Douglas Explains $800,000,000 Economies Accomplished By Slashing Veterans, Federal Salaries and All Departments
"We will probably cut about $800,000,000 from the budget this year," said Lewis W. Douglas, director of the Budget, to a CRIMSON reporter during the vacation. "Under the economy bill we are accomplishing the savings through three main channels: veteran expenditures, federal salaries, and reorganization of governmental departments.
"The general principle observed in cutting the veterans is to eliminate practically all payments to men who received injuries following the War. In dealing with the veterans who were wounded in service, we have been guided by two aims. By a previous bill they received compensation according to the seriousness of their injuries. Thus a man pronounced 10 per cent injured would receive $10 a month, a man 11 per cent, $11 a month, and so forth. Obviously this system was impossible to administrate with any degree of success. We have been forced to keep the 10 per cent class so that men who have scars on their faces will be unable to say that they have received no compensation from their government. There are four other classes: 25 per cent, 50 per cent, 75 per cent, and 100 per cent. Before the economy bill, men who were totally incapacitated received the amount that they were earning at the time of their enlistment, but now we have taken the average earnings of the occupation and based their compensation on that. We are planning to save at least $450,000,000 on this measure.
"On Saturday, April 1, the 15 per cent paycut for federal employees went into effect," the Director continued. "Last year salaries above $1000 were cut eight and two-third per cent. Now we have made the cut on every salary from top to bottom uniform. This will provide for at least $100,000,000.
"Reorganization of the departments is new well under way, especially in the post office, agriculture, and commerce departments. Quite a few bureaus can be absolutely abolished, while some can be radically cut down. We though we had sufficient power to accomplish everything in this line but there are several economies, amounting to 50 or 60 million dollars, which are not provided for. I expect that these loose ends will be covered in a new bill which will be introduced in a short time. Since at least $100,000,000 will be saved from the post office department alone, the total sum of our economies in this direction will be large."