The Battle’s Far From Over
The first skirmish in the fight to improve the efficiency and cut the costs of the executive branch of the Federal government was won when Congress passed the bill giving the President, authority to submit reorganization plans based on the recommendations contained in the report of the Hoover Commission.
The battle’s far from over, however, and it can still be lost unless the public continues to exert pressure on both Congress and the President.
In the first place, in order to effect any savings, the President must submit proposals with teeth in them. The fact that he has not seemed overly-anxious to put into effect the portions of the reorganization that require no Congressional action indicates that if any real progress is to be made, the President will have to become more efficiency-minded than he is at present.
Second, Congress must not throw any monkey-wrenches by not approving the proposals of the president.
These will be bitter pills for both the President and Congress to swallow, because the Hoover Commission recommendations strike right at the heart of political patronage. That means the current public pressure for economy must be maintained.
It appears that little attention was paid until the early part of this year to the terrific research job done by Herbert Hoover and his staff during their eighteen-month labor. The press evidently was not cognizant of the importance of reorganization among government bureaus and agencies until some of the astounding preliminary figures were published by the Hoover Commission.
A SURPLUS RECORD correspondent, Gordon T. Burke, who has spent many years inside and out of government service observing the inefficiencies and overlapping of these bureaus, first brought the Hoover Commission, reports to our attention in an article which appeared in our April, 1949, issue. In March we gave an editorial summary which spotlighted our campaign to bring to the attention of Congress and the business men of the Nation the importance of getting behind this measure, which at the start had very little chance of getting to first base in either the House or the Senate.
Subsequent issues have carried similar stories and editorials. We can’t stop now, however, We’ve got to keep Congress and the President aware that we want them to finish the job they’ve started.
If we’ll all keep on shouting, we can get it done.