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rules out the barricading circles, and so forth, which congests our traffic in some respects.
So if we are going to look forward to the things the District needs we have got to do two things. First, we have got to have a responsible government.
I want to read for the record right here something that perhaps is only tangent, but here is a list of a few of the parts of the District government that are not even under the Commissioners, according to my understanding, and yet they are part of the District budget.
The Washington Aqueduct. National Guard, which functions here. National Capital Parks, as we all know. The National Capital Park and Planning Commission. National Zoological Park. Register of Wills and Recorder of Deeds.
We talk about a responsible District government, and yet we do not give them control over the very things that make up at least a portion of the District life.
I think some pattern has got to be had here, perhaps with reservations, if we have to salve the arrogance and the pride of some of the subdivisions of government that we find here, but I think some pattern has got to be had so that somebody in the District government is absolutely responsible.
Somebody should have checked on that $3,500 item, small as it is, and Pet nobody did. Suppose that we allowed it. Presumably, $1,700 would have been covered back into the Treasury by the District, but the District would have been charged with appropriating more than they had to.
Secondly, I think we are going to have to have more property taxes here in the District, and I am happy to see this committee going into that. By property taxes, that is not going to solve the thing, when about only 88,000 people, as I understand it, out of a total population of nine-hundred-some-thousand in the District pay property taxes.
Mr. FOWLER. Income taxes.
Mr. FOWLER. About 150,000 parcels and lots and you can figure a little over 100,000 people are paying real-estate taxes.
Mr. Horan. I do not think an income tax is going to work here in the District. You have got one, but it is not adequate. I do not see how you are going to escape a sales tax in the name of justice.
I do not call it iniquitous. It is equitable in that all pay. I think people should pay their way. They do not ride free on the streetcars and I do not think they should ride free on the District government.
I do not know how we are going to have that $200,000,000 budget that you might need in the future without some people here paving their pro rata share and not merely looking to the Federal Budget, with a national debt of $260,000,000,000 at the time when it, alone, of all the four subdivisions of our National Government is in debt. Bearing in mind that we have Federal Government and State government and municipal government, then we have county or township or district government, they are all three listed in purely local governments of those four, the one that is in debt is the Federal Government and the Federal Treasury is its weakest point.
And, as I said in opening, merely looking at the Federal contribution is not the solution nor would it be the solution if we were to increase it up to $50,000,000 a year without making other corrections in the direction of an absolutely responsible District government.
I have gone into relief to considerable extent. A year ago we askerl the District Auditor to investigate. He did. He found any amount of abuses of relief here in the District.
One of them will indicate how we are training our possible future itizens here in the District. One of the cases he found was a father of three illegitimate children, who, under Aid for Dependent Children, and I think this is all right, because they should be cared for, were drawing $79 a month. They were living with their mother, who was the common-law wife of a fellow in the City Refuse Department drawing $33.60 a week. And he was claiming exemptions for four dependents for withdrawing-tax purposes and was living at another address.
Now, listen: if we are going to have a Relief Department that trains our possible future citizens in that way, God help the Republic. That man should be supporting his youngsters. Such a condition is a threat to family life, the foundation of our society.
That is just one of hundreds of examples that we found in looking into this. We are facing a real challenge, as you know.
We, on Appropriations, feel it strongly, perhaps too strongly. Nobody knows. Maybe the election in 1948 will repudiate those of us who are not being popular with the spenders today. I do not know.
I do know this: unless the Federal budget is balanced and unless morality attends in our Republic and fairness and justice and honesty, we will not need to worry beyond 1948.
I want to commend you two fellows for having taken the time that the complications of our Federal city do demand. I do hope, though, that you will look past these superficial things like tapping the Federal Treasury and get into the field of what I like to term not economy, for it is not economy to be fiscally sane, and I hope you will look into those things.
I understand that you are giving some consideration to the O’Mahoney formula. I think that formula is just a little bit too simple. I do not think it takes into complete consideration quite a number of things. The Federal contribution can only be considered in terms of the entire Federal budget. I know that there are plenty here in this room who will disagree with me on that, but the Federal Government spends billions of dollars here in the District in salary and various other expenses and much of it stays here. It stays here and is not taxed by a sales tax.
I think something like the O'Mahoney formula should be enacted. But I think it should be only done after complete hearings by those who are critical of its as well as those who are its friends.
One other thing that I think has got to be corrected, and I want to say here for the record that I do not think it will be, and that is the police system. I was a little bit shocked the other day when I heard the present police status here in the District defended in this committee
There are about 70 square miles in the District of Columbia. Even the O'Mahoney formula admits that about 51 percent of that is
Federal property. So, there is about 35 square miles here in the District. And that 35 square miles is dotted with Federal reserves. We know that.
Out of the total national income, and there is only one national income, do not forget that, and I do not care whether the Government spends it or John Jones or John D. Rockefeller, or the corporations or whoever it is that spends part of that national income, it is out of the total of our national wealth that comes from our sweat and toil. Here in the District and its immediate environs, there are 6,300 policemen of one type and another. There are at least seven complete separate systems. One of them only has 18 privates, but they have got a captain and I believe two lieutenants and four sergeants.
The same thing is true of the White House Police and the Park Police, and so forth.
I have a high regard for the individuals who compose the District Government, and nothing I am saying this morning is intended as personal criticism of anybody. But if you are looking for duplication, you do not have to look very far. You have got captains here in policemen's uniforms, here in the District, who are fine men, maybe, as individuals, and I am not criticising them, but they are doing a sergeant's work and should be paid as a sergeant is paid.
And I hope that the Congress of the United States will have courage and wisdom enough to attack this thing even though it is fraught with patronage from one end to the other. If we are going to set an example for the world, the place to begin is right in Washington,
That is about all I have to say.
Senator Caix. Well, Mr. Horan, we are delighted that you are here. We are of the opinion that you have not been here in person before, since you have no illusions whatsoever as to what these hearings of a joint character are designed to do.
We are endeavoring to investigate the past, present, and future needs of every division of administrative government locally. We shall, after having listened to the several departments, not in the order of their importance but in the order of their convenience, because all of them are important, we shall examine as thoroughly as we can into the obvious need and time for each of the proposed legislative tax-revenue bills.
We listened thoughtfully yesterday to one proposal, the O'Mahoney proposal, which intends to make possible a formula which will permit of an administrative excellence that, in my opinion, has not been possible before; namely, if the Federal Government owes to the District
government something on an annual basis, and this is not subject to contradiction or doubt, it is to be hoped by all of us, including yourself, obviously, that we can determine a formula which will make certain what that is going to be, so that future planning can be done on the basis of what they know they will get as the result of a particular formula.
We do not know whether that O'Mahoney formula is the best that can be conceived. We are going to be faced with meeting the job, as I see it, after these hearings are over, and they have been very worthwhile so far and will be more so in the future.
The two Appropriations Committees and the two District Committees can somehow sift the good from the bad and make a substantial future improvement.
This seems to me to be the one year of all years in the recent past when this approach should be followed because, to my knowledge, there has not in the past decade been a portion of the number of revenue tax measures to be considered by the Congress that we have in front of us now. It has been our purpose and our aim, and we feel that the people of this District have appreciated this approach, because through it we are evidencing a respect for their integrity and their intellect and their industry and awareness of their own problems, and that is where the meeting stands.
We have two or three more days. This morning, if your time premits, we know you will enjoy listening to those who will present the school boards' problem. After that, we will get into the engineering side. We will do our best to listen and understand the police side, following which has already been made clear to everybody interested that, first, we will hear from the proponents of each one of the bills like the sales tax, gasoline tax, and all of the rest, and then give an adequate opportunity for those who have something constructive to say, to sit here in the presence of their fellows and deny the validity which lies behind the proponents' support of their particular measure.
A couple of months from now, coming out of that, there should be on paper what, for example, Mr. Bates and I were not able to find on paper, a résumé and summary of what the District thinks it is. It is going to be our responsibility to dig out of what the District thinks it is, what we concur that it may or may not be, and what agrees. Just a sidelight on that sales tax and all other revenue measures,
I do not, in heaven's name, see how you can justify a serious consideration of imposing additional taxes on the residents of the city of Washington until you know beyond a question of a doubt what the Federal Government's contribution, if any, is to be. It is from your calculated items of income that you can determine how you must go about seeking additional revenue. So, our approach to this thing mentally has been in the order of its importance, from our point of view.
We hope, Walt, that you can be with us as much as you can.
Mr. HORAN. Mr. Chairman, that is impossible. Right now, I am sitting on Appropriations for the State Department and for the Department of Agriculture.
Senator Cain. That is right.
Mr. HORAN. I want to say here and now, however, that I am keeping up on the whole operation of the District, not from the standpoint of wanting to crucify anybody or even to criticize, but if there was ever a tower of Babel in the modern sense, it is here in the District.
Senator Cain. In a word, we can say, as a joint committee, that we have already found things to criticize. We have already found many things to compliment. And it is a confusing picture which has been consistently drawn, over a great number of years, but our immediate problem, as Mr. Bates and I see it, is a serious consideration of the financial needs of the District for the year 1948, but the approach we are taking to it is not only to solve that temporary need, but to lay down a premise and a background and a pattern to consider long-range future needs and improvements.
Mr. HORAN. Well, I want to summarize before I leave now. Yesterday, we appropriated $1,750,000,000 for labor and social security. Ninety percent of that was for relief. I think it is not only true here, but our own State, Mr. Senator, is one of the worst offenders, but fortunately our State government made some corrections in the legislature of this last session just adjourned.
Senator Cain. That is right.
Funds for relief, and you folks know this, have not decreased, even though we have had prosperity that has almost shocked the world. The whole world is envious of America because of the prosperity that we have had here, and yet appropriations and expenditures for relief have not decreased with prosperity.
That is not difficult for anybody to think through. You know and I know it has got to be decreased, and it has got to be decreased not by the Federal Government, although I want them to do everything they should, but it has got to be decreased by wise administration at the local levels.
We just cannot have people making relief a way of life. And you folks that come before the Appropriations Committee, and some of you are planning to, when we have our hearings, and you will be invited to come, are going to come there with the idea that your request is special; thinking that it is sacred. It has got to be allowed. And each item you will have rationalized in your minds.
Whenever you come before my Appropriations Committee with a demand, I am going to throw the gamut of responsible citizenship back at you. I shall ask you for the tax formula to support it. If we want anything in this world, it is worth a sacrifice.
If we want to have the Federal city expenditures, where many think they should be, and I think it is with justification, we have got to practice thrift and wisdom in our civic life and the management of our civic affairs.
It seems to me that under our present system, that resides on the shoulders of those on the Appropriations Committee. It should, in all justice, be on yours too. We could not possibly be popular.
And I promise you I am not trying to be, but I do insist I am going to be just and honest and fair as my wisdom will permit.
Senator Cain. Well, these hearings, Mr. Horan, will provide you with much information on which you can make decisions in the midst of your consideration.
Mr. HORAN. Thank you.
I wonder if we may ask Mr. Hobart M. Corning, the Superintendent of Schools of Washington, D. C., to come forward and sit with us.