact that scarce goods are beginning to appear on the market and wartime restraints are disappearing. Thus, consumers’ current savings are declining substantially from the extraordinarily high wartime rate and some wartime savings are beginning to be used for long—delayed purchases.
THE GOVERNMENT’S BUDGET AND THE NATION’S BUDGET
Calendar year 1944 and October-December 1945
|Calander year 1944(global war)||October-December 1945 (start of reconstruction)
(in seasonally adjusted annual rates)
|Income after taxes…..||$134||…….||…….||$132||…….||…….|
|Excess of receipts, savings…..||…….||…….||+$35||…….||…….||+$25|
|Undistributed profits and reserves…||$13||…….||…….||$9||…….||…….|
|Gross Capital formation:
|Total, gross capital formation…..||…….||2||…….||…….||16||…….|
|Excess of receipts(+) or capital formation(-)…..||…….||…….||+$11||…….||…….||-$7|
|STATES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT|
|Receipts from the public, other than borrowing…..||$10||…….||…….||$11||…….||…….|
|Payments to the public…..||…….||$8||…….||…….||$9||…….|
|Excess of receipts(+)…..||…….||…….||+$2||…….||…….||+$2|
|Receipts from the public, other than borrowing…..||$48||…….||…….||$44||…….||…….|
|Payments to the public…..||…….||$96||…….||…….||$64||…….|
|Excess of payments(-)…..||…….||…….||-$48||…….||…….||-$20|
|TOTAL: GROSS NATIONAL PRODUCT|
1 Excludes exports for lend—lease and relief which are included in Federal Government expenditures.
2 Mainly government expenditures for other than goods and services, such as mustering—out pay and unemployment compensation.
Unemployment has increased less than was expected during this first period of demobilization and reconversion. It is true that 6 million men and women have been discharged from the armed forces since May 1945 and more than 5 million have been laid off from war work. On the other hand, more than a million civilians have been enlisted in the armed forces, a considerable number of war veterans have not immediately sought jobs, and many war workers, especially women, have withdrawn from the labor force. In addition, many industries, and especially service trades which were undermanned during the war, are beginning now, for the first time in years, to recruit an adequate labor force. The reduced workweek has also contributed to the absorption of those released from war service and war work.
In general, the drastic cut in war programs has thrown the economy into lower gear; it has not thrown it out of gear. Our economic machine demonstrates remarkable resiliency, although there are many difficulties that must still be overcome. The rapid termination of war contracts, prompt clearance of unneeded Government—owned equipment from private plants, and other reconversion policies have greatly speeded up the beginning of peacetime work in reconverted plants.
Although the first great shock of demobilization and war—work termination has thus been met better than many observers expected, specific industries and specific regions show much unevenness in the progress of reconversion.
The Quarterly Report of the Director of War Mobilization and Reconversion analyzes the difficulties in recruiting personnel and obtaining materials that hamper reconversion in certain industries and proposes policies to deal with these situations. The lack of adequate housing is one of the main factors checking the flow of workers into areas where job opportunities exist.
FEDERAL REVENUE, BORROWING, AND THE PUBLIC DEBT
I. FINANCIAL REQUIREMENTS AND TAX POLICY
Recommendations for tax legislation should be considered not only in the light of the financial requirements of the ensuing year, but also in the light of future years’ financial requirements and a full consideration of economic conditions.
Expenditures are estimated at nearly 36 billion dollars in the fiscal year 1947; they can hardly be expected to be reduced to less than 25 billion dollars in subsequent years. Net receipts in the fiscal year 1947 are estimated at 31.5 billion dollars.
Included in this estimate are 2 billion dollars of receipts from disposal and rental of surplus property and 190 million dollars of receipts from renegotiation of wartime contracts. These sources of receipts will disappear in future years. Tax collections for the fiscal year 1947 also will not yet fully reflect the reduction in corporate tax liabilities provided in the Revenue Act of 1945. If the extraordinary receipts from the disposal of surplus property and renegotiation of contracts be disregarded, and if the tax reductions adopted in the Revenue Act of 1945 were fully effective, present tax rates would yield about 27 billion dollars.
These estimates for the fiscal year 1947 are based on the assumption of generally favorable business conditions but not on an income reflecting full employment and the high productivity that we hope to achieve. In future years the present tax system, in conjunction with a full employment level of national income, could be expected to yield more than 30 billion dollars, which is substantially above the anticipated peacetime level of expenditures.
In view of the still extraordinarily large expenditures in the coming year and continuing inflationary pressures, I am making no recommendation for tax reduction at this time.
We have already had a substantial reduction in taxes from wartime peaks. The Revenue Act of 1945 was a major tax—reduction measure. It decreased the total tax load by more than one—sixth, an amount substantially in excess of the reductions proposed by the Secretary of the Treasury to congressional tax committees in October 1945. These proposed reductions were designed to encourage reconversion and peacetime business expansion.
The possibility of further tax reductions must depend on the budgetary situation and the economic situation. The level of anticipated expenditures for the fiscal year 1947 and the volume of outstanding public debt require the maintenance of large revenues.
Moreover, inflationary pressures still appear dangerously powerful, and ill—advised tax reduction would operate to strengthen them still further.
My decision not to recommend additional tax reductions at this time is made in the light of existing economic conditions and prospects.
2. BORROWING AND THE PUBLIC DEBT
The successful conclusion of the Victory loan marked the end of war borrowing and the beginning of the transition to postwar debt management.
Because of the success of the Victory loan, I am happy to report that the Treasury will not need to borrow any new money from the public during the remainder of the present fiscal year except through regular sales of savings bonds and savings notes. Furthermore, a part of the large cash balance now in the Treasury will be used for debt redemption so that the public debt which now amounts to about 278 billion dollars will decrease by several billion dollars during the next 18 months. The present statutory debt limit of 300 billion dollars will provide an ample margin for all of the public—debt transactions through the fiscal year 1947. The net effect of the excess of expenditures and debt redemption on the Treasury cash balance, as compared with selected previous years, is shown in the following table:
EXCESS Of BUDGET EXPENDITURES, THE PUBLIC DEBT, AND THE TREASURY CASH BALANCE IN SELECTED YEARS
|Excess of Budget at End of Period|
|Fiscal Year|| Expenditures
|Public Debt||Cash Balance|
Although the public debt is expected to decline, a substantial volume of refinancing will be required, because of the large volume of maturing obligations. Redemptions of savings bonds also have been running high in recent months and are expected to remain large for some time. The issuance of savings bonds will be continued. These bonds represent a convenient method of investment for small savers, and also an anti—inflationary method of refinancing. Government agencies and trust funds are expected to buy about 2.5 billion dollars of Government securities during the next 6 months, and 2.8 billion dollars more during the fiscal year 1947. Through these and other debt operations, the distribution of the Federal debt among the various types of public and private owners will change, even though the total is expected to decline.
The interest policies followed in the refinancing operations will have a major impact not only on the provision for interest payments in future budgets, but also on the level of interest rates prevailing in private financing. The average rate of interest on the debt is now a little under 2 percent. Low interest rates will be an important force in promoting the full production and full employment in the postwar period for which we are all striving. Close wartime cooperation between the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve System has made it possible to finance the most expensive war in history at low and stable rates of interest. This cooperation will continue.
No less important than the level of interest rates paid on the debt is the distribution of its ownership. Of the total debt, more than half represents direct savings of individuals or investments of funds received from individual savings by life insurance companies, mutual savings banks, savings and loan associations, private or Government trust funds, and other agencies.
Most of the remaining debt——more than 100 billion dollars——is held by the commercial banks and the Federal Reserve banks. Heavy purchases by the banks were necessary to provide adequate funds to finance war expenditures. A considerable portion of these obligations are short—term in character and hence will require refinancing in the coming months and years. Since they have been purchased out of newly created bank funds, continuance of the present low rates of interest is entirely appropriate. To do otherwise would merely increase bank profits at the expense of the taxpayer.
The 275—billion dollar debt poses a problem that requires careful consideration in the determination of financial and economic policies. We have learned that the problem, serious as it is, can be managed. Its management will require determined action to keep our Federal Budget in order and to relate our fiscal policies to the requirements of an expanding economy. The more successful we are in achieving full production and full employment the easier it will be to manage the debt and pay for the debt service. Large though the debt is, it is within our economic capacity. The interest charges on it amount to but a small proportion of our national income. The Government is determined, by a resolute policy of economic stabilization, to protect the interests of the millions of American citizens who have invested in its securities.
During the past 6 months the net revenue receipts of the Federal Government have been about 20 billion dollars, almost as much as during the closing 6 months of 1944 when the country was still engaged in all—out warfare. The high level of these receipts reflects the smoothness of the reconversion and particularly the strength of consumer demand. But the receipts so far collected, it must be remembered, do not reflect any of the tax reductions made by the Revenue Act of 1945. These reductions will not have their full effect on the revenue collected until the fiscal year 1948.
It is good to move toward a balanced budget and a start on the retirement of the debt at a time when demand for goods is strong and the business outlook is good. These conditions prevail today. Business is good and there are still powerful forces working in the direction of inflation. This is not the time for tax reduction.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR SPECIFIC FEDERAL ACTIVITIES
1. WAR LIQUIDATION AND NATIONAL DEFENSE
(a) War expenditures.
The fiscal year 1947 will see a continuance of war liquidation and occupation. During this period we shall also lay the foundation for our peacetime system of national defense.
In the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 1945, almost wholly a period of global warfare, war expenditures amounted to 90.5 billion dollars. For the fiscal year 1946 war expenditures were originally estimated at 70 billion dollars. That estimate was made a year ago while we were still engaged in global warfare. After victory over Japan this estimate was revised to 50.5 billion dollars. Further cut—backs and accelerated demobilization have made possible an additional reduction in the rate of war spending. During the first 6 months 32.9 billion dollars were spent. It is now estimated that 16.1 billion dollars will be spent during the second 6 months, or a total of 49 billion dollars during the whole fiscal year.
For the fiscal year 1947 it is estimated, tentatively, that expenditures for war liquidation, for occupation, and for national defense will be reduced to 15 billion dollars. The War and Navy Departments are expected to spend 13 billion dollars; expenditures of other agencies, such as the United States Maritime Commission, the War Shipping Administration, and the Office of Price Administration, and payments to the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration are estimated at 3 billion dollars. Allowing for estimated net receipts of 1 billion dollars arising from war activities of the Reconstruction finance Corporation, the estimated total of war expenditures is 15 billion dollars. At this time only a tentative break—down of the total estimate for war and defense activities can be indicated.
An expenditure of 15 billion dollars for war liquidation, occupation, and national defense is a large sum for a year which begins 10 months after fighting has ended. It is 10 times our expenditures for defense before the war; it amounts to about 10 percent of our expected national income. This estimate reflects the immense job that is involved in winding up a global war effort and stresses the great responsibility that victory has placed upon this country. The large expenditures needed for our national defense emphasize the great scope for effective organization in furthering economy and efficiency. To this end I have recently recommended to the Congress adoption of legislation combining the War and Navy Departments into a single Department of National Defense.
A large part of these expenditures is still to be attributed to the costs of the war. Assuming, somewhat arbitrarily, that about one—half of the 15—billion—dollar outlay for the fiscal year 1947 is for war liquidation, aggregate expenditures by this Government for the second World War are now estimated at 347 billion dollars through June 30, 1947. Of this, about 9 billion dollars will have been recovered through renegotiation and sale of surplus property by June 30, 1947; this has been reflected in the estimates of receipts.
Demobilization and strength of armed forces.——Demobilization of our armed forces is proceeding rapidly. At the time of victory in Europe, about 12.3 million men and women were in the armed forces; 7.6 million were overseas. By the end of December 1945 our armed forces had been reduced to below 7 million. By June 30, 1946, they will number about 2.9 million, of whom 1.8 million will be individuals enlisted and inducted after VE—day. Mustering—out pay is a large item of our war liquidation expense; it will total 2.5 billion dollars in the fiscal year 1946, and about 500 million dollars in the fiscal year 1947.
In the fiscal year 1947 the strength of our armed forces will still be above the ultimate peacetime level. As I have said, War and Navy Department requirements indicate a strength of about 2 million in the armed forces a year from now. This is necessary to enable us to do our share in the occupation of enemy territories and in the preservation of peace in a troubled world. Expenditures for pay, subsistence, travel, and miscellaneous expenses of the armed forces, excluding mustering—out pay, are estimated at 5 billion dollars.
Contract settlement and surplus property disposal.——The winding up of war procurement is the second most important liquidation job. By the end of November a total of 301,000 prime contracts involving commitments of 64 billion dollars had been terminated. Of this total, 67,000 contracts with commitments of 35 billion dollars remained to be settled. Termination payments on these contracts are estimated at about 3.5 billion dollars. It is expected that more than half of these terminated contracts will be settled during the current fiscal year, leaving payments of about 1.5 billion dollars for the fiscal year 1947.
Another important aspect of war supply liquidation is the disposal of surplus property. Munitions, ships, plants, installations, and supplies, originally costing 50 billion dollars or more, will ultimately be declared surplus. The sale value of this property will be far less than original cost and disposal expenses are estimated at 10 to 15 cents on each dollar realized. Disposal units within existing agencies have been organized to liquidate surplus property under the direction of the Surplus Property Administration. Overseas disposal activities have been centralized in the State Department to permit this program to be carried on in line with over—all foreign policy. Thus far only about 13 billion dollars of the ultimate surplus, including 5 billion dollars of unsalable aircraft, has been declared. Of this amount, 2.3 billion dollars have been disposed of, in sales yielding 600 million dollars. The tremendous job of handling surplus stocks will continue to affect Federal expenditures and receipts for several years. The speed and effectiveness of surplus disposal operations will be of great importance for the domestic economy as well as for foreign economic policies.
War supplies, maintenance, and relief.—Adequate provision for the national defense requires that we keep abreast of scientific and technical advances. The tentative estimates for the fiscal year 1947 make allowance for military research, limited procurement of weapons in the developmental state, and some regular procurement of munitions which were developed but not mass—produced when the war ended. Expenditures for procurement and construction will constitute one—third or less of total defense outlays, compared to a ratio of two—thirds during the war years.
The estimates also provide for the maintenance of our war—expanded naval and merchant fleets, military installations, and stocks of military equipment and supplies. Our naval combatant fleet is three times its pre—Pearl Harbor tonnage. Our Merchant Marine is five times its prewar size. The War Department has billions of dollars worth of equipment and supplies. Considerable maintenance and repair expense is necessary for the equipment which we desire to retain in active status or in war reserve. Expenses will be incurred for winnowing the stocks of surpluses, for preparing lay—up facilities for the reserve fleets, and for storage of reserve equipment and supplies.
Military expenditures .in the current fiscal year include 650 million dollars for civilian supplies for the prevention of starvation and disease in occupied areas. Expenditures on this account will continue in the fiscal year 1947. The war expenditures also cover the expenses of civilian administration in occupied areas.
During the war, 15 cents of each dollar of our war expenditures was for lend—lease aid. With lend—lease terminated, I expect the direct operations under this program to be substantially completed in the current fiscal year. The expenditures estimated for the fiscal year 1947 under this program are mainly interagency reimbursements for past transactions.
Relief and rehabilitation expenditures are increasing. It is imperative that we give all necessary aid within our means to the people who have borne the ravages of war. I estimate that in the fiscal year 1946 expenditures for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration will total 1.3 billion dollars and in the following year 1.2 billion dollars. Insofar as possible, procurement for this purpose will be from war surpluses.
(b) Authorizations for war and national defense.
During the war, authorizations and appropriations had to be enacted well in advance of obligation and spending to afford ample time for planning of production by the procurement services and by industry. Thus our cumulative war program authorized in the period between July 1, 1940, and July 1, 1945, was 431 billion dollars, including net war commitments of Government corporations. Expenditures against those authorizations totaled 290 billion dollars. This left 141 billion dollars in unobligated authorizations and unliquidated obligations.
With the end of fighting, it became necessary to adjust war authorizations to the requirements of war liquidation and continuing national defense. Intensive review of the war authorizations by both the executive and the legislative branches has been continued since VJ—day. As a result, the authorized war program is being brought more nearly into line with expenditures.
Recisions and authorizations through the fiscal year 1946.——Readjusting the war program, as the Congress well knows, is not an easy task. Authorizations must not be too tight, lest we hamper necessary operations; they must not be too ample, lest we lose control of spending. Last September, I transmitted to the Congress recommendations on the basis of which the Congress voted H.R. 4407 to repeal 50.3 billion dollars of appropriations and authorizations. I found it necessary to veto this bill because it was used as a vehicle for legislation that would impair the reemployment program. However, in order to preserve the fine work of the Congress on the recisions, I asked the Director of the Bureau of the Budget to place the exact amounts indicated for repeal in a nonexpendable reserve, and to advise the departments and agencies accordingly. This has been done.
In accord with Public Law 132 of the Seventy—ninth Congress, I have transmitted recommendations for additional rescissions for the current fiscal year of appropriations amounting to 5.8 billion dollars and of contract authorizations totaling 420 million dollars. The net reduction in authority to obligate will be 5.0 billion dollars, because, of the appropriations, 1.2 billion dollars will have to be restored in subsequent years to liquidate contract authorizations still on the books.
The appropriations recommended for repeal include 2,827 million dollars for the Navy Department, 1,421 million dollars for the War Department, 850 million dollars for lend—lease, 384 million dollars for the War Shipping Administration, and 260 million dollars for the United States Maritime Commission. The contract authorizations proposed for repeal are for the Maritime Commission.
In addition, there are unused tonnage authorizations for construction of naval vessels now valued at 5.4 billion dollars. In September 1945, I suggested that this authority be reviewed by the appropriate committees of the Congress, and the Congress has moved to bar construction under these authorizations during the remainder of the fiscal year 1946. I propose to continue this prohibition in the Navy budget estimates for the fiscal year 1947 and now renew my recommendation that legislation be enacted at the earliest time to dear the statute books of these authorizations.
The amounts indicated for repeal in H.R. 4407 and the further rescissions which I have recommended, excluding duplications and deferred cash payments on existing authorizations, represent a cut in the authorized war program of 60.8 billion dollars. The war authorizations will also be reduced 3’7 billion dollars by carrying receipts of revolving accounts to surplus, by lapses, and by cancellation and repayment of commitments of the Government war corporations.
On the other hand, supplemental appropriations of 600 million dollars will be required for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration.
In the net, it is estimated that the cumulative authorized war and national defense program will amount to 368 billion dollars on June 30, 1946. Expenditures of 49 billion dollars during the fiscal year 1946 will have pushed cumulative expenditures to 339 billion dollars. The unexpended balances will be down to 28 billion dollars on June 30, 1946.
New authorizations for national defense and war liquidation in the fiscal year 1947.—The expenditures of 15 billion dollars for national defense and war liquidation in the fiscal year 1947 will be partly for payment of contractual obligations incurred in the past, and partly for the payment of new obligations. The unexpended balances on June 30, 1946, will be scattered among hundreds of separate appropriations. Thus, while some appropriation accounts will have unused balances, others will require additional appropriations.
It is estimated that authorizations to incur new obligations of 11,772 million dollars will be needed during the fiscal year 1947, mainly for the War and Navy Departments. Of the required authorizations, 11,365 million dollars will be in new appropriations, 400 million dollars in new contract authority, and 7 million dollars in reappropriations of unobligated balances. In addition, appropriations of 825 million dollars will be needed to liquidate obligations under existing contract authorizations.
Taking into account the tentative authorizations and expenditures estimated for the fiscal year 1947, and offsets of 3 billion dollars in war commitments of Government corporations, the cumulative authorized war and national defense program on June 30, 1947, will be 376 billion dollars; total expenditures, 354 billion dollars; and unexpended balances, 22 billion dollars.
The 22 billion dollars of unexpended balances tentatively indicated as of June 30, 1947, comprise both unobligated authorizations and unliquidated obligations. Most of the unliquidated obligations result from transactions booked during the war years. A large part of the 22 billion dollars would never be spent even if not repealed, for the appropriations will lapse in due course. For example, several billion dollars of these unliquidated obligations represent unsettled inter— and intra—departmental agency accounts for war procurement. Legislation is being requested to facilitate the adjustment of some of these inter—agency accounts. Another 6 billion dollars is set aside for contract termination payments. If contract settlement costs continue in line with recent experience, it is likely that part of the 6 billion dollars will remain unspent.
On the other hand, some of the 22 billion dollars would be available for obligation and expenditure unless impounded. In certain appropriations, such as those for long—cycle procurement, considerable carry—over of unliquidated obligations into future years is to be expected and is necessary. However, substantial further rescissions can and should be made when the war liquidation program tapers off and budgetary requirements for national defense are clarified. As I have said, I shall continue to review the war authorizations and from time to time recommend excess balances for repeal.
As in recent years, detailed recommendations concerning most appropriations for the national defense program are postponed until the spring. In connection with the war activities of the United States Maritime Commission and certain other agencies, however, I now make specific recommendations for the fiscal year 1947. No additional authorizations or appropriations will be necessary for the Maritime Commission since sufficient balances will be left after the above—mentioned rescissions to carry out the program now contemplated for the fiscal year 1947.
2. AFTERMATH OF WAR
Nearly one—third——11 billion dollars——of estimated Federal expenditures in the fiscal year 1947 will be for purposes that are largely inherited from the war——payments to veterans, interest on the Federal debt, and refunds of taxes.
(a) For veterans.
“Veterans’ pensions and benefits” has become one of the largest single categories in the Federal Budget. I am recommending for this purpose total appropriations of 4,787 million dollars for the fiscal year 1947. Expenditures in the fiscal year are estimated, under present legislation, at 4,208 million dollars. These expenditures will help our veterans through their readjustment period and provide lasting care for those who were disabled.
The Congress has provided unemployment allowances for veterans during their readjustment period. Expenditure of 850 million dollars for this purpose is anticipated for the fiscal year 1947. In addition, readjustment allowances for self—employed veterans are expected to cost 340 million dollars in the fiscal year 1947.
On May 28, 1945, in asking the Congress to raise the ceiling on benefits for civilian unemployed to not less than 25 dollars a week during the immediate reconversion period, I suggested that the Congress also consider liberalizing veterans’ allowances. Elsewhere in this Message I reiterate my recommendation with respect to emergency unemployment compensation. I also recommend increasing veterans’ unemployment allowances from 20 dollars to 25 dollars a week. This would involve additional expenditures estimated at approximately 220 million dollars for the fiscal year.
Included in the 1947 Budget is an expenditure of 535 million dollars for veterans’ education under provisions of the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act. This amount includes both tuition expenses and maintenance allowances. It is expected that half a million veterans will be enrolled in our schools and colleges during the year.
The ultimate benefit which veterans receive from the loan guarantee provisions of the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act depends largely on the success of our stabilization program in restraining building costs and real estate values. Under the revised procedure contained in recent amendments, the administrative workload will be minimized by the almost complete transfer of authority for approving the guarantees to private lending agencies and private appraisers designated by the Veterans Administration. This authority carries with it the responsibility for restricting the guarantees to loans on reasonably valued properties. Costs of the program, other than for administration, are estimated at 21 million dollars in the fiscal year 1947.
Pensions for veterans will require expenditures estimated at 1,748 million dollars for the fiscal year 1947. Two—thirds of this amount will be received by veterans of the war which we have just won. This figure includes 55 million dollars of increased pensions for student—veterans in our vocational rehabilitation program. In addition, 170 million dollars will be expended in transfers to the National Service Life Insurance fund from general and special accounts.
Expenditures under the appropriation for salaries and expenses of the Veterans Administration are estimated at 528 million dollars in the fiscal year 1947. This includes 260 million dollars for medical care and the operation of some 103,000 hospital and domiciliary beds.
A separate appropriation for hospital and domiciliary facilities, additional to the total for veterans’ pensions and benefits, covers construction that will provide some 13,000 hospital beds as part of the 500—million dollar hospital construction program already authorized by the Congress. The estimated expenditures of 130 million dollars for this purpose are classified in the Budget as part of the general public works program for the next fiscal year.
(b) For interest.
Interest payments on the public debt are estimated at 5 billion dollars in the fiscal year 1947, an increase of 250 million dollars from the revised estimate for the current fiscal year. This increase reflects chiefly payment of interest on additions to the debt this year. Assuming continuance of present interest rates, the Government’s interest bill is now reaching the probable postwar level.
(c) For refunds.
An estimated total of 1,585 million dollars of refunds will be paid to individuals and corporations during the fiscal year 1947. Slightly over half of this amount, or 800 million dollars, will be accessory to the simplified pay—as—you—go method of tax collection, and will be the result of overwithholding and over declaration of expected income. Most of the remainder will arise from loss and excess—profits credit carrybacks, recomputed amortization on war plants, and special relief from the excess profits tax.
This category of expenditures is thus losing gradually its “aftermath—of—war” character, and by the succeeding year will reflect almost entirely the normal operation of loss carry—backs and current tax collection.
3. AGRICULTURAL PROGRAMS
The agricultural programs contemplated for the fiscal year 1947 are those which are essential for the provision of an adequate supply of food and other agricultural commodities with a fair return to American farmers. To support these objectives, expenditures by the Department of Agriculture estimated at 784 million dollars from general and special accounts will be required in the fiscal year 1947. This compares with estimated expenditures of 676 million dollars in 1946. These figures exclude expenditures by the Department of Agriculture on account of lend—lease, the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, and other war expenditures. The expenditure for the fiscal year 1947 is composed of 553 million dollars for “aids to agriculture,” 35 million dollars for general public works, and 196 million dollars for other services of the Department.
Net outlays for the price stabilization, price support, and other programs of the Commodity Credit Corporation are expected to increase from about 750 million dollars in the fiscal year 1946 to about 1,500 million dollars in 1947. Cash advances made on loans by the farm Security Administration and the Rural Electrification Administration are expected to amount to 266 million dollars in the fiscal year 1946 and 351 million dollars in 1947; and after receipts from principal and interest are taken into account, net loan expenditures of these two agencies will amount to 120 and 209 million dollars in the two fiscal years.
To provide for the expenditures from general and special accounts, I recommend for the fiscal year 1947 appropriations of million dollars (including the existing permanent appropriation of an amount equal to 30 percent of estimated annual customs receipts) and a reappropriation of 88 million dollars of prior—year balances from customs receipts. In addition there is a recommended authorization of 367.5 million dollars for borrowing from the Reconstruction finance Corporation for the loan programs of the farm Security Administration and the Rural Electrification Administration. It is expected that the operations of the Commodity Credit Corporation will be financed during the coming year through the 500 million dollars of lend—lease funds which the Congress has earmarked for price support purposes, a supplemental appropriation to restore impaired capital of the Corporation, and the borrowing authority of the Corporation.
Some detailed recommendations follow for major agricultural programs.
Conservation and use of land.——I am recommending that 270 million dollars be appropriated for “conservation and use of agricultural land resources”——the so—called AAA program——for the fiscal year 1947, compared with 356 million dollars in the current year. This reduction of 86 million dollars is in large part accounted for by elimination of the wartime flax production incentive project and other nonrecurring items; the proposed reduction in normal activities is less than 33 million dollars.
For the past several years, this program has consisted largely of payments to farmers for application of fertilizer and other approved soil management practices. I am convinced that farmers generally are now fully alert to the benefits, both immediate and long—term, which they derive from the practices encouraged by this program. I believe, therefore, that this subsidization should continue to be reduced.
Rural electrification.——It is proposed that the loan authorization for the Rural Electrification Administration for the fiscal year 1947 be increased from 200 million dollars to 250 million dollars. During the war period, REA was limited by the scarcity of materials and manpower. But that situation is rapidly changing, and the REA program, which was materially stepped up for the fiscal year 1946, can be increased still more. It is my belief that a feasible and practical rural electrification program should be carried forward as rapidly as possible. This will involve total loans of approximately 1,800 million dollars over the next 10 years, much of which will be repaid during that period.
Other programs.——It is recommended that the continuing forest land—acquisition program be resumed at the rate of 3 million dollars annually, which is about the minimum rate at which this program can be economically carried on. The lands involved in this program can contribute fully to the national welfare only when brought into the national forest system for protection and development.
Such programs as those of the farm Security Administration and the farm Credit Administration are estimated to be continued during the fiscal year 1947 at about the same level as in the fiscal year 1946. Recent action by the Congress has Permitted some expansion of the school lunch program. I hope it will be continued and expanded. The budgets of the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation and the federal farm Mortgage Corporation will be transmitted in the spring under the terms of the Government Corporation Control Act.
Transportation is one of the major fields for both public and private investment. Our facilities for transportation and communication must be constantly improved to serve better the convenience of the public and to facilitate the sound growth and development of the whole economy.
Federal capital outlays for transportation facilities are expected to approximate 519 million dollars in the fiscal year 1947. State and local governments may spend 400 million dollars. Private investment, over half of it by railways, may approach 1,150 million dollars.
The Congress has already taken steps for the resumption of work on improvement of rivers and harbors and on the construction of new Federal—aid highways. Much needed work on airports can begin when the Congress enacts legislation now in conference between the two Houses.
The Federal expenditure estimates for the fiscal year 1947 include 53 million dollars for new construction in rivers, harbors, and the Panama Canal and 291 million dollars for highways and grade—crossing elimination, assuming that the States expend some 275 million dollars on the Federal—aid system. Additional expenditures for highways totaling 36 million dollars are anticipated by the forest Service, National Park Service, and the Territory of Alaska. Civil airways and airports will involve expenditures of 35 million dollars under existing authority. Additional Federal expenditures exceeding 20 million dollars (to be matched by States and municipalities) may be made during the fiscal year 1947 under the airport legislation now in conference between the two Houses of the Congress.
The United States now controls almost two—thirds of the world’s merchant shipping, most of it Government—owned, compared with little more than one—seventh of the world’s tonnage in 1939. This places a heavy responsibility upon the Nation to provide for speedy and efficient world commerce as a contribution to general economic recovery.
The estimates for the United States Maritime Commission and War Shipping Administration provide for the transition of shipping operation from a war to a peace basis; the sale, chartering, or lay—up of much of the war—built fleet; and for a program of ship construction of some 84 million dollars in the fiscal year 1947 to round out the merchant fleet for peacetime use.
Federal aids, subsidies, and regulatory controls for transportation should follow the general principle of benefiting the national economy as a whole. They should seek to improve the transportation system and increase its efficiency with resulting lower rates and superior service. Differential treatment which benefits one type of transportation to the detriment of another should be avoided save when it is demonstrated clearly to be in the public interest.
5. RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT
Total capital outlays for resource development are estimated at 653 million dollars in the fiscal year 1947 as compared with 452 million dollars in 1946. These include capital expenditures by the Rural Electrification Administration and expenditures for resource development by other organizational units in the Department of Agriculture which are also mentioned above under “agricultural programs.”
The reclamation and flood control projects which I am recommending for the fiscal year 1947 will involve capital outlays of approximately 319 million dollars as compared with 245 million dollars in the fiscal year 1946. These expenditures cover programs of the Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Reclamation, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Department of Agriculture, and the International Boundary and Water Commission, United States and Mexico. A number of these projects are multiple—purpose projects, providing not only for reclamation and irrigation of barren land and flood control, but also for the production of power needed for industrial development of the areas.
Expenditures for power transmission and distribution facilities by the Bonneville Power Administration are expected to increase from 12 million dollars in the fiscal year 1946 to 15 million dollars in the next fiscal year. In addition, the Southwestern Power Administration will undertake a new program involving expenditures of about 16 million dollars in the fiscal year 1947. The Rural Electrification Administration will require expenditures during the current fiscal year estimated at 156 million dollars; in the fiscal year 1947, at 241 million dollars.
The TVA program includes completion of major multiple—purpose projects——navigation, flood control, and power facilities——and additions to chemical plants and related facilities. Expenditures for these capital improvement programs are estimated at 30 million dollars in the fiscal year 1946 and 39 million dollars in the fiscal year 1947.
Expenditures for construction of roads and other developmental works in the national forests, parks, and other public lands, and for capital outlays for fish and wildlife development will increase from below 9 million dollars in the fiscal year 1946 to 24 million dollars in the fiscal year 1947.
6. SOCIAL SECURITY AND HEALTH
Benefit payments out of the Old—Age and Survivors Insurance Trust fund during 1947 are estimated at 407 million dollars, while withdrawals by the States from the Unemployment Trust fund for compensation payments are expected to total 1 billion dollars. These disbursements are financed out of social security contributions.
The appropriations from general and special accounts for the social security program, which cover Federal administrative expenses and grants to States for assistance programs, are estimated at 593 million dollars for the fiscal year 1947, an increase of 57 million dollars over the current year. The increase anticipates greater administrative workload and higher grants to match increasing State payments. The social security program does not include all the Federal health services under existing legislation. For the other health services classified under general government and national defense, appropriations are estimated at 102 million dollars for the fiscal year 1947.
Some expansion in peacetime medical research and other programs of the Public Health Service is provided for in the appropriation estimates for these purposes totaling approximately 87 million dollars for the fiscal year 1947 which are submitted under provisions of existing law. Part of this will be provided through the social security appropriations, the remainder through other appropriations. About 28 million dollars is recommended for maternity care and health services for children under existing law, mainly under the emergency provision for the wives and infants of servicemen. While we should avoid duplication of maternity and child health services which will be provided through the proposed general system of prepaid medical care, legislation is needed to supplement such services. For medical education, I have recommended legislation authorizing grants—in—aid to public and nonprofit institutions. The existing sources of support for medical schools require supplementation to sustain the expansion that is needed.
Hospitals, sanitation works, and additional facilities at medical schools will be required for an adequate national health program. Legislation is now pending in the Congress to authorize grants for the construction of hospitals and health centers and grants and loans for water—pollution control. I hope the Congress will act favorably on generous authorizing legislation.
7. RESEARCH AND EDUCATION
The Budget provides for continuation and desirable expansion of the research activities that are carried on throughout the Federal establishment and through previously authorized grants to the States. Additional appropriations will be required for the proposed central Federal research agency which I recommended last September 6. That agency will coordinate existing research activities and administer funds for new research activities wherever they are needed; it will not itself conduct research. The plan contemplates expenditures through the new research agency of approximately 40 million dollars for the first year.
These amounts are small in relation to the important contribution they can make to the national income, the welfare of our people, and the common defense. Expenditures must be limited for the time being by the capacity of research agencies to make wise use of funds. The maintenance of our position as a nation, however, will require more emphasis on research expenditures in the future than in the past.
Educational expenditures will require a significant share of the national income in the fiscal year 1947. State, local, and private expenditures for the current support of elementary, secondary, and higher education are expected to be substantially above 3 billion dollars in that year. These nonfederal expenditures will be supplemented by Federal expenditures estimated at 625 million dollars in the present Budget. Of this amount, the estimate for veterans’ education, as previously mentioned, is 535 million dollars. Other amounts include 21 million dollars for the support of vocational education in public schools, 5 million dollars for the land—grant colleges, 50 million dollars for the present school—lunch and milk program, 1 million dollars for the Office of Education, and approximately 13 million dollars for various other items. In view of the major policy issues which are still under study by the Congress and the Administration, no specific amount has been determined for the Federal grants, previously recommended in this Message, which would assist the States generally in assuring more nearly equal opportunities for a good education.
Notwithstanding the urgent need for additional school and college buildings, careful planning will be required for the expenditures to be made under the proposed legislation to aid the States in providing educational facilities. A major share of the grants for the first year would be for surveys and plans.
I have already outlined the broad objectives of our foreign economic policy. In the present section I shall indicate the Federal outlays which the execution of these programs may require in the fiscal years 1946 and 1947.
(a) On the termination of lend—lease, the lend—lease countries were required to pay for goods in the lend—lease pipe line either in cash or by borrowing from the United States or by supplying goods and services to the United States. Credits for this purpose have already been extended to Soviet Union, France, the Netherlands, and Belgium amounting to 675 million dollars. The settlement credit of 650 million dollars to the United Kingdom includes an amount preliminarily fixed at 118 million dollars which represents the excess of purchases by the United Kingdom from the pipe line over goods and services supplied by the United Kingdom to the United States since VJ—day and the balance of various claims by one government against the other.
Credits are also being negotiated with lend—lease countries to finance the disposition of lend—lease inventories and installations and property declared to be surplus. For instance, 532 million dollars of the settlement credit to the United Kingdom is for this purpose. These credits will involve no new expenditures by this Government, since they merely provide for deferred repayment by other governments for good: services which have been financed from war appropriations.
(b) Expenditures from the appropriations to United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, which were discarded under war expenditures above, are estimated to be 1.3 billion dollars in the fiscal year 1946 and 1.2 billion dollars in the fiscal year 1947.
(c) To assist other countries in the restoration of their economies the Export—Import Bank has already negotiated loans in the fiscal year 1946 amounting in total to about 1,010 million dollars and an additional 195 million dollars will probably be committed shortly. The Bank is also granting loans to carry out its original purpose of directly expanding the foreign trade of the United States. In this connection the Bank has established a fund of 100 million dollars to finance the export of cotton from the United States. The Export—Import Bank has thus loaned or committed approximately 1,300 million dollars during the current fiscal year and it is expected that demands on its resources will increase in the last 6 months of the fiscal year 1946. Requests for loans are constantly being received by the Bank from countries desiring to secure goods and services in this country for the reconstruction or development of their economies. On July 31, 1945, the lending authority of the Expert—Import Bank was increased to a total of 3,500 million dollars. I anticipate that during the period covered by this Budget the Bank will reach this limit. The bulk of the expenditures from the loans already granted will fall in the fiscal year 1946 while the bulk of the expenditures from loans yet to be negotiated will fall in the fiscal year 1947. In view of the urgent need for the Bank’s credit, I may find it necessary to request a further increase in its lending authority at a later date.
(d) The proposed line of credit of 3,750 million dollars to the United Kingdom will be available up to the end of 1951 and will be used to assist the United Kingdom in financing the deficit in its balance of payments during the transition period. The rate at which the United Kingdom will draw on the credit will depend on the rapidity with which it can reconvert its economy and adapt its trade to the postwar world. The anticipated rate of expenditure is likely to be heaviest during the next 2 years.
(e) Since the Bretton Woods Agreements have now been approved by the required number of countries, both the International Monetary fund and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development will commence operations during 1946. The organization of these institutions will undoubtedly take some time, and it is unlikely that their operations will reach any appreciable scale before the beginning of the fiscal year 1947.
Of the 2,750 million dollars required for the fund, 1,800 million dollars will be provided in cash or notes from the exchange stabilization fund established under the Gold Reserve Act of 1934. The remaining 950 million dollars will be paid initially in the form of non—interest—bearing notes issued by the Secretary of the Treasury. It is not anticipated that the fund will require in cash any of the 950 million dollars during the fiscal years 1946 and 1947. Consequently, no cash withdrawals from the Treasury will be required in connection with the fund in these years.
The subscription to the Bank amounts to 3,175 million dollars. Of this total, 2 percent must be paid immediately and the Bank is required to call a further 8 percent of the subscription during its first year of operations. The balance of the subscription is payable when required by the Bank either for direct lending or to make good its guarantees. It is likely that the United States will be required to pay little if any more than the initial 10 percent before the end of the fiscal year 1947.
I anticipate that net expenditures of the Export—Import Bank and expenditures arising from the British credit and the Bretton Woods Agreements will amount to 2,614 million dollars, including the noncash item of 950 million dollars for the fund, in the fiscal year 1946, and 2,754 million dollars in the fiscal year 1947.
The responsibilities of the Government, in both domestic and international affairs, have increased greatly in the past decade. Consequently, the Government is larger than it was before the war, and its general operating costs are higher. We cannot shrink the Government to prewar dimensions unless we slough off these new responsibilities——and we cannot do that without paying an excessive price in terms of our national welfare. We can, however, enhance its operating efficiency through improved organization. I expect to make such improvements under the authority of the Reorganization Act of 1945.
The appropriations which I am recommending for general government for the fiscal year 1947 are 1,604 million dollars under existing legislation. This is an increase of 458 million dollars over the total of enacted appropriations for the current fiscal year, but a substantial part of this increase is due to the fact that the appropriations for the fiscal year 1946 were made prior to the general increase of employees’ salaries last July 1, for which allowance is made in the anticipated supplemental appropriations for 1946. The recommended total for 1947 for general government, like the estimates for national defense and other specific programs, does not allow for the further salary increases for Government employees which, I hope, will be authorized by pending legislation, but—the tentative lump—sum estimates under proposed legislation contemplate that such salary increases will be effective almost at once.
Expenditures for general government in the fiscal year 1947 are expected to continue the slowly rising trend which began in 1943. This category includes a great variety of items——not merely the overhead costs of the Government. It includes all the expenditures of the Cabinet departments, other than for national defense, aids to agriculture, general public works, and the social security program. It includes also expenditures of the legislative branch, the Judiciary, and many of the independent agencies of the executive branch. Consequently, the estimated increase in 1947 in the total of general government expenditures reflects a variety of influences.
Now included in general government are certain activities formerly classified under national defense. Some of these, such as certain functions of the former foreign Economic Administration and the War Manpower Commission, are still needed during the period of reconversion; others are in the process of liquidation. A few wartime activities, for example, the international information and foreign intelligence services and some of the wartime programs for controlling disease and crime, have become part of our regular government establishment. Expenditures for these former wartime functions explain about 40 percent of the increase in expenditures for general government.
Other increases are for civil aeronautics promotion, the business and manufacturing censuses, and other expanded business services of the Department of Commerce which have been referred to above; the forest and Soil Conservation Services and other committees of the Department of certain conservation activities of the Department of the Interior; and the collection of internal revenue in the Treasury Department.
The necessity for reestablishing postal services curtailed during the war and advances in the rates of pay for postal employees have increased substantially the estimated expenditures for postal service for both the current and the next fiscal year. It is not expected that this increase will cause expenditures to exceed postal revenues in either year, although an excess of expenditures may occur in the fiscal year 1947 if salaries are increased further.
Expenditures for our share of the administrative budgets of the United Nations and other permanent international bodies will increase sharply in the fiscal year 1947, yet will remain a small part of our total Budget. The budget for the United Nations has not yet been determined; an estimate for our contribution will be submitted later. Our contributions to the food and Agriculture Organization, the International Labor Office, the Pan American Union, and other similar international agencies will aggregate about 3 million dollars for the fiscal year 1947. The administrative expenses of the International Monetary fund and the International Bank will be met from their general funds.
We have won a great war——we, the nations of plain people who hate war. In the test of that war we found a strength of unity that brought us through——a strength that crushed the power of those who sought by force to deny our faith in the dignity of man.
During this trial the voices of disunity among us were silent or were subdued to an occasional whine that warned us that they were still among us. Those voices are beginning to cry aloud again. We must learn constantly to turn deaf ears to them. They are voices which foster fear and suspicion and intolerance and hate. They seek to destroy our harmony, our understanding of each other, our American tradition of “live and let live.” They have become busy again, trying to set race against race, creed against creed, farmer against city dweller, worker against employer, people against their own governments. They seek only to do us mischief. They must not
It should be impossible for any man to contemplate without a sense of personal humility the tremendous events of the 12 months since the last annual Message, the great tasks that confront us, the new and huge problems of the coming months and years. Yet these very things justify the deepest confidence in the future of this Nation of free men and women.
The plain people of this country found the courage and the strength, the self—discipline, and the mutual respect to fight and to win, with the help of our allies, under God. I doubt if the tasks of the future are more difficult. But if they are, then I say that our strength and our knowledge and our understanding will be equal to those tasks.
As printed above, references to tables appearing in the budget document have been omitted.
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