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best way to educate American citizens. The greatest shame in the tapes that were revealed, in my views, is that there were not those kinds of conversations going on. That really is the ultimate test.
The heads of the agencies will respond to that if you appoint people who are capable of doing it and interested in doing it.
If you appoint people whose only reading consists of the daily newspaper and an occasional news magazine, people who are basically anti-intellectual, who are uncomfortable with planners, then you've got problems.
I once recommended a Ph. D. engineer to the FCC, and got the word back from the personnel office: "He's too rich for our blood. We don't have anything we can do with a Ph. D. in engineering at the FCC."
Well, if you don't have anything to do with them, I don't know what you can do with a panel like this to resolve the problem.
Some appointees are more interested in getting a job in industry than they are in serving the public interest. Politics is the business of the short term, not the long term, as Mr. Ash has pointed out, and all of us know. The problem is one of getting elected next November. It's not a problem of solving the energy crisis, it's a problem of solving the political crisis 10 months from now. That's the political problem.
The second point I would make—and I will make it briefly and then I'm done is one you might expect me to drag into this discussion at some point: the impact of television.
The principal message of America television is that everything is OK, we don't have anything to worry about. Just sit back and relax and have another beer and watch the next show.
When we get public affairs programing dealing with controversial issues in effective ways, the American people will respond. Their Government responds; the executive branch, the Congress.
So an awful lot of what you are talking about goes back to what is on television, and more importantly, what's not on television, which is one reason why the organization I am now with—the National Citizens Commttee for Broadcasting-is putting together a coalition of groups like the League of Women Voters, the PTA and so forth, who have taken the position that every American television station should provide no less than 1 hour of prime time public affairs programing every week; a very minimal standard but one that's not being met by most stations.
Out of that, I think you may see more impact on the interest of this Government in doing forward planning and the capacity and response of it than virtually anything else we could do here this morning.
Chairman GLENN. Thank you.
TESTIMONY OF SOL LINOWITZ, COUDERT BROTHERS
Mr. LINOWITZ. Thank you, Senator.
I would like to make three brief observations, and I would like to address them to the three questions that you have set forth on the agenda for discussion.
First. The role of government in setting long-term goals: As Mr. Ash said, I think it's very important to delineate exactly what we are talking about in terms of long-term goals. By definition, goals comes down to, what kind of nation we want to be?
We set goals when we formed this country. When we came into being, the Founding Fathers decided there were certain things we ought to treasure, certain rights we ought to define, certain principles to which we ought to swear allegiance. And that's kind of the underpinning of this whole Nation.
So we shouldn't be scared off at this suggestion of framing national goals, because I think that's indeed the job of the National Government.
But when we get to other areas, such as economic goals, then we do encounter some other problems, which we will probably have a chance to discuss.
I would merely caution in that regard that we ought not to be frightened by scare words or slogans. For it seems very clear that a nuuber of people will accept the notion of reordering priorities, now almost a cliche and yet, they wince at the notion of planning. Reordering priorities to be effectuated requires planning, and therefore, we ought to talk about what can be done effectively to plan our priorities in order to help us advance toward the kind of nation we want to be.
Second. Your question as to what the Government is presently doing in this regard, and is it in any way deficient? It seems to me that it's impossible to talk about this question without pointing up and underlining the very obvious and overriding fact that what is most deficient in government today is confidence and trust on the part of the people; that until we restore that sense of confidence and frust, it doesn't matter how we structure, what mechanics we use, government is not going to operate efficiently and effectively.
I have here a front page of the Wall Street Journal a few days ago, a long story about what the polls have recently shown about the attitude of the people toward their government, and you may have seen it. I will summarize by saying that there is a belief that the political process is so unresponsive and dishonest, that it cannot be used by voters for their purposes.
Fifty-eight percent believe that people with power are out to take advantage of them, according to the Harris Poil. Forty-nine pereent believe quite a few of the people running the government are a little crooked.
Sixty-eight percent feel that over the last 10 years this country's leaders have consistently lied to the American people.
Until we can restore a sense of confidence and trust in our Government and its institutions, we are not going to be able to do very much, no matter how effectively we restructure, or what new mechanisms we turn to.
Your third question is, if it is deficient, what can be done to im
Well, apart from what I have already said, I do have a suggestion, a specific suggestion, and I have tried to write a few sentences about
it, and with your permission, sir, let me just see if I can't read it because it will save time.
The point I want to make is that today when we need the help of the wisest and the most experienced among us in this country, we don't seem to have a governmental mechanism which insures the availability of that kind of assistance on a continuing systematic basis.
We do have sporadic and occasional help, but there is no way we have institutionalized that yet. As a matter of fact, I suggest that the way our political system works, we tend to reject those who could be of the most help to us.
There are too many Cabinet officers who have accumulated knowledge and expertise whom we ignore or discard. There are too many Senators and Congressmen with years of experience and savvy who are forgotten. There are too many Ambassadors with valuable insights and relationships with various parts of the world whom we have rejected. And at the same time, some of the most capable people in our society, Nobel Prize winners, distinguished scholars and scientists, leaders in various areas of American lift, who would be willing to try to make a contribution find that the system is ignoring them.
I think we ought to be able to create some kind of governmental mechanism which would permit us to reach out on an institutional basis toward such people, and to obtain the benefit of their composite wisdom and judgment. I think if we continue to fail to do so, we are going to be robbing ourselves of an extraordinarily valuable national resource.
So I propose, perhaps we can talk a little about the possibility of creating some kind of a Council of National Advisers, which might be appointed by the President, the Congress and the Supreme Court, from the wisest and ablest among us who could, on a regular basis come together and consider some of the most critical problems facing the nation, and give us the benefit of their recommendations.
I make this suggestion, as I said at the outset, recognizing that there has been a loss of thrust and confidence in our governmental institutions, and that it might be very important to demonstrate flexibility and resiliency of our system by permitting us to reach out to those among us who can offer us wisdom and guidance when we need them most.
TESTIMONY OF ALICE RIVLIN, CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE
Mrs. RIVLix. I would like to make just a few observations. I think it is important to clarify the meaning of long-range planning. It does not mean that some group of people is going to set an objective for 20 years from now or even 5 years from now and slavishly follow the plan. I don't think that's what any of us are talking about.
What we are talking about is making current decisions in the light of some consideration of alternative futures and some thought about where the Government or the Nation ought to be going over some relevant time period. We should be making decisions in light of which
way these alternatives move us, knowing, as Mr. Ash has said, that we have to be flexible and we have to change direction quickly, if necessary.
The relevant time period, of course, varies. For some kinds of decisions, it may be very long. Decisions involving the structure of the Navy, for example, need to be taken well in advance. It takes a long time to build a ship. For others, like fiscal policy decisions on the economy, one needs to react quickly to what is happening and change course.
The Congress does not have a very good record of looking ahead. It has recently taken a significant step, however, in which Senator Chiles and I are intimately involved, of organizing the budget process so that the Congress takes a little more cognizance of alternative courses of action, makes budget decisions in a more organized way, and looks at where the expenditures are going over time and where the revenues are going over time. This hasn't been done before. However, Congress now makes some decisions about the budget in the light of these considerations. That's perhaps a short step toward what we are all talking about, but I have to regard it as a significant one.
I would like in that connection to take issue with Mr. Johnson and, I think, with Sol Linowitz. I make these comments as one who is trying to organize for the Congress some information about what the consequences of alternative choices might be.
It's not evident to me that there are a lot of scholars sitting ont there with marvelous ideas who aren't being listened to; that it is the fault of public officials; that they are simply deaf to this marvelous scholarship and to the think tanks and the universities of our Nation.
On the contrary, the academic work—and I can say this because I recently was an academic-is remarkably unuseful. It seems to me it's unuseful for two reasons.
First, it's not written in a way that anybody can read. It's too long. Nothing can be said in a brief manner. Academics, like Dickens, seem to think they get paid by the word. General laughter.]
Mrs. Rivlin. And the longer the word, the better. Many of the ideas aren't that complicated. They could be put in short form which would be more useful to the policymakers.
The second reason is. I believe, more significant. The scholars, I think, are lazy. They fail to realize how really difficult the problems are with which public officials deal and with which Congress deals every day.
They like to put forward a nice easy answer. “If you abolish all the eremptions on the income tax and just have a flat rate, everything will be better." It's a neat clean solution, and it sounds nice. It's thrown on the table and they go away and say: "Why doesn't anybody listen to us?"
I think the reason nobody listens is that the actual hard work hasn't heen done of reconciling, of turning into realistic, practical programs, the conflicting objectives with which we all deal. That's the basic point that I want to end with. If we are to establish long-range objectives, then we must design some programs to get us there. This is undermined by the fact that we have a lot of objectives that all of us
hold and which inherently conflict. It's very difficult to design programs that move toward all of those objectives at once.
It's hard work and it involves very nitty-gritty unscholarly things such as thinking about trade-offs and how the programs might work in fact and what might really happen. Nobody really wante to do that.
Consider the problem of welfare reform, for example. Everybody wants adequate income for everybody. Nobody is against that. Everybody wants a society in which most people have incentives to work. Nobody is against that. The difficulty is in designing a system that will move you in both those directions at once.
Health care is another example. Everybody wants everybody to have access to top-rate health care, but nobody wants the health care system wastefully used and over-used. Nobody wants to pay too much for it. It's extremely difficult to divise a system that will do all those things at once.
Energy is another example. We want energy independence. We want low-cost energy and we don't want to damage the environment. We want both of these things. The hard thing is to move in those directions simultaneously. The academics aren't being much help.
Chairman GLENN. Thank you, Mrs. Rivlin.
TESTIMONY OF WALT ROSTOW, PROFESSOR OF ECONOMICS AND
HISTORY, THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN Mr. Rostow. Mr. Chairman, I began by saying that as an historian an economist, and as a participant in Government, I have concluded that the long-run is the accumulation of what actually is done in the short run.
I shall say something about the longer future and even more in a paper that I have left with your staff; and, even in this short introduction, I shall try in the end to answer the three questions you have put to us, sir.
But I wish to begin with the problem that is upon us now because I don't think we are going to have much of a future if the policies outlined in the Economic Report of the President to the Congress last month, are continued, or if the predictions of the future in that report come true.
You will recall the report predicts a recovery which will leave us with over 7 percent unemployment at the end of 1976, and a 6-percent inflation, despite the softening of raw material prices which has taken place since 1974. And it holds out only limited hopes for improving the situation for the rest of this decade.
It's an extraordinary fact in our history that sober and responsible men would accept this kind of future. And let me add immediately that I am talking now about Democrats as well as Republicans.
My much respected friend, Walter Heller, in an article in today's Wall Street Journal, ends a rather optimistic picture of the next year by accepting 734 percent unemployment, and about 6 percent inflation-proposing only modest changes in policy.
Remember, in the early sixties, we had about 6 percent unemployed associated with 1 or 2 percent inflation. In the mid-sixties when in