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Adjustment to a war program can now be made with greater speed and less hardship. The country is better stocked with durable goods. Our factories are better equipped to carry the new production load. The larger national income facilitates financing the war effort.
There are still unused resources for agricultural and industrial production. These must be drawn into the national effort. Shortages, however, have developed in skilled labor, raw materials, machines, and shipping. Under the expanding war program, more and more productive capacity must be shifted from peacetime to wartime work.
Last year fiscal policy was used to shift the economy into high gear. Today it is an instrument for transforming our peace economy into a war economy. This transformation must be completed with minimum friction and maximum speed. The fiscal measures which I outline in this message are essential elements in the Nation's war program
This is a war budget. The details of a war program are, of course' in constant flux. Its magnitude and composition depend on events at the battlefronts of the world, on naval engagements at sea, and on new developments in mechanized warfare. Moreover, war plans are military secrets.
Under these circumstances I cannot hereafter present details of future war appropriations. However, total appropriations and expenditures will be published so that the public may know the fiscal situation and the progress of the Nation's effort.
The defense program, including appropriations, contract authorizations, recommendations, and commitments of Government corporations, was 29 billion dollars on January 3, 1941. During the last 12 months 46 billion dollars have been added to the program. Of this total of 75 billion dollars there remains 24 billion dollars for future obligation.
In this Budget I make an initial request for a war appropriation of 13.6 billion dollars for the fiscal year 1943. Large supplemental requests will be made as we move toward the maximum use of productive capacity. Nothing short of a maximum will suffice. I cannot predict ultimate costs because I cannot predict the changing fortunes of war. I can only say that we are determined to pay whatever price we must to preserve our way of life.
Total war expenditures are now running at a rate of 2 billion dollars a month and may surpass 5 billion dollars a month during the fiscal year 1943. As against probable budgetary war expenditures of 24 billion dollars for the current fiscal year, our present objective calls for war expenditures of nearly 53 billion dollars for the fiscal year 1943. And in addition, net outlays of Government corporations for war purposes are estimated at about 2 and 3 billion dollars for the current and the next fiscal year, respectively.
These huge expenditures for ships, planes, and other war equipment will require prompt conversion of a large portion of our industrial establishment to war production. These estimates reflect our determination to devote at least one-half of our national production to the war effort.
The agencies responsible for the administration of this vast program must make certain that every dollar is speedily converted into a maximum of war effort. We are determined to hold waste to a minimum.
THE CIVIL FUNCTIONS OF GOVERNMENT
In a true sense, there are no longer nondefense expenditures. It is a part of our war effort to maintain civilian services which are essential to the basic needs of human life. In the same way it is necessary in wartime to conserve our natural resources and keep in repair our national plant. We cannot afford waste or destruction, for we must continue to think of the good of future generations of Americans. For example, we must maintain fire protection in our forests; and we must maintain control over destructive floods. In the preparation of the present Budget, expenditures not directly related to the war have been reduced to a minimum or reoriented to the war program.
We all know that the war will bring hardships and require adjustment. Assisting those who suffer in the process of transformation and taxing those who benefit from the war are integral parts of our national program.
It is estimated that expenditures for the major Federal assistance programs-farm aid, work relief, youth aid-can be reduced by 600 million dollars from the previous to the current fiscal year, and again by 860 million dollars from the current to the next fiscal year. These programs will require 1.4 billion dollars during the fiscal year 1943,
about one-half of the expenditures for these purposes during the fiscal
Improved economic conditions during the current year have made possible the execution of economic and social programs with smaller funds than were originally estimated. By using methods of administrative budget control, 415 million dollars of appropriations for civil purposes have been placed in reserves.
Excluding debt charges and grants under the Social Security law, total expenditures for other than direct war purposes have been reduced by slightly more than 1 billion dollars in the next fiscal year.
Agricultural aid.--I propose to include contract authorizations in the Budget to assure the farmer a parity return on his 1942 crop, largely payable in the fiscal year 1944. I do not suggest a definite appropriation at this time because developments of farm income and farm prices are too uncertain. Agricultural incomes and prices have increased and we hope to limit the price rise of the products actually bought by the farmer. But if price developments should turn against the farmer, an appropriation will be needed to carry out the parity objective of the Agricultural Adjustment Act.
The remaining expenditures for the agricultural program are being brought into accord with the war effort. Food is an essential war material. I propose to continue the soil conservation and use program on a moderately reduced scale. Acreage control by cooperative efforts of farmer and Government was inaugurated in a period of overproduction in almost all lines of farming. Then its major objective was the curtailment of production to halt a catastrophic decline in farm prices. At present, although there is still excess production in some types of farming, serious shortages prevail in other types. The present program is designed to facilitate a balanced increase in production and to aid in controlling prices.
Work projects. The average number of W. P. A. workers was two million in the fiscal year 1940, the year before the defense program started; the average has been cut to one million this year. With increasing employment a further considerable reduction will be possible. I believe it will be necessary to make some provision for work relief during the next year. I estimate tentatively that 465 million dollars will be needed for W. P. A., but I shall submit a specific request later in the year. Workers of certain types and in certain regions of the country probably will not all be absorbed by war industries. It is better to provide useful work for the unemployed on public projects than to lose their productive power through idleness. Wherever feasible they will be employed on war projects.
Material shortages are creating the problem of "priority unemployment.” I hope the workers affected will be reemployed by expanding war industries before their unemployment compensation ceases. Some of the workers affected will not, however, be eligible for such compensation and may be in need of assistance.
Rather than rely on relief a determined effort should be made to speed up reemployment in defense plants. I have, therefore, instructed the Office of Production Management to join the procurement agencies in an effort to place contracts with those industries forced to cut their peacetime production. The ingenuity of American management has already adapted some industries to war production. Standardization and substitution are doing their part in maintaining production. Ever-increasing use of subcontracts, pooling of industrial resources, and wider distribution of contracts are of paramount importance for making the fullest use of our resources. The newly nationalized Employment Service will greatly help unemployed workers in obtaining employment.
Aids to youth.—Under war conditions there is need and opportunity for youth to serve in many ways. It is therefore possible to make a considerable reduction in the programs of the Civilian Conservation Corps and the National Youth Administration. The youth, too, will be aided by the United States Employment Service in finding employment opportunities.
Although I am estimating 100 million dollars for these two agencies, excluding 50 million dollars for defense training, it is probable that the total amount will not be needed. I am postponing until next spring presentation to the Congress of specific recommendations as to youth aid.
Public works program.-The public works program is being fully adjusted to the war effort. The general program of 578 million dollars includes those projects necessary for increasing production of hydroelectric power, for flood control, and for river and harbor work related to military needs. Federal aid for highways will be expended only for construction essential for strategic purposes. Other highway projects will be deferred until the post-war period. For all other Federal construction I am restricting expenditures to those active projects which cannot be discontinued without endangering the structural work now in progress.
Civil departments and agencies.—The work of the civil departments and agencies is undergoing thorough reorientation. Established agencies will be used to the greatest possible extent for defense services. Many agencies have already made such readjustment. All civil activities of the Government are being focussed on the war program.
Federal grants and debt service.-A few categories of civil expenditures show an increase. Under existing legislation Federal grants to match the appropriations for public assistance made by the individual States will increase by 73 million dollars. I favor an amendment to the Social Security Act which would modify matching grants to accord with the needs of the various States. Such legislation would probably not affect expenditures substantially during the next fiscal year.
Because of heavy Federal borrowing, interest charges are expected to increase by 139 million dollars in the current fiscal year, and by another 500 million dollars in the fiscal year 1943. Debt service is, of course, affected by war spending.
COORDINATION OF FISCAL POLICIES
The fiscal policy of the Federal Government, especially with respect to public works, is being reinforced by that of State and local governments. Executive committees of the Council of State Governments and the Governors' Conference have issued excellent suggestions for harmonizing various aspects of State and local fiscal policy with national objectives. These governments are readjusting many of their services so as to expedite the war program. Many are making flexible plans for the post-war readjustment and some are accumulating financial reserves for that purpose. The larger the scale of our war effort, the more important it becomes to provide a reservoir of post-war work by business and by Federal, State, and local governments.
FINANCING THE WAR
Determination, skill, and matériel are three great necessities for victory. Methods of financing may impair or strengthen these essentials. Sound fiscal policies are those which will help win the
A fair distribution of the war burden is necessary for national unity. A balanced financial program will stimulate the productivity of the Nation and assure maximum output of war equipment.