Election 1944: Martin blasts Roosevelt on preparedness (11-2-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (November 2, 1944)


Martin blasts Roosevelt on preparedness

Governor Edward Martin, charging that “there has been little common honesty in handling the federal payroll and in the administration of the Social Security Act,” maintains that President Roosevelt “failed to prepare the nation for war.”

“Warned as he was, it was the President’s great responsibility to lead this nation and make it ready to defend itself,” Mr. Martin said in a political speech at McKeesport last night. “That, on the record, he failed to do.

People not informed

Mr. Martin said:

Had we been prepared, or on the way to preparedness in 1939, we might have avoided war. At least our preparations would have been speeded up and this would have avoided many casualties and the expenditure of billions of dollars.

The conclusion cannot be escaped that the President did not take the people into his confidence; that he did not voice specific warnings until it was too late, and that he led the country to believe that neutrality would save us from war.

Referring to the federal payroll, Mr. Martin said, “It has been used to build up a solid phalanx of New Deal votes here in… every state in the Union.”

Mr. Martin asserted:

The Social Security Act as administered by the New Deal has been called the “Socia! Security swindle.” Its old-age benefits were to be paid out of funds from a tax on workers and a tax on payrolls. The money collected has simply gone into the general fund. It has been spent and all that is left of that trust fund is a bundle of IOUs.

11-point program

“The American program, as we Republicans see it,” was outlined by Mr. Martin in these 11 points:

  • Use all our energy speedily to win the war.
  • Work for permanent peace in collaboration with other nations.
  • Preserve the sovereignty of the United States.
  • Plan a program of veteran rehabilitation, reemployment and opportunity.
  • Enforce economic government.
  • Follow a system of free enterprise.
  • Decentralize government.
  • Return to the economy of plenty in this nation.
  • Dispose of surplus war materials to private industry.
  • Settle promptly all government contracts.
  • Conserve natural resources for future generations.