September 14th, 2011

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It’s not "caving", it's saving

I remember two things. I remember the howling for a mere executive order to undo DADT, along with a little extra howling when the administration stopped the courts from blocking DADT immediately (which would have interfered with the orderly shutdown that is underway); and I remember Ronald Reagan undoing everything that Jimmy Carter had done in energy improvement, because Jimmy Carter told us we sucked and Ted Kennedy told us Jimmy Carter sucked and so on.

Indeed, to this day we are told how much Jimmy Carter sucked, when what he did wrong was not get re-elected. How much better would this country be today if Jimmy Carter had been re-elected!
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Who said it?

Thank you for making the right choice, and for showing me how much you all love me. Being this popular is not just my right, but my responsibility, and I want you to know I take it very seriously.

Who said it: Cordelia Chase, or Walter Mondale?
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"He used the kind of gentle irony that left no scars behind it"

"His humor and his comments were always kind. His was no biting sarcasm that hurt the highest or the lowest of his fellow citizens. When he wanted people to laugh out loud, he used the methods of pure fun. And when he wanted to make a point for the good of mankind, he used the kind of gentle irony that left no scars behind it."

-- President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, about Will Rogers (
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Jeans in the WH

I just remembered how Jimmy Carter thought he could be president without wearing a suit. Oh, how they end up learning they aren’t in Georgia or Arkansas anymore. :)
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Statements from the FDR White House

May 10,1933. White House Statement on Veterans' Regulations.

As result of conferences between the President, the National Commander of the American Legion, Louis Johnson, and the Director of the Budget, the following conclusions have been reached.

As a result of the application of the veterans' regulations, it now seems that the cut in compensation of service-connected World War veterans with specific injuries has been deeper than was originally intended. The regulation and schedules in this respect will, therefore, be reviewed so as to effect more equitable levels of payment. Careful study also will be made of the other regulations and their effects.

By reason of the burden incident to rerating and in order that undue hardship will not be imposed upon veterans in their application for adjudication of their cases, regional offices of the Veterans' Administration will not be closed as has been reported, except where it has been clearly demonstrated that regional facilities are not necessary.

It is not contemplated that Government hospitals will be closed pending a careful, studious survey of the entire hospital situation. This, of necessity, will require considerable time.

These conclusions are in line with the President's original statement that the regulations and schedules would be drafted so as to effect the most humane possible treatment of veterans truly disabled in war service.

June 6,1933. White House Statement on Cuts in Veterans' Benefits.

Important changes were made today by the President in regulations having to do with compensation allowances for veterans of the World War and the Spanish-American War. These changes were approved by the President by an Executive Order which he signed.

The object of the changes made was to reduce the severity of cuts originally proposed under the so-called Economy Bill passed by the Congress to maintain the credit of the United States.

The new regulations set forth in the Executive Order were made possible by the President's original direction that the tentative regulations be carefully reviewed and amended specifically to prevent cuts in compensation of service-connected veterans which would be deeper than was intended and to effect more equitable levels of payment.

Under the new regulations, no directly service-connected veteran will be reduced in payment by more than 25 percent and the average reduction will approximate 18 percent. This regulation applies not only to World War veterans but to Spanish-American War veterans with directly connected disabilities and to peace-time veterans who have incurred a disability while with an Expeditionary Force engaged in a campaign or expedition such as Nicaragua, China, Russia or Haiti, and who have incurred injuries or disease in line of duty.

Under this regulation, the service-connected Spanish-American War veterans and some of the peace-time veterans will receive payments substantially in excess of those which they were receiving prior to the passage of the Economy Act.

With respect to World War veterans, this regulation increases the payments to those suffering from specific injuries, such as $150 a month for those who have lost both hands or both feet or one hand and one foot or in any case where the person is so helpless as to be in need of regular aid or attendant and, in addition, in the case of the more severely injured, the President's new regulations increase the allowance from $150 per month to $ 175 per month.

In the case of the Spanish-American War veterans over 62 years of age and who have served 90 days or more, even though they may be suffering from non-service-connected disabilities, rates are increased from $6 to $15 a month and in the case of either Spanish-American War or World War veterans who are permanently and totally disabled the rate is increased from $20 to $30 a month.

The new regulations also liberalize allowances pertaining to burial and funeral expenses to veterans. They provide that pensions shall continue to be payable to children of deceased veterans up to the age of 18 years and that, in the event of a child being in an approved school or college, the pension may continue for an additional period until the completion of the course, but not beyond the age of 21 years.

The original regulations only authorized payment of pensions up to 16 years in such cases. These regulations also include a provision exempting from the prohibition against payment of pensions to Federal employees, the widows of deceased veterans, and those veterans whose pay is $50 per month or less.

Sounds rather like a ‘Temporary Rebate Adjustment’.
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More FDR

January 9, 1934. White House Statement on Executive Order Continuing Reduction in Pay of Federal Employees.

The President today signed an Executive Order continuing the fifteen percent reduction in compensation of Federal officers and employees until June 30, 1934.

The Department of Labor reported two sets of findings. The first, based on the cost of living for families of wage earners and lower salaried workers in 32 cities scattered throughout the United States, reveals that the average cost of living for these groups in our population was, during the last half of 1933, 21.1 below the average of the base period of December, 1927, and June, 1928. In this set of findings the decline in the cost of living in the District of Columbia for similar families was 17.9.

The second set of findings resulted from a special study of the cost of living of Government employees in the District of Columbia and was made during the past three months by the Labor Department. These show a decline in the cost of living of 14.6 percent.

In view of the above and because the law provides for index figures covering all parts of the country, it is necessary to continue the present scale until June 30, 1934.

March 27, 1934. Veto of the Appropriations Bill.

To the House of Representatives:

I return herewith without my approval H. R. 6663 entitled "An Act making appropriations for the Executive Office and sundry independent executive bureaus, boards, commissions, and offices, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1935, and for other purposes." I am impelled to do this on a number of grounds, any one of them sufficient to require disapproval of the Bill.

In March, 1933, the Congress passed, and I signed "An Act to maintain the credit of the United States Government." This law became one of the principal pillars of national recovery for the clear reason that for the first time in many years the recurring annual expenses for the maintenance of the Government were brought within the current revenues of the Government. It is true that very large but wholly distinct funds are being dispensed daily for emergency purposes, but these funds are going directly to the purpose of saving farms, saving homes and giving relief and employment to millions of our fellow citizens. They are nonrecurring in nature, while the increases contemplated in this Bill are continuous and permanent.

Furthermore, the Budget submitted by me to the Congress on January 4, 1934, laid down a definite program of expenditures and a definite estimate of receipts. Because of the emergency expenditures for relief and unemployment, the expected total deficits this year and in 1935 are necessarily large; but at the same time a program for a completely balanced budget by June 30, 1936, was determined upon as a definite objective.

This Bill exceeds the estimates submitted by me in the sum of $228,000,000. I am compelled to take note of the fact that in creating this excess the Congress has failed at the same time to provide a similar sum by additional taxation. Moreover, to the extent that the amount of money appropriated by the Congress is in excess of my Budget estimates, and in the absence of provision for additional revenues, there must be a decrease in the funds available for essential relief work.

This Bill increases the compensation for employees of the United States Government $125,000,000 over my Budget estimates for this purpose. I have great sympathy for the employees, but I cannot forget that millions of American citizens are today still without employment, and reduction in the compensation of Federal employees has been and still is on the average less than the reduction in compensation that has been patiently endured by those citizens not in the employ of the United States Government.

Let me be specific. This Bill makes a portion of the restored compensation retroactive to February 1, 1934. I believe it unwise to establish this precedent, and I cannot overlook the serious administrative difficulties involved in paying back pay to individuals, many of whom are no longer in the employ of the Government.

The Bill also contains several discriminatory provisions, such as paying employees in some departments of the Government 48 hours' pay for 40 hours' work.

In submitting the Budget estimates last December, I recommended compensation restoration of 5 percent for the next fiscal year. The cost of living seems to be rising slowly. The present authority is not responsive enough to changing conditions. I therefore shall be glad to confer with the Congress on improving the methods of restoring Federal pay so that in actual practice the pay will keep ahead of the cost of living increases instead of lagging behind. Adjustments can well be made immediately on the passage of appropriate legislation followed by more frequent adjustments in the future.

I come now to the provisions in this Act relating to World War veterans. First let me speak of principles. Last October I said this to the American Legion Convention:

"The first principle, following inevitably from the obligation of citizens to bear arms, is that the Government has a responsibility for and toward those who suffered injury or contracted disease while serving in its defense.

"The second principle is that no person, because he wore a uniform, must thereafter be placed in a special class of beneficiaries over and above all other citizens. The fact of wearing a uniform does not mean that he can demand and receive from his Government a benefit which no other citizen receives. It does not mean that because a person served in the defense of his country, performed a basic obligation of citizenship, he should receive a pension from his Government because of a disability incurred after his service had terminated, and not connected with that service.

"It does mean, however, that those who were injured in or as a result of their service are entitled to receive adequate and generous compensation for their disabilities. It does mean that generous care shall be extended to the dependents of those who died in or as a result of service to their country."

I am very confident that the American people, including the overwhelming majority of veterans themselves, approve these principles and in the last analysis will support them.

Applying them to the provisions of this Bill I cannot give it my approval.

Last year it was determined—and I had hoped permanently-that a service-connected disability is a question of fact rather than a question of law. In other words, each individual case should and· must be considered on its merits and there is no justification for legislative dicta which, contrary to fact, provide that thousands of individual cases of sickness which commenced four, five or six years after the termination of the War are caused by war service. Therefore local boards were established—boards on which three out of the five members were in no way connected with the Veterans Administration and on which two-thirds of those serving were ex-service men. These local boards approved disallowances in the case of 29,000 veterans and these decisions were unanimous in 94 percent of the cases. Not content with that, I created a Board of Appeals the majority of which again are in no way connected with the Veterans Administration and a majority of which are ex-service men. This Board is now engaged in hearing appeals of those cases disallowed by the local boards.

A few weeks ago I gave approval to an amendment the purpose of which was, pending the determination of their appeals to restore to the rolls at 75 percent of their compensation, those veterans in whose cases the presumption of service connection was disallowed by the local boards. This, however, was rejected in the Congress. I intend now by regulation forthwith to direct an appeal by the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs in each and every one of these disallowed 29,000 cases with the further direction that in the final determination of these cases every reasonable doubt be resolved in favor of the veteran, and every assistance be rendered in the preparation and presentation of these cases. While these cases are pending, the veterans will be paid 75 percent of the compensation they received prior to the time they were removed from the rolls. If the appeal is allowed they will receive back compensation. Only in cases disallowed by the Board of Appeals will the veteran thereafter be permanently removed from the rolls. This regulation will be put into effect at once.

By reason of the fact that many totally and permanently disabled veterans have been the recipients of benefits from their Government for a long period of time, it is difficult in the event of a disallowance of service connection by the final Board of Appeals to remove them completely from the rolls. Existing regulations therefore provide that if their cases are disallowed and if they are found to be totally and permanently disabled they shall, notwithstanding fundamental principles enunciated, if in need, receive $30.00 a month and domiciliary care and hospitalization.

It is a simple and undeniable fact that the United States, in terms of compensation and in terms of hospitalization, has done and is doing infinitely more for our veterans and their dependents than any other Government.

I come now to the provisions of the Bill relating to Spanish-American War veterans. To this group of ex-service men I have devoted much thought. Because of their age, they command sympathy. Nevertheless, we must recognize also that many abuses have crept into the laws granting them benefits.

The Spanish-American War Veterans' Amendment to this Act provides for service pensions. This violates the principles upon which benefits to veterans should be paid and the principles to which I have referred in this message. Moreover, if that principle should in the future be applied to the World War veterans at the same rate as contemplated for Spanish-American War veterans by this Bill, the annual and continuing charge upon the people of this country by 1949 will amount to more than $830,000,000 for that item alone. This would be in addition to the large cost of all existing veterans' benefits and future hospitalization. This I cannot approve.

However, I am today directing the restoration to the rolls of those Spanish-American War veterans who in 1920 were receiving pensions as a result of having sustained an injury or incurred a disease arising out of their war service.

By Regulation 12 a presumption of service origin was extended to Spanish-American War veterans on the rolls on March 19,1933. In order to take the same action which I am taking in regard to World War veterans, I am directing the restoration to the rolls, as of this date, at 75 percent of the amount they were receiving on March 19, 1933, all Spanish-American War veterans pending a final determination of their cases before the Board of Appeals.

Without going further into all of the details relating to the treatment—past, present and future—of Spanish-American War veterans, it seems sufficient to repeat that I am wholly and irrevocably opposed to the principle of the general service pension, but I do seek to provide with liberality for all those who suffered because of their service in that War. As in the case of World War veterans, I shall not hesitate further to alter or modify the regulations in order that substantial justice may be done in every individual case.

What you and I are seeking is justice and fairness in the individual case. I call your specific attention to the fact that since the original regulations were established a year ago actual experience has shown many cases where these regulations required modification. I have not hesitated to take the necessary action and have issued regulations which have made many changes. These changes based on principles of justice to the individual veteran involve additional expenditures of approximately $117,000,000. It goes without saying that I shall not hesitate to make further changes if the principles of justice demand them.

On the basis of the original regulations following the Economy Act, the annual cost to the United States of veterans' relief was $486,000,000. Since that time by Executive Order the addition of $117,000,000 increases to $603,000,000 the total cost for veterans' relief for the fiscal year 1935.

My disapproval of this Bill is not based solely on the consideration of dollars and cents. There is a deeper consideration. You and I are concerned with the principles herein enunciated. I trust that the Congress will continue to cooperate with me in our common effort to restore general prosperity and relieve distress.
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And some more FDR

May 1, 1934. White House Statement Explaining Veto of the Postal Substitutes' Bill.

In disapproving H. R. 7483 entitled "An Act to Provide Minimum Pay for Postal Substitutes," the President wants it made perfectly clear that the disapproval is based not so much on the consideration of the additional expense involved should the bill become a law as on the broad consideration of public policy and the management of the postal service, the largest of the governmental functions.

Last year postal revenues had fallen of[ to such an extent and the volume of business transacted had reached such a low ebb, that the Postmaster General found it necessary in the interest of the taxpayers to curtail expenditures in every way possible. The reduced volume so affected the situation that it was obviously in the public interest to reduce deliveries in cities, to curtail some transportation services and to furlough regular employees for the reason that such employees could not be fully occupied. It necessarily followed that the thousands of substitute or emergency employees were not needed for actual duty. Therefore, allowances for the employment of substitutes were drastically curtailed.

However, within the past few weeks, as has been publicly announced by the Postmaster General, the revenues of the postal service have shown a marked increase and the volume of business has improved to such an extent that the Post Office Department has found it proper to restore much of the service that was curtailed, to eliminate the furloughs of regular employees and again to make it possible for such employees to enjoy their annual vacations with pay during the remainder of this fiscal year. The service increases and the restoration of the vacations have resulted in additional expenditures of approximately $6,000,000 over and above what had been previously authorized for the months of April, May and June. Allowances have been granted which will enable postmasters throughout the country to expend in excess of $3,500,000 additional for the employment of substitutes. There is no doubt that substitute employees in all of the larger cities, and indeed, in practically all of the first class offices, will be employed for more than a hundred hours a month as a result of the service restorations. This provides definite relief for this group of employees and there is every indication that their employment, as above indicated, will be continued.

This bill contains so many provisions that would hamper the administration of the postal service in determining its personnel needs, that as a matter of public policy and in the interest of good business management of the postal service of the United States, the President is impelled to disapprove the bill as presented.

May 1, 1934. Message to Congress on the Budget.

To the Congress:

In my budget message to the Congress of January 3, 1934, I said to you:

"It is evident to me, as I am sure it is evident to you, that powerful forces for recovery exist. It is by laying a foundation of confidence in the present and faith in the future that the upturn which we have so far seen will become cumulative. The cornerstone of this foundation is the good credit of the Government.

"It is, therefore, not strange nor is it academic that this credit has a profound effect upon the confidence so necessary to permit the new recovery to develop into maturity.

"If we maintain the course I have outlined, we can confidently look forward to cumulative beneficial forces represented by increased volume of business, more general profit, greater employment, a diminution of relief expenditures, larger governmental receipts and repayments, and greater human happiness."

The budget which I submitted to the Congress proposed expenditures for the balance of this fiscal year and for the coming fiscal year which, in the light of expected revenues, called for a definite deficiency on June 30, 1935, but, at the same time, held out the hope that annual deficits would terminate during the following fiscal year.

It is true that actual expenditures since January have proceeded at a slower rate than estimated; nevertheless, it must be borne in mind that, even though the actual deficit for the year ending June 30, 1934, will be below my estimate, appropriations are still in' force and the amounts actually to be expended during the following fiscal year will, therefore, be increased over and above my estimate for that fiscal year. In this connection it is relevant to point out that during the fiscal year 1935 it is estimated that there will be actually expended on public works $1,500,000,000 out of appropriations heretofore made.

In my budget message of January 3, 1934, it was pointed out that there could be no abrupt termination of emergency expenditures for recovery purposes, that the necessity for relief would continue, and that appropriations amounting to $3,166,000,000, in addition to the appropriations contained in the budget itself, would be requested for the two fiscal years ending June 30, 1935.

The present Congress has already made appropriations out of which, for the two fiscal years in question, it is estimated there will be expended the following sums:

Relief $950,000,000
Crop Loans 40,000,000
Farm Mortgages 40,000,000
Reconstruction Finance Corp 500,000,000
Veterans' Benefits 22,000,000
Army Air Corps 5,000,000
Flood Control, Mississippi River, etc 19,000,000
Independent Offices Act 228,000,000

Miscellaneous Supplemental Estimates ........................ 30,000,000


This leaves a balance of $1,322,000,000 to be appropriated.

Out of this balance it is necessary first to take the specific items to be appropriated for:

Federal Land Banks—
Subscription to paid-in surplus $75,000,000
Reduction in interest payments 7,950,000
Emergency Bank Act and Gold Transfer 3,000,000
Internal Revenue Service 10,000,000
Salaries, Office of the Secretary of the Treasury 100,000
Secret Service 45,000


This leaves $1,225,905,000 available for the following purposes:
Civilian Conservation Corps Camps, Public Works, and Relief Work, in addition to amounts already appropriated, and including aid to the dairy and beef cattle industries.

It is estimated that the minimum requirements for the Civilian Conservation Corps will be $285,000,000 and that the amount available, therefore, for public works and relief will be $940,905,000. A very simple checkup of these figures shows that they total $3,166,000,000, to which reference was made in my budget message of January 3, 1934.

It was my thought in January, and is my thought now, that this sum should be appropriated to me under fairly broad powers because of the fact that no one could then, or can now, determine the exact needs under hard and fixed appropriation headings. In furtherance of this thought it seems appropriate to provide that any savings which can be effected out of certain appropriations made for emergency purposes shall be available for emergency relief purposes.

In my judgment an appropriation in excess of the above amount would make more difficult if not impossible an actual balance of the budget in the fiscal year 1936, unless greatly increased taxes are provided. The present estimates should be sufficient as a whole to take care of the emergencies of relief and of orderly re-employment at least until the early part of the calendar year 1935. If at that time conditions have not improved as much as we today hope, the next Congress will be in session and will have full opportunity to act.

December 27, 1934. Letter to American Legion Commander Garland R. Farmer on the Soldiers' Bonus Issue.

Dear Commander Farmer:

I appreciate your letter of recent date, and it is particularly interesting in that it confirms an impression that I have had for some time; that is, that the bonus question is not well understood even among the veterans themselves.

I am also particularly impressed with one paragraph of your letter which confirms another conviction I have that the service men generally have the interests of their country and Government at heart. I have had prepared for me a memorandum which outlines in detail exactly what the Congress did in 1924 when they authorized the issuing of the Adjusted Service Certificates known generally as the "bonus." This memorandum I am inclosing herewith. I am sure that you will find in this memorandum sufficient information to enable you to decide for yourself the stand you should take on this issue as well as to be in a position, as I feel you should be, to advise legionnaires who come to you seeking information in regard to the immediate payment of the balance due on the Adjusted Service Certificates.

It is quite apparent from your letter in which you advise me of the reasons why the service men are demanding immediate payment of the bonus, that there is a general misunderstanding in regard to the Government's obligation in this matter. When, in 1924, the Congress decided to issue the Adjusted Service Certificates, they actually authorized a bonus of $1,400,000,000, but because of the stand taken at that time by those advocating the measure who felt that it would be in the interest of the service men themselves, this cash outlay was not made immediately, but was deferred for twenty years. Because of this deferment the initial bonus was increased 25 percent so that the $1,400,000,000 invested for the service men at 4 percent compounded annually, would mature in twenty years at $3,500,000,000. Or putting it another way, suppose that a veteran's original grant by the Congress in 1924 was $400 and that the veteran did not borrow on his certificate, permitting the interest to accumulate to maturity. The $400 would grow so that it would pay the veteran $1,000 when due in 1945. In other words, the amount which is printed upon the face of every Adjusted Service Certificate is not the amount of the basic or original bonus voted by the Congress, but is an amount plus 25 percent added for deferred payment which, with interest at 4 percent compounded annually over a twenty-year period, will produce the face or maturity value. This would seem to dispose of the question as to whether the obligation is immediately due.

There is another feature in connection with this matter that impresses me, and that is the fact that out of 3,500,000 certificates outstanding, 3,038,500 veterans have borrowed thereon approximately $1,690,000,000. In other words, some have borrowed more than the present worth of their bonus certificates. This is brought about by the action of the Congress permitting a veteran to borrow up to 50 percent of the face or maturity value of his certificate, even though that certificate may have been issued only a few days before the loan is made. Of course, all the certificates were not issued at the same time in 1925, but have been issued from that date up to the present time, so their present value or earned value, as we may put it, is not the same in all cases, but taking the aggregate of all the certificates issued they have a present value of $2,100,000,000, whereas their face value is $3,500,000,000. Then, too, I believe it has been suggested that the interest paid or now accumulated be canceled or remitted. If this plan were carried out the total amount would increase to $3,720,000,000; or putting it another way making the cost $1,620,000,000 over and above the present value and $2,320,000,000 above the amount which the Congress fixed as the original basic adjustment.

I feel sure that many of the veterans have not given the question sufficient study to realize the vast sums required to meet the demands suggested.

Your statement advising me that those who favor the immediate payment of the bonus feel that a good reason for doing so is because the Government has spent millions of dollars on the recovery program, and that much of these funds will not be repaid, while by the payment of the bonus the Government will be discharging an obligation, and by so discharging this obligation the money spent by the veterans will do much in a practical way of stimulating recovery, is interesting.

I know that you appreciate that all expenditures for relief have been made in the interest of recovery and for all our citizens, non-veterans as well as for veterans. All citizens in need have shared in the direct distribution for relief, and in employment, as you no doubt are aware, a very definite and distinct preference is given to veterans. I am advised that at the time the issue of paying the balance of the bonus was up and a compromise was made by increasing the loan value to 50 percent of the face value, there resulted a distribution of approximately a billion dollars, and at that time the same argument was advanced that the expenditure of such a large amount of money by the veterans would greatly stimulate business and aid recovery. A survey of the results showed otherwise. This large payment resulted in little stimulation of business, and in many of the larger cities no material change was indicated at all. It was found that indebtedness created by the veterans prior to the payment was liquidated, and the money advanced to veterans went to clear that indebtedness rather than to create new business. No doubt the same results would obtain if the balance were now paid. However, in this connection what to me is very important, having in mind that the bonus certificate is a paid-up endowment policy payable either to the veteran upon its maturity or to his beneficiary, generally the wife and children in the event of his death, is the fact that of the veterans who die, approximately 85 percent of them leave no other asset to their family but the Adjusted Service Certificate or the balance due on the certificate. I feel, therefore, that those who advocate the payment of these certificates at this time for the purpose of stimulating business certainly cannot have given the interests of the veterans much thought.

I appreciate your truly patriotic interest in desiring to obtain full information on an issue so vital to the service men and our country. I am giving you this information with the hope that it will be useful in enabling you to reach a conclusion in your own mind regarding the matter as well as helping others to determine the fair thing to do.

December 27, 1934. Memorandum Accompanying the Foregoing Letter.

The Congress, by the passage of the Act of May 19, 1924, provided for the granting of additional compensation to each veteran, with certain specified exceptions, of $1 per day for services in the United States and $1.25 per day for services over seas, in excess of the first sixty days of services. The amount thus determined was increased by 25 percent because of deferment of payment. Using the aggregate as a net single premium according to the American Experience Table of Mortality with interest at 4 percent per annum, entitlement was granted to the veterans to payment, twenty years after 1925 or date of application, of a sum approximately two and one-half times that of the basic adjustment. The 150 percent increase represents the additional amount granted because of deferment of payment and the compounded interest. Thus an original grant of $400 in 1925 would enlarge itself to $1000 in 1945. If in 1925 the $1 and $1.25 per day adjustment had been paid in cash the veterans would have received a total of $1,400,000,000, but by deferring the payment twenty years the sum became $3,500,000,000.

Under the original law, veterans were permitted to borrow on their certificates according to the reserve value thereof, but in February 1931 an amendment increased, without regard to actuarial value, the amount which could be borrowed to 50 percent of the maturity value. This amendment also fixed the maximum interest which could be charged on loans at 4 1/2 percent, which rate was subsequently reduced to 3 1/2 percent by the Act of July 21, 1932. The amount, including interest charges now outstanding because of loans made to veterans, is slightly less than $1,690,000,000. Of this amount, $1,470,000,000 is represented by actual payments disbursed by the Veterans' Administration. The difference between the maturity value and the present liens on certificates is $1,810,000,000. However, the difference between the present value of the certificates, actuarially computed, and the amount outstanding as liens is only $410,000,000. As the major portion of this difference is represented by the value of the onehalf million certificates which have not been borrowed upon, only $130,000,000 would be payable on the present value basis to the three million men who have borrowed on their certificates, representing an average equity of about $43 on the average certificate in contrast to the $500 which is now sought to be paid by the resolution of the American Legion.

In substance, this resolution seeks the remitting of interest in an amount in excess of $220,000,000 charged to the veterans' accounts, but would require the immediate payment by the Government of interest that will not have been earned until 1945, which together with the amount granted on account of deferred payments totals $2,100,000,000 more than the $1 and $1.25 a day adjustment provided by the original Act. The present value of the certificates in force is $2,100,000,000, whereas it is sought to have now paid $3,720,000,000 (the maturity or face value plus remittance of interest), or an additional amount of $1,620,000,000 over and above the present value and $2,320,000,000 more than the original basic adjustment.

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More from FDR's papers, including a very interesting joint address

February 21, 1935. Letter to Senator Carter Glass on Preventing Wage-Scale Reductions.

Dear Senator Glass:
In response to your telephonic inquiry, I am very glad to repeat what I told you and several members of your Committee last week.

Every action of the Administration during the past two years has been directed, first, to the objective of raising wage scales which, from the point of view of public interest, were set at unconscionably low levels; and, secondly, we have constantly followed the objective of preventing reductions in existing wage scales.

So much for that, except that I might add that both of these objectives are constantly before us and will continue so to be.

As you are aware, the practical operation of the principle of collective bargaining, plus the operation of the National Industrial Recovery Act, has, in the overwhelming majority of cases of organized and unorganized labor, either raised wages or prevented any reduction in wages.

I object to and deny any assertion that the payment of wages to workers now on the relief rolls at less than the prevailing rate of wages may, under some theory, result in a lowering of wages paid by private employers. I say this because it is an obvious fact—first, that the Federal Government and every State Government will act to prevent reductions, and, secondly, because public opinion throughout the country will not sustain reductions.

I have enough faith in the country to believe that practically 100 percent of employers are patriotic enough to prevent the lowering of wages. In this thought they will have the full support of the Government.

I think that the record of this Administration has demonstrated that in the administering of this legislation I will not permit anything to be done that will result in lowering the wage scale of the Nation.

May 22, 1935.

Mr. Speaker, Members of the House of Representatives:

Two days ago a number of gentlemen from the House of Representatives called upon me and with complete propriety presented their reasons for asking me to approve the House of Representatives bill providing for the immediate payment of adjusted service certificates. In the same spirit of courtesy I am returning this bill today to the House of Representatives.

As I told the gentlemen who waited upon me, I have never doubted the good faith lying behind the reasons which have caused them and the majority of the Congress to advocate this bill. In the same spirit I come before you dispassionately and in good faith to give you, as simply as I can, the reasons which compel me to give it my disapproval.

Under the Constitution, I address this message to the House of Representatives, but at the same time, I am glad that the Senate by coming here in joint session gives me opportunity to give my reasons in person to the other House of the Congress.

As to the right and propriety of the President in addressing the Congress in person, I am very certain that I have never in the past disagreed, and will never in the future disagree, with the Senate or the House of Representatives as to the constitutionality of the procedure. With your permission, I should like to continue from time to time to act as my own messenger.

Eighteen years ago the United States engaged in the World War. A Nation of one hundred and twenty million people was united in the purpose of victory. The millions engaged in agriculture toiled to provide the raw materials and foodstuffs for our armies and for the Nations with whom we were associated. Many other millions employed in industry labored to create the materials for the active conduct of the war on land and sea.

Out of this vast army, consisting of the whole working population of the Nation, four and three-quarter million men volunteered or were drafted into the armed forces of the United States. One-half of them remained within our American continental limits. The other half served overseas; and of these, one million four hundred thousand saw service in actual combat.

The people and the Government of the United States have shown a proper and generous regard for the sacrifices and patriotism of all of the four and three-quarter million men who were in uniform no matter where they served.

At the outbreak of the war, the President and the Congress sought and established an entirely new policy in order to guide the granting of financial aid to soldiers and sailors. Remembering the unfortunate results that came from the lack of a veterans' policy after the Civil War, they determined that a prudent and sound principle of insurance should supplant the uncertainties and unfairness of direct bounties. At the same time, their policy encompassed the most complete care for those who had suffered disabilities in service. With respect to the grants made within the lines of this general policy, the President and the Congress have fully recognized that those who served in uniform deserved certain benefits to which other citizens of the Republic were not entitled, and in which they could not participate.

In line with these sound and fair principles, many benefits have been provided for veterans.

During the war itself provision was made for Government allowances for the families and other dependents of enlisted men in service. Disability and death compensation was provided for casualties in line of duty.

The original provisions for these benefits have been subsequently changed and liberalized many times by the Congress. Later generous presumptions for veterans who became ill after the termination of the war were written into the statute to help veterans in their claims for disability. As a result of this liberal legislation for disability and for death compensation, one million one hundred and forty thousand men and women have been benefited.

During the war the Government started a system of voluntary insurance at peace-time rates for men and women in the service.

Generous provision has been made for hospitalization, vocational training and rehabilitation of veterans. You are familiar with this excellent care given to the sick and disabled.

In addition to these direct benefits, the Congress has given recognition to the interest and welfare of veterans in employment matters, through veteran preference in the United States civil service and in the selection of employees under the Public Works Administration, through the establishment of a veterans' employment unit in the Department of Labor, and through provisions favoring veterans in the selection of those employed in the Civilian Conservation Corps. Many States have likewise given special bonuses in cash and veterans' preferences in State and local public employment.

Furthermore, unemployed veterans as a group have benefited more largely than any other group from the expenditure of the great Public Works appropriation of three billion three hundred million dollars made by the Congress in 1933, and under which we are still operating. In like manner the new four-billion-dollar Work Relief Act seeks to give employment to practically every veteran who is receiving relief.

We may measure the benefits extended from the fact that there has been expended up to the end of the last fiscal year more than $7,800,000,000 for these items in behalf of the veterans of the World War, not including sums spent for home or work relief. With our current annual expenditures of some $450,000,000 and the liquidation of outstanding obligations under term insurance and the payment of the service certificates, it seems safe to predict that by the year 1945 we will have expended $13,500,000,000. This is a sum equal to more than three-fourths of the entire cost of our participation in the World War, and ten years from now most of the veterans of that war will be barely past the half century mark.

Payments have been and are being made only to veterans of the World War and their dependents, and not to civilian workers who helped to win that war.

In the light Of our established principles and policies let us consider the case of adjusted compensation. Soon after the close of the war a claim was made by several veterans' organizations that they should be paid some adjusted compensation for their time in uniform. After a complete and fair presentation of the whole subject, followed by full debate in the Congress of the United States, a settlement was reached in 1924.

This settlement provided for adjustment in compensation during service by an additional allowance per day for actual service rendered. Because cash payment was not to be made immediately, this basic allowance was increased by 25 percent and to this was added compound interest for 20 years, the whole to be paid in 1945. The result of this computation was that an amount two and one-half times the original grant would be paid at maturity.

Taking the average case as an example, the Government acknowledged a claim of $400 to be due. This $400, under the provisions of the settlement, with the addition of the 25 percent for deferred payment and the compound interest from that time until 1945, would amount to the sum of $1,000 in 1945. The veteran was thereupon given a certificate containing an agreement by the Government to pay him this $1,000 in 1945 or to pay it to his family if he died at any time before 1945. In effect, it was a paid-up endowment policy in the average case for $1,000 payable in 1945, or sooner in the event of death. Under the provisions of this settlement the total obligation of $1,400,000,000 in 1924 produced a maturity or face value of $3,500,000,000 in 1945.

Since 1924 the only major change in the original settlement was the act of 1931, under which veterans were authorized to borrow up to 50 percent of the face value of their certificates as of 1945. Three million veterans have already borrowed under this provision an amount which, with interest charges, totals $1,700,000,000.

The bill before me provides for the immediate payment of the 1945 value of the certificates. It means paying $1,600,000,000 more than the present value of the certificates. It requires an expenditure of more than $2,200,000,000 in cash for this purpose. It directs payment to the veterans of a much larger sum than was contemplated in the 1924 settlement. It is nothing less than a complete abandonment of that settlement. It is a new straight gratuity or bounty to the amount of $2,600,000,000. It destroys the insurance protection for the dependents of the veterans provided in the original plan. For the remaining period of 10 years they will have lost this insurance.

This proposal, I submit, violates the entire principle of veterans' benefits so carefully formulated at the time of the war and also the entire principle of the adjusted-certificate settlement of 1924.

What are the reasons presented in this bill for this fundamental change in policy? They are set forth with care in a number of "whereas" clauses at the beginning of the bill.

The first of these states as reasons for the cash payment of these certificates at this time: That it will increase the purchasing power of millions of the consuming public; that it will provide relief for many who are in need because of economic conditions; and that it will lighten the relief burden of cities, counties, and States. The second states that payment will not create any additional debt. The third states that payment now will be an effective method of spending money to hasten recovery.

These are the enacted reasons for the passage of this bill. Let me briefly analyze them.

First, the spending of this sum, it cannot be denied, would result in some expansion of retail trade. But it must be noted that retail trade has already expanded to a condition that compares favorably with conditions before the depression. However, to resort to the kind of financial practice provided in this bill would not improve the conditions necessary to expand 'those industries in which we have the greatest unemployment. The Treasury notes issued under the terms of this bill we know from past experience would return quickly to the banks. We know, too, that the banks have at this moment more than ample credit with which to expand the activities of business and industry generally. The ultimate effect of this bill will not, in the long run, justify the expectations that have been raised by those who argue for it.

The next reason in the first "whereas" clause is that present payment will provide relief for many who are in need because of economic conditions. The Congress has just passed an act to provide work relief for such citizens. Some veterans are on the relief rolls, though relatively not nearly so many as is the case with nonveterans. Assume, however, that such a veteran served in the United States or overseas during the war; that he came through in fine physical shape as most of them did; that he received an honorable discharge; that he is today 38 years old and in full possession of his faculties and health; that like several million other Americans he is receiving from his Government relief and assistance in one of many forms—I hold that that able-bodied citizen should be accorded no treatment different from that accorded to other citizens who did not wear a uniform during the World War.

The third reason given in the first "whereas" clause is that payment today would lighten the relief burden of municipalities. Why, I ask, should the Congress lift that burden in respect only to those who wore the uniform? Is it not better to treat every able-bodied American alike and to carry out the great relief program adopted by this Congress in a spirit of equality to all? This applies to every other unit of government through out the Nation.

The second "whereas" clause, which states that the payment of certificates will not create an additional debt, raises a fundamental question of sound finance. To meet a claim of one group by this deceptively easy method of payment will raise similar demands for the payment of claims of other groups. It is easy to see the ultimate result of meeting recurring demands by the issuance of Treasury notes. It invites an ultimate reckoning in uncontrollable prices and in the destruction of the value of savings, that will strike most cruelly those like the veterans who seem to be temporarily benefited. The first person injured by sky-rocketing prices is the man on a fixed income. Every disabled veteran on pension or allowance is on fixed income. This bill favors the able-bodied veteran at the expense of the disabled veteran.

Wealth is not created, nor is it more equitably distributed by this method. A government, like an individual, must ultimately meet legitimate obligations out of the production of wealth by the labor of human beings applied to the resources of nature. Every country that has attempted the form of meeting its obligations which is here provided has suffered disastrous consequences.

In the majority of cases printing-press money has not been retired through taxation. Because of increased costs, caused by inflated prices, new issue has followed new issue, ending in the ultimate wiping out of the currency of the afflicted country. In a few cases, like our own in the period of the Civil War, the printing of Treasury notes to cover an emergency has fortunately not resulted in actual disaster and collapse but has nevertheless caused this Nation untold troubles, economic and political, for a whole generation.

The statement in this same second "whereas" clause that payment will discharge and retire an acknowledged contract obligation of the Government is, I regret to say, not in accordance with the fact. It wholly omits and disregards the fact that this contract obligation is due in 1945 and not today.

If I, as an individual, owe you, an individual member of the Congress, one thousand dollars payable in 1945, it is not a correct statement for you to tell me that I owe you one thousand dollars today. As a matter of practical fact, if I put $750 into a Government savings bond today and make that bond out in your name you will get one thousand dollars on the due date, ten years from now. My debt to you today, therefore, cannot under the remotest possibility be considered more than $750.

The final "whereas" clause, stating that spending the money is the most effective means of hastening recovery, is so ill considered that little comment is necessary. Every authorization of expenditure by the 73d Congress in its session of 1933 and 1934, and every appropriation by the 74th Congress to date, for recovery purposes, has been predicated not on the mere spending of money to hasten recovery, but on the sounder principle of preventing the loss of homes and farms, of saving industry from bankruptcy, of safeguarding bank deposits, and most important of all—of giving relief and jobs through public work to individuals and families faced with starvation. These greater and broader concerns of the American people have a prior claim for our consideration at this time. They have the right of way.

There is before this Congress legislation providing old-age benefits and a greater measure of security for all workers against the hazards of unemployment. We are also meeting the pressing necessities of those who are now unemployed and in need of immediate relief. In all of this every veteran shares.

To argue for this bill as a relief measure is to indulge in the fallacy that the welfare of the country can be generally served by extending relief on some basis other than actual deserving need.

The core of the question is that a man who is sick or under some other special disability because he was a soldier should certainly be assisted as such. But if a man is suffering from economic need because of the depression, even though he is a veteran, he must be placed on a par with all of the other victims of the depression. The veteran who is disabled owes his condition to the war. The healthy veteran who is unemployed owes his troubles to the depression. Each presents a separate and different problem. Any attempt to mingle the two problems is to confuse our efforts.

Even the veteran who is on relief will benefit only temporarily by this measure, because the payment of this sum to him will remove him from the group entitled to relief if the ordinary rules of relief agencies are followed. For him this measure would give but it would also take away. In the end he would be the loser.

The veteran who suffers from this depression can best be aided by the rehabilitation of the country as a whole. His country with honor and gratitude returned him at the end of the war to the citizenry from which he came. He became once more a member of the great civilian population. His interests became identified with its fortunes and also with its misfortunes.

Some years ago it was well said by the distinguished senior Senator from Idaho that: "The soldier of this country cannot be aided except as the country itself is rehabilitated. The soldier cannot come back except as the people as a whole come back. The soldier cannot prosper unless the people prosper. He has now gone back and intermingled and become a part of the citizenship of the country; he is wrapped up in its welfare or in its adversity. The handing out to him of a few dollars will not benefit him under such circumstances, whereas it will greatly injure the prospects of the country and the restoration of normal conditions."

It is generally conceded that the settlement by adjusted-compensation certificates made in 1924 was fair and it was accepted as fair by the overwhelming majority of World War veterans themselves.

I have much sympathy for the argument that some who remained at home in civilian employ enjoyed special privilege and unwarranted remuneration. That is true—bitterly true—but a recurrence of that type of war profiteering can and must be prevented in any future war.

I invite the Congress and the veterans with the great masses of the American population to join with me in progressive efforts to root a recurrence of such injustice out of American life. But we should not destroy privilege and create new privilege at the same time. Two wrongs do not make a right.

The herculean task of the United States Government today is to take care that its citizens have the necessities of life. We are seeking honestly and honorably to do this, irrespective of class or group. Rightly, we give preferential treatment to those men who were wounded, disabled, or who became ill as a result of war service. Rightly, we give care to those who subsequently have become ill. The others—and they represent the great majority—are today in the prime of life, are today in full bodily vigor. They are American citizens who should be accorded equal privileges and equal rights to enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—no less and no more.

It is important to make one more point. In accordance with the mandate of the Congress, our Budget has been set. The public has accepted it. On that basis this Congress has made and is making its appropriations. That Budget asked for appropriations in excess of receipts to the extent of four billions of dollars. The whole of that deficit was to be applied for work relief for the unemployed. That was a single-minded, definite purpose. Every unemployed veteran on the relief rolls was included in that proposed deficit; he will be taken care of out of it.

I cannot in honesty assert to you that to increase that deficit this year by two billion two hundred million dollars will in itself bankrupt the United States. Today the credit of the United States is safe. But it cannot ultimately be safe if we engage in a policy of yielding to each and all of the groups that are able to enforce upon the Congress claims for special consideration. To do so is to abandon the principle of government by and for the American people and to put in its place government by and for political coercion by minorities. We can afford all that we need; but we cannot afford all that we want.

I do not need to be a prophet to assert that if these certificates, due in 1945, are paid in full today, every candidate for election to the Senate or to the House of Representatives will in the near future be called upon in the name of patriotism to support general pension legislation for all veterans, regardless of need or age.

Finally, I invite your attention to the fact that, solely from the point of view of the good credit of the United States, the complete failure of the Congress to provide additional taxes for an additional expenditure of this magnitude would in itself and by itself alone warrant disapproval of this measure.

I well know the disappointment that the performance of my duty in this matter will occasion to many thousands of my fellow citizens. I well realize that some who favor this bill are moved by a true desire to benefit the veterans of the World War and to contribute to the welfare of the Nation. These citizens will, however, realize that I bear an obligation, as President and as Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, which extends to all groups, to all citizens, to the present and to the future. I cannot be true to the office I hold if I do not weigh the claims of all in the scales of equity. I cannot swerve from this moral obligation.

I am thinking of those who served their country in the Army and in the Navy during the period which convulsed the entire civilized world. I saw their service at first-hand at home and overseas. I am thinking of those millions of men and women who increased crops, who made munitions, who ran our railroads, who worked in the mines, who loaded our ships during the war period.

I am thinking of those who died in the cause of America here and abroad, in uniform and out; I am thinking of the widows and orphans of all of them; I am thinking of five millions of Americans who, with their families, are today in dire need, supported in whole or in part by Federal, State, and local governments who have decreed that they shall not starve. I am thinking not only of the past, not only of today, but of the years to come. In this future of ours it is of first importance that we yield not to the sympathy which we would extend to a single group or class by special legislation for that group or class, but that we should extend assistance to all groups and all classes who in an emergency need the helping hand of their Government.

I believe the welfare of the Nation, as well as the future welfare of the veterans, wholly justifies my disapproval of this measure.

Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I return, without my approval, House of Representatives bill No. 3896, providing for the immediate payment to veterans of the 1945 face value of their adjusted service certificates.
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More FDR, in which he again vetoes the veterans' bonus, but is overridden in an election year

January 24, 1936. Veto of the Soldiers' Bonus.

To the House of Representatives:

I return herewith, without my approval, H.R. bill 9870, entitled "An Act to provide for the immediate payment of World War adjusted service certificates, for the cancelation of unpaid interest accrued on loans secured by such certificates, and for other purposes."

On May 22, 1935, in disapproving a bill to pay the bonus in full immediately instead of in 1945, I gave in person to a Joint Session of the Congress complete and explicit reasons for my action.

The bill I now return differs from last year's bill in only two important respects: first, it eliminates the issuance of unsecured paper currency to make the payments required and substitutes interest-bearing bonds, which, however, may be converted into cash for face value at any time; second, it adds $263,000,000 to the total payments by forgiving interest after October 1, 1931, on amounts borrowed.

In all other respects, the circumstances, arguments and facts remain essentially the same as those fully covered and explained by me only eight months ago.

I respectfully refer the members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives to every word of what I said then.

My convictions are as impelling today as they were then. Therefore I cannot change them.

January 27, 1936. Statement on the Payment of the Soldiers' Bonus.

In view of the fact that Congress has enacted the law authorizing the exchange of Adjusted Service Certificates for bonds, the President indicated today to the Veterans Administration and the Treasury Department that he desired the provisions of the new law carried out as expeditiously as accuracy will permit. The President also indicated that the magnitude of the administrative task of carrying the provisions of the new law into effect was so great that patience should be exercised in the matter.

The President was advised that more than seven million interest calculations will be necessary and that it will require between 2,500 and 3,000 additional personnel working for approximately six months to do this job. It should be remembered that the amount due each individual veteran must be separately worked out for each case. The additional personnel to handle this enormous figuring and clerical job must, under the law, come from the civil service rolls.

Application blanks will be available in all regional offices of the Veterans Administration and in the hands of Service Organizations within the next two or three days. If the veterans will keep in mind that the bonds are to be issued dated June 15, 1936, and after filing their applications will refrain from writing follow-up letters, they will greatly assist in the prompt administration of the new law.

January 27, 1936. Statement on Preserving Soldiers' Bonus Bonds.

The National Commanders of the three major ex-service organizations called upon the President today to assure him that they would do everything within their power to persuade veterans to retain the bonds issued to them in lieu of their Adjusted Service Certificates, unless they expected to use the cash for some permanently useful purpose.

The President, as well as the Commanders of the ex-service organizations, feel that the veterans should consider first of all the protection of their families. Immediate and urgent need for funds offers, of course, a valid reason for cashing the bonds.

In the same way, the paying off of indebtedness is wholly reasonable, just as using the cash for something of permanent value such as a new home or the definite improvement of an existing home, would be reasonable.

What the President and the Commanders were fully agreed on, however, is that every effort should be made by the veterans, by their organizations and by all who have their welfare at heart, to prevent the frittering away of cash obtained from the bonds. Permanent advantage as opposed to wholly temporary pleasure should be the criterion.

Those who keep the bonds or any part of them not only can get ready cash at any time if necessary, but while they hold these nontransferable bonds they will receive 3 percent interest on the safest imaginable investment. They are true "Thrift Bonds."

The President and the Commanders feel confident that very many veterans will keep these Government bonds in whole or in part for long-range protection of themselves and their families.

February 26, 1936. Veto of Crop Production Loans Bill.

To the Senate:

I return herewith, without my approval, S. 3612, a bill entitled "To provide loans to farmers for crop production and harvesting during the year 1936, and for other purposes."

This bill authorizes an appropriation of $50,000,000 from the general fund of the Treasury for loans to farmers during the year 1936 for production of crops—principally seed loans.

In approving the bill providing $40,000,000 for crop production loans for 1934, I stated that I did so on the theory that it was proper to taper off the crop loan system, which had been initiated on a large scale as early as 1931, rather than to cut it off abruptly, particularly since such loans would serve a useful purpose in aiding certain farmers unable to qualify for crop production loans through the newly established farmers' production credit associations, and that the 1934 loan by the Government should thus be considered as a tapering-off loan.

It is true that I gave my approval to a $60,000,000 crop production loan for 1935, but this loan was primarily for relief purposes principally in the drought-stricken areas, and I recommended to the Congress that the cost of such loans should properly be defrayed from the appropriation for relief purposes. Accordingly $60,000,000 was reappropriated from unobligated balances under allocations from the appropriation of $525,000,000 for relief in stricken agricultural areas contained in the Emergency Appropriation Act passed the previous year. In my budget message, transmitting the 1937 Budget, I stated:

"If the Congress enacts legislation at the coming session which will impose additional charges upon the Treasury for which provision is not already made in this Budget, I strongly urge that additional taxes be provided to cover such charges."

No provision was made in the financial program for the fiscal year 1936, or the fiscal year 1937, for additional crop loans, and, notwithstanding my budget statement, quoted above, the Congress by this bill authorizes an additional draft upon the Treasury for $50,000,000 for new crop loans, without making provision for any revenue to cover such loans.

However, while I am returning this bill without my approval, I recognize that there still exists a need for crop production loans to farmers whose cash requirements are so small that the operating and supervisory costs, as well as the credit risk, make credit unavailable to them at this time through the usual commercial channels and who, unless extended assistance of this character, would no doubt find it necessary to seek some other form of relief from the Government. This is particularly true with respect to those areas in which unusual conditions prevail because of drought, dust storms, floods, rust and other unforeseen disasters.

I fully agree with the Congress that provision should be made for such. borrowers during the year 1936, but I feel that other borrowers should seek credit elsewhere.

I am convinced that the immediate and actual needs to which I have referred can be met during the year 1936 by an expenditure of funds materially less than that proposed in the bill under discussion.

Furthermore, these needs can be met, without the necessity of enacting authorizing legislation, through an allocation of funds by me from the appropriation provided in the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act for 1935, which appropriation, I am informally advised by the Comptroller General of the United States, can be utilized for such loans as I might indicate by Executive Order to be desirable and necessary for relief measures.

I believe, therefore, that a special appropriation by the Congress at this time is both inadvisable and unnecessary. That being so, and in the absence of such legislation, I proposed in order to meet this need to issue an Executive Order within the next few days.

March 9, 1936. Letter on Crop Production Loans.

My dear Senator:

This is in reply to the letter of March 5, 1936, addressed to me by yourself and other members of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, with respect to the allotment of funds under my Executive Order of February 28, 1936, for the purpose of making loans to farmers during the year 1936 for production of crops.

I note that you and your committee members are of the opinion that at least $28,500,000 should be immediately allotted for the making of these loans and are requesting that this be done.

In my Executive Order I set aside, or earmarked, not to exceed $30,000,000 for this purpose, of which $7,000,000 was immediately allotted, and I stated that additional allotments would be made from time to time as might be necessary. I propose to carry out this program. The Governor of the Farm Credit Administration advises me that an additional $13,000,000 will be required on or about March 20th, at which time I shall cause that sum to be made available. He further advises that additional funds may be required on or about April 10th, at which time I shall take the necessary action to see that such amount as may be shown to be necessary is supplied. I cannot see why this arrangement should not be satisfactory to all concerned.

It is not practicable to make an immediate allotment of all of the funds estimated to be required, since it is necessary to follow the routine of drawing in unobligated balances from various allotments of emergency funds and making them available for the making of crop production loans. This will be done, of course, as rapidly as possible and in ample time to meet the needs of the Farm Credit Administration.

I trust that the foregoing will be sufficient to assure you and the members of your committee that adequate provision will be made for providing funds for the making of the loans in question as the need for them becomes necessary.

Sincerely yours,

Honorable E. D. Smith,
Committee on Agriculture and Forestry,
United States Senate.
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To finish today's FDR spam, just this ...

November 4, 1936. Telegram to Governor Landon, the Republican Candidate.

I am grateful to you for your generous telegram and I am confident that all of us Americans will now pull together for the common good. I send you every good wish.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Governor Alfred M. Landon
Topeka, Kansas

Today, for good or bad, Franklin Delano Roosevelt is widely regarded as the greatest of liberal Democratic presidents; and it was during his service that Social Security, a thing greater than sliced bread, was founded. Let’s give President Obama another four years so that in 16 years we can forget we ever hated him.

(Aside: I question the late president’s grammar.)