The Charlotte News

Thursday, May 4, 1939


Site Ed. Note: Elevate a wee mite the salaries and re-election campaign expenditure figures in "Goldberg Plan" and it is--well, now. How swiftly things change to remain as they have largely always been.

Ditto for the tax cut plan for business to encourage investment, while government spending continued to increase, as critiqued in "Starboard Helm". Cash did not live so long to realize what starboard drift truly means.

"Something Doing in Russia" was correct in predicting a neutral alliance between Hitler and Stalin, the Non-aggression Pact to be signed a mere three months later, albeit an uneasy neutrality it always was. Hitler, of course, with oil reserves running low and feeling threat from Russia in the Balkans, and probably wishing to aid the Japanese in their fight in China in exchange ultimately for the attack at Pearl Harbor, would press into the Russian frontier and break the pact on June 22, 1941--a move quite irrational in any strategic sense as the invasion withdrew personnel and machinery from the west. The Eastern front was maintained in the long siege of Stalingrad which followed, the German army being forced to surrender there in early 1943--and eventually, with the Russians moving ever steadily afterward to the west, Hitler's bunker would be busted by them in 1945.

And, "Lady Fishermen" tells what may sound like a fish story of sorts, about angling with Amazons--with Cash perhaps sounding a bit starboard himself, though in truth leeward he probably was. Anyhow, the game people of North Carolina in 1939 were not disinclined to acquiesce to their request. So, bring us that horizon...

Drink up, me hearty jo-ho.


Goldberg Plan

The Cartoonist Ought To Diagram This'n

Representative Ramspeck of Georgia, chairman of the House Civil Service Committee, has worked out a scheme for getting Congressmen on the Federal pension roles. Under it, the boys will kick in with five per cent of their checks, and the Government will contribute five per cent more to the kitty, which will be used to buy 'em an annuity for so much, depending on how long they've served.

The Hon. Ramspeck reports that all the boys he has questioned about it are enthusiastic--which is not exactly astounding. But ourselves, we were about to suggest that men who draw $10,000 a year as Federal jobholders don't need pensions, too. On second thought, however, maybe we go too far. After all, the boys have to spend a lot of it to keep themselves in their seats. The minimum even a well-established Congressman has to spend to get himself re-elected every two years is, we understand, about $5,000. And the ante goes up for the less well-established and for those who come from those populous and well-heeled districts where the competition is particularly hot--so that the job often costs more than the salary.

Still--look how that works out. The candidate goes ahead and spends his first two years' salary, say, to get on the payroll--and the pension list. Then, he goes ahead and spends a great hunk or most or all of his salary to--well, shall we say to stay on the pension rolls? It does sound a little like a Rube Goldberg machine, doesn't it?

Starboard Helm

The New Deal Swings Its Tiller Hard Over

The signs multiply that this is going to be remembered as the year that the Administration changed its policies and gave business a break. First hint of the softened attitude came two or three weeks ago when Mr. Morgenthau proposed, with the President's approval, to defer a scheduled increase in the old-age insurance tax on payrolls. Congress put the bill through in a jiffy, as much as to ask why hadn't somebody thought of that before. But bigger things were yet to come.

A complete right-turn in the New Deal's course was indicated in the Treasury's tax program disclosed earlier this week. The rich were to be soaked not quite so hard, and speculation and investment were to be encouraged by modification of the tax on capital gains. In addition, corporations received concessions of a minor sort. And the ball had started rolling.

Yesterday the House Ways & Means Committee came up with still more tax relief. Hitherto, the Administration had turned a deaf ear to pleas that unemployment and insurance reserves were, in many states, far in excess of reasonable needs, and it had refused to consider any reduction in the payroll tax. The committee, however, worked out a formula by which states with adequate reserves can lower tax rates accordingly. It also exempted from this tax all over the first $3,000 of salary, which will mean a considerable saving to General Motors, say, in the amount of unemployment insurance tax it has to pay on the salaries of Messrs. Sloan and Knudson.

It all adds up, though yet in a tentative stage, to encouragement for business. The New Deal evidently has decided that its tax-and-spend policy was getting the country nowhere at all. The spending is still going on, but taxes appear to be on the way down.

Lady Fishermen

With A Creek Of Their Own To Fish In

Up in the Mount Mitchell game refuge, the North Carolina Department of Conservation and Development has reserved a stream exclusively for the use of lady anglers. Which seems to confirm something that we have hitherto been inclined to doubt--that ladies do angle. Yes, yes, we knew very well that they do spend a good part of their days at one kind of angling. But what we have in mind here is another kind of fish. And our only experience with a lady angling for water fish had not led us to believe that they were fitted for the sport. To tell the truth, it was not really angling. We were just sitting on a creek bank a'fishing with a pole. But, anyhow, she insisted on talking and giggling, which, as we understand it, is not calculated to get results in fish-angling. Moreover, when she finally hooked a minnow and jerked it flopping to the bank, she went into hysterics, dropped the pole, and fled, shrieking that she'd never touch the wiggly thing. Besides, we thought that anglers themselves, a crusty breed to which we don't claim to belong, would set their faces resolutely against any female invasion of their masculine stronghold--one of the few left on earth.

But evidently a tougher and a more determined kind of them than the lady we remember has developed in these times. From Editor W. B. Keziah down at Southport, we have been hearing for some time vague rumors about lady anglers who, in those parts, go fishing for deep sea game fish. But Editor Keziah is after all much of a promoter, and full of strange tales. Right now he has the ghost of Theodosia Burr walking around all over that country down there. So, to be candid, we didn't quite believe him. But this seems to settle it: that there are now ladies who go in for angling, so many of them that they seem able to defy the reluctant male anglers and get a stream all their own.

One thing in the case, however, is plainly wrong. The dispatch announcing it says that the stream involved is known as Neal's Creek. Obviously, it ought to be changed to Amazon River.

Something Doing In Russia

Bumble's Policy Threatens To Drive Bear Into German Arms And Destroy The Eastern Front

The resignation of Maxim Litvinkoff as Russian Commissar for Foreign Affairs is an ominous piece of news. Litvinkoff has been the great Russian champion of collective security--the greatest single champion of the idea in Europe. And since the collapse of that idea, he has steadily sought to form an alliance with England and France for the stopping of Hitler.

His removal undoubtedly signifies the arrival of complete Russian revolt against the Bumble-Daladier policy. And no one can blame the Russians for that. Frederick L. Schuman, Professor of History at Williams College, in his new book, "Europe on the Eve," shows by overwhelming evidence that the crew of British Tories led by Chamberlain, Halifax, and Neville Henderson, has steadily sold out England and France to Hitler through a series of entirely mistaken and incredibly short-sighted calculations--that everything that has happened has happened because they chose for it to do so, and that most of the time they have plainly been working under a private understanding with the German dictator.

And that the essential policy has not been abandoned emerges more and more clearly. In Berlin, Henderson is reported to be urging his Government that Hitler will certainly march if Beck does not surrender and that it is necessary to bring pressure on Poland. And the dispatches from Poland say that pressure is being brought to make Poland yield everything "compatible with her dignity." And that phrase, if you forget, is exactly the phrase that was used in connection with Czecho-Slovakia last Fall. Another Munich sell-out seems to be clearly in the making.

And the realization of that is more than likely what lies at the bottom of the Russian turn. It may be that Russia is merely preparing to take a far stronger stand in her dealing with Bumble & Co.--to demand forthright and thoroughgoing commitment once and for all...or else. But it is perhaps even more likely that she is preparing to abandon all hope of an alliance with England and France. Maybe to retreat to benevolent neutrality, for as Schuman points out, it is more and more plain that Adolf Hitler is turning away from his dream of hogging up Russia to the idea that the taking over of the British and French empires is far easier meat. But maybe even to an alliance with Germany. After all, the two dictatorships have much in common. The revelations currently running in the Saturday Evening Post show that they have played with the idea of alliance all along. And significantly, Hitler said not one word against Russia in his last speech.

But if Poland is sold out and surrendered, and if Russia goes neutral or forms the German alliance, then it may be said that there will probably be no war. For to a war fought under such circumstances there is only one probable end--complete and overwhelming German victory. England won the last war because the existence of the Eastern front enabled the combined British and American fleets to make a blockade effective. With the Eastern front gone, England's blockade power is canceled out.


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