Gore develops specific economic and social concerns
Bernard Baruch, prominent Wall Street financier and influential political advisor, also influenced Gore's political views. Gore describes the various economic and social concerns that grew out of that relationship as well as the limitations he had as a representative that could only be overcome by becoming a senator.
Citing this Excerpt
Oral History Interview with Albert Gore, March 13, 1976. Interview A-0321-1. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Full Text of the Excerpt
- JAMES B. GARDNER:
During World War II, you seemed to be quite interested in price controls
and that sort of thing. I believe Bernard Baruch influenced
you to some extent. What sort of policies did you propose
and what was your . . . ?
- ALBERT GORE:
Well, my interest in this, I think, stemmed from my committee assignment.
I was then, as I've said, on Banking and Currency and this had to do
with price controls, economic controls in World War II. I could not see
how we could successfully have price controls without wage controls.
Plummeted into a world war, I felt it absolutely necessary that there be
some rigid controls and regulations on our economy. Or else we would
have rampant inflation, perhaps economic disaster. And I thought it was
necessary to have overall control. Those who slapped something down on
the right side would substitute and prop up on the left side or to the
rear and to the front. So I had expressed some views along this line,
and then as a witness before the committee, Bernard Baruch was invited.
He had some generous things to say about some of the things I had said.
Maybe this was policy on his part, but I was very greatly attracted to
the views he expressed. I agreed with the views he expressed. He too was
an advocate, far more sophisticated than I, of overall control of our
economy in time of war. This led to a personal equation. We had dinner
together several times and had rapport on economic views. I think that
was perhaps the extent of it, but he was a sophisticated advocate of the
things I believed in.
- DEWEY W. GRANTHAM:
Pursuing the matter of war controls, mobilization controls, could you
elaborate a bit about the kinds of things that Congress did, the kinds
of issues and concerns that came before you and your colleagues that had
to do with mobilization and the war effort generally?
- ALBERT GORE:
My experiences were largely limited to the matters of, the subject
matters of, within the jurisdiction of my committee. As I've said, on
the Banking and Currency Committee, this led me into an active role in
the economic controls. I advocated them at least a year or so before
Roosevelt did. I was in the vanguard of the economic controls on our
economy at that time. After going to the Appropriations Committee, I
maintained my interest in economic controls, continued an active debate
and advocacy, but added to my responsibilities as a member of the
Appropriations Committee: the military, atomic energy, nuclear weapons,
TVA, the energy and weapons side of war mobilization and the war effort.
So as a result of my activity and interest I showed in the jurisdiction
of these two committees, I was broadened in my knowledge and in my
experience of economic matters, and developed a keen interest in tax
policy, but was unable to do anything about it. As you doubtless know,
the House of Representatives follows a gag rule in the consideration of
a tax bill. It has been that way for many years, whether the House was
under Democratic or Republican leadership. They have a closed rule. That
is, a tax bill is brought out upon the recommendation of the House Ways
and Means Committee. And then no amendments are permitted. Therefore, in
all those years in the House feeling anxiously the desire to offer
amendments, to fight for tax reform, I just never had an opportunity as
a member of the House, and this brought about considerable
- DEWEY W. GRANTHAM:
So you really had to wait until you got to the Senate to pursue the
matter of tax reform.