Robert B. Reich


''The report of the Commissioners," said Washington in his sixth address to Congress, '·"marks their firmness and abilities and must unite all virtuous men." The first commission to deal with a social crisis in America had recommended that the President send troops into western Pennsylvania to end the Whiskey Rebellion. As a cartoon of the day put it, sending 15,000 troops into the Allegheny and Monongahela River valleys against a few farmers for the collection of such a small tax was like swatting flies with a meat axe. But social order was at stake; and that commission, like the.scores of crisis commissions which were to follow it, provided the chief executive with a strategy for restoring the commonweal while assuring the public that the problem could, in fact, be handled.

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