Members of Congress in both parties are always looking to weaken executive power. Especially since president’s are always looking to increase executive power. Which is what this debate is about and what Senator Dirksen was trying to do to have the members of this board having to all be approved by the U.S. Senate. During the 1930s the Roosevelt Administration under the New Deal, created all sorts of new programs, boards, agencies that had jurisdiction over the economy. And what Senator Dirksen wanted to do was to have these boards and board members have to be approved by the Senate. With both the Senate and House having Congressional oversight over these boards.
Many of these boards and agencies that were created by the New Deal were permanent boards and agencies. The President can put together short-term commissions and boards to study issues and come up with policy proposals and these things are put together all the time. But these commissions don’t have subpoena power generally and can’t issue new rules and regulations that business’s and individuals have to comply with. So what Senator Dirksen wanted to do here with this board since it was permanent with regulatory power was to have the members be approved by the Senate and have to report to Congress. Both the House and Senate.
This interview was done in 1952 when the country was at peace for the most part even though we were involved in the Korean Civil War. And the economy that was in depression for most of the 1930s and came out of that and recovered in the 1940s thanks to World War II. And Senator Dirksen’s line about fake prosperity had to do with the fact that the American economy was booming at this point, because we were at war and had so many me oversees and fighting. Which created millions of jobs at home with so many men out of the country. Plus with all the middle class jobs that were created at home to fight World War II and then later the Korean War. And I guess Senator Dirksen was saying that America wouldn’t have the prosperity at home if we weren’t fighting abroad.