Committee For a Responsible Federal Budget

Committee For a Responsible Federal Budget The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget is a bipartisan, non-profit organization committed to educating the public about issues that have significant fiscal impact.
(54)

Sign up for updates http://www.crfb.org/subscribe. History In 1980, Robert Giaimo (D-CT) and Henry Bellmon (R-OK) both left Congress. Mr. Giaimo served 20 years as United States Representative including four years as Chairman of the House Committee on the Budget. Bellmon served 12 years as United States Senator and was the ranking Republican on the Committee on the Budget from its inception in 1975. The two fiscal policy leaders decided to convene a group including other former Budget Committee Chairmen, former Directors of the Office of Management and Budget, leading economists, and businessmen. The group concluded that the country needed an organization outside government committed to sound budget process. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget was incorporated June 10, 1981. New America Foundation Since 2003, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget has been housed at the New America Foundation. New America is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit public policy institute that brings exceptionally promising new voices and new ideas to the fore of our nation's public discourse. Relying on a venture capital approach, the Foundation invests in outstanding individuals and policy ideas that transcend the conventional political spectrum. New America sponsors a wide range of research, published writing, conferences and events on the most important issues of our time.

Mission: The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget is a bipartisan, non-profit organization committed to educating the public about issues that have significant fiscal policy impact. The Committee is made up of some of the nation's leading budget experts including many of the past Directors of the Budget Committees, the Congressional Budget Office, the Office of Management and Budget and the Federal Reserve Board.

Operating as usual

One of the elements of the new #COVID19 relief plan from President Biden is an additional #1,400 in stimulus checks http...
01/23/2021
Joe Biden's proposed stimulus checks are a lousy way to fix the economy

One of the elements of the new #COVID19 relief plan from President Biden is an additional #1,400 in stimulus checks https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/20/economy/stimulus-checks-economic-impact/index.html.

The most expensive part of Joe Biden's proposed $1.9 trillion economic recovery plan is to send an additional $1,400 to most Americans. According to many economists, it's also likely to be the least effective way to help revive the economy.

Irresponsible tax cuts and spending increases were enacted when the economy was strong. Now responsibility dictates addr...
01/23/2021
Opinion | Right on schedule, Republicans pretend to care about deficits again

Irresponsible tax cuts and spending increases were enacted when the economy was strong. Now responsibility dictates addressing the crisis first and confronting deficits later https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/right-on-schedule-republicans-pretend-to-care-about-deficits-again/2021/01/21/a749e500-5c17-11eb-a976-bad6431e03e2_story.html.

It never fails: As soon as a Democrat enters the White House, the fiscal hawks return.

Our interactive #COVIDMoneyTracker has now been updated with the latest info reflecting recent #COVID19 legislation and ...
01/22/2021

Our interactive #COVIDMoneyTracker has now been updated with the latest info reflecting recent #COVID19 legislation and executive orders. Check it out https://www.covidmoneytracker.org/.

There's lots of buzz about reconciliation on Capitol Hill. We have all you need to know about the subject with our updat...
01/22/2021
Reconciliation 101

There's lots of buzz about reconciliation on Capitol Hill. We have all you need to know about the subject with our update primer http://www.crfb.org/papers/reconciliation-101.

Reconciliation is a special legislative process created as part of the Budget Act of 1974. It is intended to help lawmakers make the tax and mandatory spending changes necessary to meet the levels proposed in the congressional budget resolution. Reconciliation instructions are put forward as part of...

"Marc Goldwein, head of policy at the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said cutting off crucial s...
01/22/2021
Biden steps into debt fight on Capitol Hill

"Marc Goldwein, head of policy at the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said cutting off crucial stimulus funds would be unwise, but that Biden’s proposals are likely larger than what the economy needs to stabilize." https://thehill.com/policy/finance/535140-biden-steps-into-debt-fight-on-capitol-hill

President Biden enters office facing both the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression and the largest debt burden since World War II.

The new Administration faces tough challenges."The single most urgent issue continues to be the COVID-19 crisis...Howeve...
01/21/2021
Near- and Long-Term Fiscal Challenges for the Biden Administration

The new Administration faces tough challenges.

"The single most urgent issue continues to be the COVID-19 crisis...However, the need for more pandemic relief should not be used as an excuse to borrow too much or to spend money recklessly."

See our full statement http://www.crfb.org/press-releases/fiscal-challenges-biden-administration

For Immediate Release President Joe Biden takes office in the face of numerous economic and fiscal challenges. Although COVID-19 vaccine distribution is underway, the pandemic continues to spread, workers continue to lose their jobs, and the economy remains in a state of weakness. Meanwhile, the nat...

01/20/2021
Yahoo Finance on Twitter

The first priority is to stabilize the economy, then pivot to addressing the national debt later. Watch the video of our president discussing Janet Yellen's testimony today.

““Our fiscal situation is bad, it’s really bad,“ Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget President @MayaMacGuineas says. “We do need to do something about it, but not yet. ... The first priority remains how we make sure the economy is stable.” Full interview: https://t.co/pftjpduIg9.....

The new Congress and incoming Administration face numerous fiscal policy deadlines that will force action. See our list ...
01/19/2021
Upcoming Congressional Fiscal Policy Deadlines

The new Congress and incoming Administration face numerous fiscal policy deadlines that will force action. See our list http://www.crfb.org/blogs/upcoming-congressional-fiscal-policy-deadlines.

The next two years will include several predictable fiscal policy deadlines that will force congressional action. Many of these deadlines could bring additional costs if Congress acts irresponsibly, or they could present an opportunity for Congress to reduce deficits. We will regularly update this t...

ICYMI: We discussed the current economic and fiscal situation on @CNNBusiness https://www.cnn.com/videos/business/2021/0...
01/18/2021
Markets Now January 13, 2021: The dawn of new presidential policies on Wall Street - CNN Video

ICYMI: We discussed the current economic and fiscal situation on @CNNBusiness https://www.cnn.com/videos/business/2021/01/13/market-now-01-13-2021-mcnamee-macguineas-tengler.cnnbusiness

Facebook critic Roger McNamee discusses Big Tech's deplatforming of President Trump. Plus, budget hawk and CRFB President Maya MacGuineas on why some deficit spending is necessary. And Nancy Tengler, Chief Investment Officer at Laffer Tengler Investments, on why she sees a correction coming soon.

"Marc Goldwein, the head of policy at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said...that a five-member househol...
01/17/2021
Biden stimulus proposal expected to include expanded child benefit for American households

"Marc Goldwein, the head of policy at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said...that a five-member household could receive $19,000 with Biden's expanded child tax credit." https://www.businessinsider.com/biden-stimulus-proposal-child-benefits-for-american-households-report-2021-1

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to expand child benefits as part of an economic stimulus package, The Washington Post reported.

"Overall, the roughly $400 billion for fighting the pandemic in Biden’s relief request compares with roughly $50 billion...
01/16/2021
Biden to ask for $400 billion to bolster fight against covid-19

"Overall, the roughly $400 billion for fighting the pandemic in Biden’s relief request compares with roughly $50 billion approved by Congress last month for that purpose, according to Marc Goldwein, senior vice president for the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget." https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/biden-covid-plan/2021/01/14/5bfb8708-56a3-11eb-a08b-f1381ef3d207_story.html

The funding would create a national vaccination program, expand testing, hire public health workers and help detect new virus strains.

Blue Dog Coalition urges against misusing exemptions to the House PAYGO rule http://www.crfb.org/blogs/blue-dog-coalitio...
01/15/2021
Blue Dog Coalition Argues Against Misuse of New PAYGO Exemptions

Blue Dog Coalition urges against misusing exemptions to the House PAYGO rule http://www.crfb.org/blogs/blue-dog-coalition-argues-against-misuse-new-paygo-exemptions.

The House of Representatives began the 117th Congress with a new rules package – H.Res.8. The package maintains the House Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) rule but creates two exemptions for COVID-19 and climate change. Specifically, the chair of the House Budget Committee can designate legislative measures ...

"It took 19 days to distribute half the first-round [stimulus] payments last spring, but two-thirds of payments were out...
01/15/2021
Millions won't get stimulus money before the IRS cut-off date

"It took 19 days to distribute half the first-round [stimulus] payments last spring, but two-thirds of payments were out the door just a week after the latest bill became law, according to an analysis by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget."
https://www.axios.com/stimulus-irs-checks-coronavirus-missing-1fa354df-60bf-4501-bc79-54f83d037057.html

Today's the last day before Americans might have to claim the missing money on their tax refund.

Still need to know what's in the recently passed #COVID19 relief bill? Watch the video of our recent webinar http://www....
01/14/2021
Webinar: What's in the Latest COVID Relief Bill

Still need to know what's in the recently passed #COVID19 relief bill? Watch the video of our recent webinar http://www.crfb.org/events/webinar-whats-latest-covid-relief-bill.

At the end of December, lawmakers agreed on over $900 billion of COVID relief. It is the fifth major bill enacted in response to the COVID pandemic and economic crisis, and the first since April's Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act. On this webinar, Marc Goldwein gave an ove...

Our Maya MacGuineas talked to Alison Kosik of CNN today about the economy and prospects for more stimulus. Watch https:/...
01/13/2021
Markets Now January 13, 2021: The dawn of new presidential policies on Wall Street - CNN Video

Our Maya MacGuineas talked to Alison Kosik of CNN today about the economy and prospects for more stimulus. Watch https://www.cnn.com/videos/business/2021/01/13/market-now-01-13-2021-mcnamee-macguineas-tengler.cnnbusiness.

Facebook critic Roger McNamee discusses Big Tech's deplatforming of President Trump. Plus, budget hawk and CRFB President Maya MacGuineas on why some deficit spending is necessary. And Nancy Tengler, Chief Investment Officer at Laffer Tengler Investments, on why she sees a correction coming soon.

Congressional action at the end of last year changed several fiscal policy deadlines that will force decisions down the ...
01/12/2021
Upcoming Congressional Fiscal Policy Deadlines

Congressional action at the end of last year changed several fiscal policy deadlines that will force decisions down the road. See our updated list http://www.crfb.org/blogs/upcoming-congressional-fiscal-policy-deadlines.

The next two years will include several predictable fiscal policy deadlines that will force congressional action. Many of these deadlines could bring additional costs if Congress acts irresponsibly, or they could present an opportunity for Congress to reduce deficits. We will regularly update this t...

"Marc Goldwein, an economist and budget expert with the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said winter will be ...
01/12/2021
As Economy Sheds Jobs, Democrats Eye Next Unemployment Cutoff

"Marc Goldwein, an economist and budget expert with the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said winter will be difficult regardless of what Congress does, but that the recent spending bill will help a lot later this year." https://www.huffpost.com/entry/covid-19-unemployment-jobs-report-democrats_n_5ff87503c5b656719885137b

They warn the slow COVID-19 vaccine rollout means the poor economy is unlikely to go away by spring.

Address

1900 M St NW Ste 850
Washington D.C., DC
20036

General information

Follow CRFB on Twitter (@BudgetHawks) - https://twitter.com/budgethawks. Check out our channel on YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/user/BudgetHawks. And our Bottom Line blog is at http://crfb.org/blog.

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when Committee For a Responsible Federal Budget posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Business

Send a message to Committee For a Responsible Federal Budget:

Videos

Committed to Fiscal Responsibility

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget is a nonpartisan, non-profit organization committed to educating the public on issues with significant fiscal policy impact.

Our bipartisan leadership comprises some of the nation's leading budget experts, including many past heads of the House and Senate Budget Committees, the Congressional Budget Office, the Office of Management and Budget, the Government Accountability Office, and the Federal Reserve Board.

As an independent source of objective policy analysis, we regularly engage policymakers of both parties and help them develop and analyze proposals to improve the country’s fiscal and economic condition.

These efforts have reinforced the Committee’s role as an authoritative voice for fiscal responsibility and an educational resource for policymakers and the general public. It is also a trusted budget watchdog that assists journalists across the country in understanding fiscal developments in Washington.

Nearby government services


Comments

"Hey Alan, let's get a few things straight!!! 1. As a career politician, you have been on the public dole (tit) for FIFTY YEARS. 2. I have been paying Social Security taxes for 48 YEARS (since I was 15 years old. I am now 63). 3. My Social Security payments, and those of millions of other Americans, were safely tucked away in an interest bearing account for decades until you political pukes decided to raid the account and give OUR money to a bunch of zero losers in return for votes, thus bankrupting the system and turning Social Security into a Ponzi scheme that would make Bernie Madoff proud. 4. Recently, just like Lucy & Charlie Brown, you and "your ilk" pulled the proverbial football away from millions of American seniors nearing retirement and moved the goalposts for full retirement from age 65 to age, 67. NOW, you and your "shill commission" are proposing to move the goalposts YET AGAIN. 5. I, and millions of other Americans, have been paying into Medicare from Day One, and now "you morons" propose to change the rules of the game. Why? Because "you idiots" mismanaged other parts of the economy to such an extent that you need to steal our money from Medicare to pay the bills. 6. I, and millions of other Americans, have been paying income taxes our entire lives, and now you propose to increase our taxes yet again. Why? Because you "incompetent b###xds" spent our money so profligately that you just kept on spending even after you ran out of money. Now, you come to the American taxpayers and say you need more to pay off YOUR debt. To add insult to injury, you label us "greedy" for calling "b######t" to your incompetence. Well, Captain B######it, I have a few questions for YOU: 1. How much money have you earned from the American taxpayers during your pathetic 50-year political career? 2. At what age did you retire from your pathetic political career, and how much are you receiving in annual retirement benefits from the American taxpayers? 3. How much do you pay for YOUR government provided health insurance? 4. What cuts in YOUR retirement and healthcare benefits are you proposing in your disgusting deficit reduction proposal, or as usual, have you exempted yourself and your political cronies? It is you, Captain B######t, and your political co-conspirators called Congress who are the "greedy" ones. It is you and your fellow nutcase thieves who have bankrupted America and stolen the American dream from millions of loyal, patriotic taxpayers. And for what? Votes and your job and retirement security at our expense, you lunk-headed, leech. That's right, sir. You and yours have bankrupted America for the sole purpose of advancing your pathetic, political careers. You know it, we know it, and you know that we know it. And you can take that to the bank, you miserable son of a b###xx. P.S. And stop calling Social Security benefits "entitlements". WHAT AN INSULT!!!! I have been paying in to the SS system for 45 years “It's my money”-give it back to me the way the system was designed and stop patting yourself on the back like you are being generous by doling out these monthly checks . EVERYONE!! If you agree with what a Montana citizen, Patty Myers, says, please PASS IT ON!!!!
Maybe someone should tell Mitch mcconnell that there are really super poor people out here who have lost everything due to the pandemic. I live on 1/4of my precovid income. I spent two days this week with no cable and no internet. My power is in the negative. My car was stolen two weeks ago but it's all good I can't put gas in it or make the payments because a second stimulus came way after the first one ran out and now my unemployment is gone until ga figures out what they need to do at the DOL . they said it could take months to implement. I'll be homeless in 2 weeks because this stimulus is just enough to cover one months rent. So no it don't just go to rich people and that's a stupid reason to withhold funds from people who really need them and he should remember his is an elected position he can be not reelected and fired next time he's up for reelection not everyone makes 420,000 a year. I live on 11000 maybe he should try It.
I'm the creator of Action Radio, the first show where we write citizen legislation to correct the problems with government. The National Debt is my biggest concern. So I went back to the Constitution to see what an actual Constitutional Budget would look like. And this is what I came up with. Maybe you can share this idea?
ALZEIMERS JOE AND GOLDEN KNEEPADS HARRIS IN 2020.....VOTE IN NOV., OR YOU WILL BE SURPRIZED AT THE COMMUNIST/NAZI NANCI ( SOCIALIST) REVOLUTION YOU WILL GET. THEY SAY IT THEMSELVES, TRUMP WINS, THEY MAKE MAJOR RIOTS. I SAY, I DO SO LOVE MOVING TARGETS. I AM SO MUCH BETTER AT HITTING THEM.....
***Written in 1948 by Howard Buffett, the father of billionaire Warren Buffet. 70 years later and it's chilling to me. I removed any links as it needs to be read as it is. As Buffett explained, “if human liberty is to survive in America, we must win the battle to restore honest money.” His warning is more timely today than it was when he made it. Human Freedom Rests on Gold Redeemable Money By HON. HOWARD BUFFETT, U. S. Congressman from Nebraska (Reprinted from The Commercial and Financial Chronicle, May 6, 1948) "Is there a connection between Human Freedom and A Gold Redeemable Money? At first glance it would seem that money belongs to the world of economics and human freedom to the political sphere. But when you recall that one of the first moves by Lenin, Mussolini and Hitler was to outlaw individual ownership of gold, you begin to sense that there may be some connection between money, redeemable in gold, and the rare prize known as human liberty. Also, when you find that Lenin declared and demonstrated that a sure way to overturn the existing social order and bring about communism was by printing press paper money, then again you are impressed with the possibility of a relationship between a gold-backed money and human freedom. In that case then certainly you and I as Americans should know the connection. We must find it even if money is a difficult and tricky subject. I suppose that if most people were asked for their views on money the almost universal answer would be that they didn’t have enough of it. In a free country the monetary unit rests upon a fixed foundation of gold or gold and silver independent of the ruling politicians. Our dollar was that kind of money before 1933. Under that system paper currency is redeemable for a certain weight of gold, at the free option and choice of the holder of paper money. Redemption Right Insures Stability That redemption right gives money a large degree of stability. The owner of such gold redeemable currency has economic independence. He can move around either within or without his country because his money holdings have accepted value anywhere. For example, I hold here what is called a $20 gold piece. Before 1933, if you possessed paper money you could exchange it at your option for gold coin. This gold coin had a recognizable and definite value all over the world. It does so today. In most countries of the world this gold piece, if you have enough of them, will give you much independence. But today the ownership of such gold pieces as money in this country, Russia, and all divers other places is outlawed. The subject of a Hitler or a Stalin is a serf by the mere fact that his money can be called in and depreciated at the whim of his rulers. That actually happened in Russia a few months ago, when the Russian people, holding cash, had to turn it in — 10 old rubles and receive back one new ruble. I hold here a small packet of this second kind of money — printing press paper money — technically known as fiat money because its value is arbitrarily fixed by rulers or statute. The amount of this money in numerals is very large. This little packet amounts to CNC $680,000. It cost me $5 at regular exchange rates. I understand I got clipped on the deal. I could have gotten $2-1⁄2 million if I had purchased in the black market. But you can readily see that this Chinese money, which is a fine grade of paper money, gives the individual who owns it no independence, because it has no redemptive value. Under such conditions the individual citizen is deprived of freedom of movement. He is prevented from laying away purchasing power for the future. He becomes dependent upon the goodwill of the politicians for his daily bread. Unless he lives on land that will sustain him, freedom for him does not exist. You have heard a lot of oratory on inflation from politicians in both parties. Actually that oratory and the inflation maneuvering around here are mostly sly efforts designed to lay the blame on the other party’s doorstep. All our politicians regularly announce their intention to stop inflation. I believe I can show that until they move to restore your right to own gold that talk is hogwash. Paper Systems End in Collapse But first let me clear away a bit of underbrush. I will not take time to review the history of paper money experiments. So far as I can discover, paper money systems have always wound up with collapse and economic chaos. Here somebody might like to interrupt and ask if we are not now on the gold standard. That is true, internationally, but not domestically. Even though there is a lot of gold buried down at Fort Knox, that gold is not subject to demand by American citizens. It could all be shipped out of this country without the people having any chance to prevent it. That is not probable in the near future, for a small trickle of gold is still coming in. But it can happen in the future. This gold is temporarily and theoretically partial security for our paper currency. But in reality it is not. Also, currently, we are enjoying a large surplus in tax revenues, but this happy condition is only a phenomenon of postwar inflation and our global WPA. It cannot be relied upon as an accurate gauge of our financial condition. So we should disregard the current flush treasury in considering this problem. From 1930-1946 your government went into the red every year and the debt steadily mounted. Various plans have been proposed to reverse this spiral of debt. One is that a fixed amount of tax revenue each year would go for debt reduction. Another is that Congress be prohibited by statute from appropriating more than anticipated revenues in peacetime. Still another is that 10% of the taxes be set aside each year for debt reduction. All of these proposals look good. But they are unrealistic under our paper money system. They will not stand against postwar spending pressures. The accuracy of this conclusion has already been demonstrated. The Budget and Paper Money Under the streamlining Act passed by Congress in 1946, the Senate and the House were required to fix a maximum budget each year. In 1947 the Senate and the House could not reach an agreement on this maximum budget so that the law was ignored. On March 4 this year the House and Senate agreed on a budget of $37-1⁄2 billion. Appropriations already passed or on the docket will most certainly take expenditures past the $40 billion mark. The statute providing for a maximum budget has fallen by the wayside even in the first two years it has been operating and in a period of prosperity. There is only one way that these spending pressures can be halted, and that is to restore the final decision on public spending to the producers of the nation. The producers of wealth — taxpayers — must regain their right to obtain gold in exchange for the fruits of their labor. This restoration would give the people the final say-so on governmental spending, and would enable wealth producers to control the issuance of paper money and bonds. I do not ask you to accept this contention outright. But if you look at the political facts of life, I think you will agree that this action is the only genuine cure. There is a parallel between business and politics which quickly illustrates the weakness in political control of money. Each of you is in business to make profits. If your firm does not make profits, it goes out of business. If I were to bring a product to you and say, this item is splendid for your customers, but you would have to sell it without profit, or even at a loss that would put you out of business. — Well, I would get thrown out of your office, perhaps politely, but certainly quickly. Your business must have profits. In politics votes have a similar vital importance to an elected official. That situation is not ideal, but it exists, probably because generally no one gives up power willingly. Perhaps you are right now saying to yourself: “That’s just what I have always thought. The politicians are thinking of votes when they ought to think about the future of the country. What we need is a Congress with some ‘guts.’ If we elected a Congress with intestinal fortitude, it would stop the spending all right!” I went to Washington with exactly that hope and belief. But I have had to discard it as unrealistic. Why? Because an economy Congressman under our printing-press money system is in the position of a fireman running into a burning building with a hose that is not connected with the water plug. His courage may be commendable, but he is not hooked up right at the other end of the line. So it is now with a Congressman working for economy. There is no sustained hookup with the taxpayers to give him strength. When the people’s right to restrain public spending by demanding gold coin was taken from them, the automatic flow of strength from the grass-roots to enforce economy in Washington was disconnected. I’ll come back to this later. In January you heard the President’s message to Congress, or at least you heard about it. It made Harry Hopkins, in memory, look like Old Scrooge himself. Truman’s State of the Union message was “pie-in-the- sky” for everybody except business. These promises were to be expected under our paper currency system. Why? Because his continuance in office depends upon pleasing a majority of the pressure groups. Before you judge him too harshly for that performance, let us speculate on his thinking. Certainly he can persuade himself that the Republicans would do the same thing if they were in power. Already he has characterized our talk of economy as “just conversation.” To date we have been proving him right. Neither the President nor the Republican Congress is under real compulsion to cut Federal spending. And so neither one does so, and the people are largely helpless. But it was not always this way. Before 1933 the people themselves had an effective way to demand economy. Before 1933, whenever the people became disturbed over Federal spending, they could go to the banks, redeem their paper currency in gold, and wait for common sense to return to Washington. Raids on Treasury That happened on various occasions and conditions sometimes became strained, but nothing occurred like the ultimate consequences of paper money inflation. Today Congress is constantly besieged by minority groups seeking benefits from the public treasury. Often these groups control enough votes in many Congressional districts to change the outcome of elections. And so Congressmen find it difficult to persuade themselves not to give in to pressure groups. With no bad immediate consequence it becomes expedient to accede to a spending demand. The Treasury is seemingly inexhaustible. Besides the unorganized taxpayers back home may not notice this particular expenditure — and so it goes. Let’s take a quick look at just the payroll pressure elements. On June 30, 1932, there were 2,196,151 people receiving regular monthly checks from the Federal Treasury. On June 30, 1947, this number had risen to the fantastic total of 14,416,393 persons. This 14-1⁄2 million figure does not include about 2 million receiving either unemployment benefits or soil conservation checks. However, it includes about 2 million GI’s getting schooling or on-the-job-training. Excluding them, the total is about 12-1⁄2 million or 500% more than in 1932. If each beneficiary accounted for four votes (and only half exhibited this payroll allegiance response) this group would account for 25 million votes, almost by itself enough votes to win any national election. Besides these direct payroll voters, there are a large number of State, county and local employees whose compensation in part comes from Federal subsidies and grants-in-aid. Then there are many other kinds of pressure groups. There are businesses that are being enriched by national defense spending and foreign handouts. These firms, because of the money they can spend on propaganda, may be the most dangerous of all. If the Marshall Plan meant $100 million worth of profitable business for your firm, wouldn’t you invest a few thousands or so to successfully propagandize for the Marshall Plan? And if you were a foreign government, getting billions, perhaps you could persuade your prospective suppliers here to lend a hand in putting that deal through Congress. Taxpayer the Forgotten Man Far away from Congress is the real forgotten man, the taxpayer who foots the bill. He is in a different spot from the tax-eater or the business that makes millions from spending schemes. He cannot afford to spend his time trying to oppose Federal expenditures. He has to earn his own living and carry the burden of taxes as well. But for most beneficiaries a Federal paycheck soon becomes vital in his life. He usually will spend his full energies if necessary to hang onto this income. The taxpayer is completely outmatched in such an unequal contest. Always heretofore he possessed an equalizer. If government finances weren’t run according to his idea of soundness he had an individual right to protect himself by obtaining gold. With a restoration of the gold standard, Congress would have to again resist handouts. That would work this way. If Congress seemed receptive to reckless spending schemes, depositors’ demands over the country for gold would soon become serious. That alarm in turn would quickly be reflected in the halls of Congress. The legislators would learn from the banks back home and from the Treasury officials that confidence in the Treasury was endangered. Congress would be forced to confront spending demands with firmness. The gold standard acted as a silent watchdog to prevent unlimited public spending. I have only briefly outlined the inability of Congress to resist spending pressures during periods of prosperity. What Congress would do when a depression comes is a question I leave to your imagination. I have not time to portray the end of the road of all paper money experiments. It is worse than just the high prices that you have heard about. Monetary chaos was followed in Germany by a Hitler; in Russia by all-out Bolshevism; and in other nations by more or less tyranny. It can take a nation to communism without external influences. Suppose the frugal savings of the humble people of America continue to deteriorate in the next 10 years as they have in the past 10 years? Some day the people will almost certainly flock to “a man on horseback” who says he will stop inflation by price-fixing, wage-fixing, and rationing. When currency loses its exchange value the processes of production and distribution are demoralized. For example, we still have rent-fixing and rental housing remains a desperate situation. For a long time shrewd people have been quietly hoarding tangibles in one way or another. Eventually, this individual movement into tangibles will become a general stampede unless corrective action comes soon. Is Time Propitious? Most opponents of free coinage of gold admit that that restoration is essential, but claim the time is not propitious. Some argue that there would be a scramble for gold and our enormous gold reserves would soon be exhausted. Actually this argument simply points up the case. If there is so little confidence in our currency that restoration of gold coin would cause our gold stocks to disappear, then we must act promptly. The danger was recently highlighted by Mr. Allan Sproul, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, who said: Without our support (the Federal Reserve System), under present conditions, almost any sale of government bonds, undertaken for whatever purpose, laudable or otherwise, would be likely to find an almost bottomless market on the first day support was withdrawn. Our finances will never be brought into order until Congress is compelled to do so. Making our money redeemable in gold will create this compulsion. The paper money disease has been a pleasant habit thus far and will not he dropped voluntarily any more than a dope user will without a struggle give up narcotics. But in each case the end of the road is not a desirable prospect. I can find no evidence to support a hope that our fiat paper money venture will fare better ultimately than such experiments in other lands. Because of our economic strength the paper money disease here may take many years to run its course. But we can be approaching the critical stage. When that day arrives, our political rulers will probably find that foreign war and ruthless regimentation is the cunning alternative to domestic strife. That was the way out for the paper-money economy of Hitler and others. In these remarks I have only touched the high points of this problem. I hope that I have given you enough information to challenge you to make a serious study of it. I warn you that politicians of both parties will oppose the restoration of gold, although they may outwardly seemingly favor it. Also those elements here and abroad who are getting rich from the continued American inflation will oppose a return to sound money. You must be prepared to meet their opposition intelligently and vigorously. They have had 15 years of unbroken victory. But, unless you are willing to surrender your children and your country to galloping inflation, war and slavery, then this cause demands your support. For if human liberty is to survive in America, we must win the battle to restore honest money. There is no more important challenge facing us than this issue — the restoration of your freedom to secure gold in exchange for the fruits of your labors."