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Those who favor Reorganization Plan No. 1, I have been given reason to believe, examined the plan ahead of time. We are even told our own medical organization had seen the reorganization plan-I believe the board of trustees supposedly had seen it—10 days prior to the time it was submitted to the house of delegates, and I believe it was only submitted to the public 2 days prior to that time. No such opportunity was granted, apparently, to those who might oppose that.
The usual 60-day period is anything but excessive, but it does provide Congressmen and other interested persons, who may not agree with the proposal, a more reasonable opportunity and period of time in which to prepare their objections and to plan their time so that they may make their objections known. Ten days is far too short a period of time since many personal plans must be set aside or altered and thorough study is required before a reasonable opinion can be formed, or any reasonable opinion can be formed.
I would merely like to cite that it is very difficult to completely set aside an office practice and a surgical schedule at the last minute to present views on a matter such as this.
It is impossible to fail to wonder about the reason for such unreasonable haste. - The very process of rushing such important and farreaching legislation through Congress causes extreme and possibly unjustified suspicion to fall upon the intent of the legislation in question.
The American people are reasonable people. They desire open, honest, and unrestrained discussions on all problems.
For years, many of us have desired and requested that a thorough study be made of the Federal Security Agency. This was promised in 1950, and I believe funds were set aside at that time for the realization of that study. However, it did not materialize. But now, when these badly needed investigations are just beginning, we find that the American people are in serious danger of being denied the right to know the answers to their very reasonable requests and questions through the process of rushing into law a reorganization plan which many of us feel might not be approved if the facts were known before elevation to Cabinet status is considered. Elevation could be construed to mean approval of the status quo and would certainly weaken any investigation and discourage any investigator.
In all honesty it must be stated that one cannot avoid wondering if the purpose of the haste is, quite unintentionally, the accomplishment of a plan before investigation which might be impossible after investigation. There are many who believe that the results of thorough investigation which would penetrate the basic philosophy of social security and other activities of the Federal Security Agency might readily result in enormous reductions in size, authority, and operation of that agency.
I purpose did not insert any figures or facts in there because I realized they were well known to the committee and would be covered better by other witnesses.
Many activities are carried out by the Federal Security Agency which are contrary to the obvious intent of our Constitution and Bill of Rights.
It is generally admitted that the FSA is an unruly conglomeration of activities, offices and functions, which has been described variously but described commonly as a “mess.”
The present administration is pledged to exert efforts to correct these deplorable conditions which almost everyone seems willing to admit exist in profusion. They can be corrected by only two approaches.
The action function of the various subdivisions, which is an almost perfect image of the opinions, interests, and intentions of the employee, may be corrected by evaluation of the opinion of and actual work of the individual employee, be he the least or most important. Other corrective measures can be accomplished only through critical and through evaluation of the underlying philosophy responsible for such activities. Both must be appraised and evaluated in relation to and by the obvious intent of our Constitution and Bill of Rights.
In the first category we find the need for the physical replacement of those persons whose basic philosophy runs contrary to the intent of the Constitution, Bill of Rights, American principles and our national security
It has been stated that elevation of the FSA to Cabinet status would enable the Secretary to accomplish these much needed changes more expediently. Facts do not seem to support this contention.
I have read the reorganization plan and the committee reports but have been unable to find any provision or mechanism provided therein or even mentioned therein whereby the Secretary would be able to do this. Has this point been misrepresented or has it been misunderstood ?
True, the plan calls for abolition of 3 or 4 positions and the appointment of 4 individuals to fill new posts. There is no concrete evidence to support the contention that Reorganization Plan No. 1 would enable the Secretary to accomplish a greater change in subordinate staff, than is now possible of accomplishment by the Administrator under present established procedure.
It is obvious that no general housecleaning is possible without changes in the basic civil-service law. It is not reasonable to believe that making the entire staff more important by the process of elevation would make it easier to effect such changes. In actuality, it would make the process more difficult, since in actuality each employee would be held to be more important and more difficult to remove by the very fact of increasing the importance of his job.
I cannot pass this point without mentioning the confusion which seems to be rampant in the minds of many.
May I interject at this point, that contrary to Representative Bennett, I am a lifelong Republican and have worked actively in that party's politics.
I opposed the reorganization plans that have previously been presented for reasons which I believe to be sound, and to me it makes no difference whether it is submitted by a Republican or a Democrat.
There seems to be a lack of discrimination between personality and principle. In fact, principle seems to be taking a subordinate position to personality in the thinking of many people. Such confusion is most regrettable in matters of personal importance, but it becomes tragic when matters of government are concerned.
There is such a minor difference between the present reorganization plan and the two which were rejected previously that serious questions arise. Can it be the principle is abandoned ?
That which was wrong under the previous administration is equally wrong under the present or any other administration. Any person who voted against the proposal 2 years ago is morally obligated to do so today. Personality has no place in evaluation of principle.
The fair and most proper approach to both House Joint Resolution 223 and Reorganization Plan No. 1 is to ask one's self if he would have supported the proposal under the previous administration. In all fairness, we must admit that both proposals would have been defeated. Therefore, we can approve neither proposal unless we are ready to change our standards of morality. It will be a dark day for our Nation when that which we regard as right or wrong is determined by or influenced by the personality of the individual supporting the measure.
Some point has been made of hypothetical economies which are to result from elevation of the FSA through Reorganization Plan No. 1. No concrete proposals or examples have been offered to substantiate this contention. One thing is certain, such results would be contrary to usual procedure. One would be hard pressed to cite examples. The opposite situation seems more common. The President's message alludes to the increased activities in these various fields following elevation. This would seem inconsistent with promises of economy.
A critical appraisal of the principles underlying certain activities of the Federal Security Agency is imperative.
The Social Security Act was passed and declared constitutional during a period of time when a majority of the people had, to a certain degree, accepted the inevitability of some form of authoritarian government and collectivist thinking. Both were poorly understood by most people and a defeatist attitude, of which we still see strong evidence, had captured the thinking of our people.
It is time for a critical appraisal and reevaluation of such measures to determine whether or not they correspond to and fulfill the intent of our Constitution and Bill of Rights. I contend they do not and that the people of this land are in a much better position today to evaluate them properly than they were previously.
We have many examples of the dire consequences of accepting those principles to view abroad. We have personal experiences with some forms of it. I believe the American people do not want the Government to increase regimentation of their lives. They do not want authoritarian government by collectivist principles regardless of the title.
Authoritarian government cannot survive without utilization of police power over every phase of the lives of the people. This requires application of compulsion in areas over which our Constitution did not intend for it to be used. If there is anything which becomes obvious in sudying these documents it is the one fact that the exercise of compulsion over the citizens of this land in matters of peaceful, lawful, personal activity was to be eliminated forever.
None of us believes in compulsion for himself. The President of the United States recently expressed his opposition to the word “compulsory” and it is assumed he intended to convey opposition to compulsion as well.
However, in the FSA we see the Social Security Agency exercising that very power, compelling the citizens of this land to pay a tax for
something which the acceptance of Christian principles upon which our country is founded establishes as a right and responsibility of the individual.
Many people do not want the Government to accept any responsibility for their old age. Many reject the idea that ours should be a paternalistic government providing “floors of protection” and minimal acceptable standards.
The most conclusive fact that the American people do not want and do not approve such activities of the FSA is the fact that participation in FSA is compulsory. How poorly the people regard the system could and would be proved quickly if it were made voluntary and actuarially sound.
One of the most amazing facts is that practically everyone seems to know and agree that the old-age and survivors insurance is actuarially unsound. It is frequently referred to as a "fraud" or "fake". I quote those words from the Congressional Record. You are better informed on this situation than I am, and others are better qualified to discuss it. Proof that it is a fraud seems to be granted by the fact that the Government would not permit a private citizen to operate in a similar manner.
Many of our outstanding Senators and Representatives have exposed the defects by openly calling it a "fake" and by commenting that it is not "insurance." Senator Millikin commented wisely that “Security cannot be in insolvency.”
Without further discussing these points, since they are such common knowledge, I would like to observe that it is most unreasonable for Congress to give tacit approval to insolvency, compulsion, governmental paternalism, and the very mechanism by which all authoritarian states maintain their power by dignifying the FSA, the very example of these practices, by elevation to Cabinet status. That does not seem the best way of correcting a bad situation.
Other common knowledge is that certain activities of the FSA and of some of its personnel are regarded as running counter to the law. Is such action to be encouraged by tacit approval through elevation before correcting the faults?
A number of individuals and organizations are proposing sound and far-reaching changes in the social-security agency. I refer to establishing a pay-as-you-go system with removal of the Federal Government from all welfare programs. Should these proposals gain ultimate acceptance, the size of FSA could be reduced so it would not warrant Cabinet status. These matters require consideration before any change is made.
İnclusion of health in the Department indicates only one intention; that is, the ultimate and eventual control of health services by the Government in what so many people regard as its "giveaway” programs. The process has never failed. When Government wishes to secure support from the people, it offers just a little more. The fallacy is too obvious to require discussion, but the process works every time. We cannot accept a little collectivism unless we are prepared to accept the ultimate extension of the collectivist principle.
Health is too important to be used as an item of exchange. In such a Department, health would be subordinate. It should not be placed into a situation which is getting worse all the time. There is no logical reason for lumping health, welfare, and education together. Fundamentally, health, likę charity, is a personal matter, and the Government has no right usurping these responsibilities. Government is, in the final analysis, organized force. Health and charity are personal responsibilities which should never be included in the general area of force..
All authoritarian states are established by those who believe the average citizen does not have enough intelligence or sufficient enlightened self-interest to provide for himself. Those in power, be it a congress, a parliament, a politbureau, or a dictator, must accept this idea to utilize compulsion upon his fellow man. This is neither a Christian nor an American principle. It is foreign to the intent of our Constitution.
However, the FSA has implied acceptance of these ideas in its publication Common Human Needs when it states “Social-security and public-assistance programs are a basic essential for attainment of the socialized state envisaged in democratic ideology, a way of life which so far has been realized only in slight measure." Communists call socialism “democracy." Paternalism is openly espoused. Compulsion is accepted as it is generally admitted that social security is impossible without compulsion.
The FSA admits that two of its largest functions are “essential" in establishing the socialized state. Congress is asked to indicate approval of this type of thinking by elevating the agency to Cabinet status.
For these and many other reasons, I would like to request this committee and Congress to disapprove House Joint Resolution 223 and Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1953.
The American people are entitled to a thorough and critical evaluation of the operation of and philosophy behind such programs. There can be no justification for such undue haste, as reasonable deliberation is out of the question in such a short period of time. When all the facts are known, I believe the American people will reject the philosophy which must be accepted to prove these programs.
I wish to thank you very kindly for permitting me to express my opinion.
Senator SMITH. Does that complete your statement? Thank you very much.
Senator Dworshak, do you have any questions?
Senator DWORSHAK. Doctor, it is apparent that you have lacked any confidence in the operations of these agencies involved in this reorganization plan under the past administrations. Obviously, we know that viewpoint is justifiable when it is predicated upon the administration of Oscar Ewing as head of the Federal Security Agency. I question how you can justify now that it is inevitable that we shall have a continuance or an expansion of that basic thinking and that kind of operation in these agencies? Do you justify that?
Dr. DOENGES. I believe I can. I think it will take considerable time. I would like to say briefly though that the very operation—it is my understanding, and the practice of civil service, and especially with agencies such as the Federal Security Agency, where they have enormous publicity bureaus or, shall we say, publicity bureaus, and where they have staffs which can prepare and disseminate information indicating the need of enlargement, continuing, and the size of the