August 31, 1935 - Editorial - Penalizing Thrift, by George Lorimer

It is difficult to think of anything more calculated to restrain confidence than the apparently careless attitude of President Roosevelt and some of his associates toward the soundness of new legislative measures. This is a serious statement, but it is made with deep conviction, and, what is more, it needs to be heeded.

Congress has enacted or had presented to it by Administration forces a series of measures of the most intricate nature and far-reaching effect. Not only has the greatest possible pressure been put on Congress to pass these measures but a number of them have been described as "must" legislation. It should be remembered, however, that the President has absolutely no constitutional authority to order Congress to pass particular pet measures, and that there is no such thing as "must" legislation in our scheme of government. Possibly the word "must" may have been used by congressmen or newspaper writers without official justification, and, we understand, the Administration prefers it to be called "desirable" legislation.

No has most of the new legislation been adequately discussed or at all well understood by the public at large, which, indeed, is simply bewildered by the hurry, the drive and the casual haphazard irresponsibility with which new measures are driven through. Nor in most cases has Congress itself, any more than the country at large, appeared to know what all the excitement was all about.

Finally, to cap the climax, the cause of widespread uneasiness and doubt is the fact that in a number of the most important instances measures have been pushed through despite very dubious constitutionality. The reason for this disregard for constitutional limitations may be mere restlessness and an impatience with all restraint rather than a deliberate design to build up sentiment for an amendment to the Constitution or to make the Supreme Court appear obstructive. (pg. 22)

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