The Charlotte News
Tuesday, July 18, 1939
Here We Go Again*
In 14 Days, Treasury's Deficit Is $325,373,427
When two such cautious New Dealers as Jesse Jones and Henry Morgenthau expressed approval of the President's latest white rabbit, which took the form of a brand-new spending, lending program, their opinion ought to have considerable weight. Maybe, after all, spending will ultimately begin to do what is claimed for it.
Maybe, having primed the pump until it flooded and having "invested" more money than there is, it would be fatal belated caution to stop now.
But, then, again, maybe the truth is simply that we can't stop. One gets that impression from the daily reports of the Treasury. Look, for instance, at the statement for July 14, which will do as well as any other.
Expenditures .................... 19,101,100.72
Worse still, observe that in the first 14 days of the fiscal year that began July 1 the Government has actually accumulated a deficit of $325,373,427. And remember that this is the tenth consecutive year of a deficit.
We claim no such acumen as distinguishes Messrs. Jones and Morgenthau, but as plain, prudent citizens of the United States our opinion is that the Government has long since gone haywire in its fiscal policies and is forced to continue to spend in order to stay a jump ahead of the day of reckoning.
Chamberlain Must Show More Strength, Or Yield
There is no longer any doubt that Adolf Hitler means to grab Danzig, and probably in short order, when military trucks, loaded with German soldiers and arms, begin pouring across the border in companies of forty. It may be that Adolf is so determined to have all his way that he is going forward in the expectation that it means war. But the chances still are that he believes the British Government to be bluffing.
What is more, nobody can be sure that he isn't right. Aesop long ago wrote a celebrated little tale concerning the boy who cried "wolf!" too often, which pretty well fits the man with the umbrella. He made noises about war in the case of Czechoslovakia, but in the showdown he marched right up to Munich, just as Hitler thought he would. Moreover, there have been recurrent rumors lately that he is now trying to buy Hitler off with the promise of a huge loan. And he stubbornly refuses to do the thing which is best calculated to convince Hitler that he means business and to enlist the support of Russia--the taking of Eden and Churchill into the Cabinet.
Hitler may be moving the world into war. If so, Chamberlain will lie under the same guilt that Grey lay under in 1914--that of failing to make the enemy understand his purpose. But it may be that the world is only moving to another Munich.
Roosevelt, fils, Plays Into Coughlin's Hands
None of the Roosevelt sons are remarkable for discretion, but the most inept of the lot is certainly Elliott, the one who resides in Texas and "comments" on ideas for a radio station out that way. And of all his inept performances, his latest is the worst. If he had been trying his best to serve the greasy priest, Coughlin, he couldn't have gone better about it than in his utterances to the effect that if censorship would shut up the fellow, censorship would be almost justified.
We know precisely how he feels, certainly. This man, who is as much an alien as Harry Bridges, is both despicable and dangerous with his incessant campaigns of hate. Nevertheless, the Bill of Rights includes him also. If you can shut him up with censorship, then you can shut up Franklin Roosevelt or Elliott Roosevelt or Herbert Hoover or anybody at all. And if we adopted censorship as against him, we would simply be beating him to his goal of setting up Fascism. If he is dangerous, the way to combat him is not by gagging him, but by incessantly matching his lies with the truth.
But Elliott Roosevelt has played straight into his hands. Already he is striking the pose of martyr, and bellowing over the land that Franklin Roosevelt is conspiring with Moscow and "International Jewry" too shut off his "revelations" and yammering about free speech. The incident will probably end by drawing a great many morons into his net.
There is one kind of censorship the country could put up with, certainly--a little parental censorship from the White House, preferably administered in the woodshed.
Murder And Violence Go On At The Usual Rate
The police report for Sunday ran mainly like this:
A Negro named George Green of 18 Shuman Avenue, was murdered by an axe in the hands of another Negro, Heywood Mitchell, address not known, at 209 Willow Street. Mitchell was lodged in jail.
A Negro woman, Nazarine Brown, of 804 East First Street, was shot three times--in the left side, right leg and hand--by James (Coote) Agney, of 1921 Baxter Street. The woman is at Good Samaritan Hospital in serious condition. The police are looking for Coote.
Buck Biggers, white, of 1216 North Caldwell Street, was cut about the face and head with a knife, landed in Presbyterian Hospital. One Herbert Love, white, of 1320 North Caldwell Street, was taken to jail.
Van Foster, Negro, of 613 West Hill Street, was killed by a bullet, said to have been fired by a 14-year-old Negro boy, Richard Cathey. The police were hunting Richard.
Not an unusual Sunday in Charlotte, you see. A very ordinary Sunday, in fact. And the cops chalked up a middling record in seizing two of the culprits. But how does it happen that this sort of thing goes monotonously on Sunday after Sunday in the town--all weekdays as well--every year to place Charlotte as the first or second most murderous and violent in the country?
Many factors probably enter into it. The slums, for instance. The fact that the town places much too much emphasis on minor derelictions like pin-ball gambling and makes no demand at all that these major crimes be halted. The fact that the cops are much too busy with negligible matters properly to patrol and keep in touch with the districts where such things habitually happen. The fact that the City Council seems to be more interested in politics than in an efficient police department. But also this: that even when the cops arrest the criminals in such cases, there is absolutely no certainty that they will be punished. Once a case lands in Solicitor Carpenter's court--well, it may come to trial. But the chances are at least equal, as the astute among the violent and murderous must know, that it won't.
License To Steal
That's About What The Gov't. Issued Mr. S. Weiss
Seymour Weiss, whom a Federal grand jury in Louisiana has indicted for selling a hotel and its fixtures to the State and then selling the fixtures all over again, for 75 grand, is no stranger to a true bill. Back in November 1935, Weiss, at that time treasurer of Huey Long's outfit, was indicted by the Federals for the little matter of having neglected to pay taxes on $176,972.26 of his income.
At that time, Huey and the New Deal were mortal enemies.
But two years later Weiss was not only clear of any indictment: he was petitioning the Federal Board of Tax Appeals to countermand the penalty imposed on him for income tax fraud. He claimed that an indictment embodying the identical charges had been dismissed on motion of the Government in May 1936.
The Democratic National Convention was held in June, 1936, one month later. Seymour Weiss was a delegate. He arrived in Philadelphia announcing enthusiastically that he was ready to "go down the line for President Roosevelt."
What happened in the interim is known as the Second Louisiana Purchase.
And if anybody cares to maintain that the Government deal was with Louisiana politicians trading immunity from prosecution for political support, and virtually amounted to licensing Seymour Weiss et al. to continue their depredations, we might not altogether agree but we should certainly have to admit that it looked something like that.
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