Jimmy Carter photo

Budget Message Remarks at the Signing Ceremony.

January 15, 1981

THE PRESIDENT. Well, let me say first of all that this is an important annual event—the submission of the next fiscal year's budget by the President to the Congress. And before I sign these three documents—to the President-elect, to the Speaker of the House, and to the Vice President as President of the Senate—I'd like to express my deep appreciation to Jim Mcintyre and to all his staff for having done a fine job in preparing this extremely complicated, but very important presentation to the Congress and to the public of the goals which I think ought to be incorporated into our Nation's decisions in the next few months.

This is a very stringent budget. In 1976, the Federal deficit amounted to about 4 percent of the Nation's gross national product. In the 1982 budget, this one, we will have reduced that percentage down less than 1 percent, a very difficult achievement in spite of the fact that we have increased the allotment of funds for basic research in this budget, have a massive program very important for reducing youth unemployment, a very large and necessary increase in the allocation of funds for strengthening our defense commitment-more than 5 percent in real growth in the 1982 budget—necessary because of the Soviet aggression in Afghanistan and other places in the world and threatened aggression in other localities.

We have pursued here in this budget the program that we initiated concerning energy, and we believe that the poor people who are suffering from increases in energy costs will be benefited by this budget. The synthetic fuels production and other actions necessary to reduce our dependence on foreign oil are adequately encompassed.

As I sign these budget documents, it's with both gratitude and anticipation. I believe that the Congress will act affirmatively on the basic premises of this document. I realize that after a chance for examination, both the Congress and the new President's administration might make some changes in this proposal. In my judgment, they'll be relatively minor in nature, because this is a sound proposal, one that I believe will stand the scrutiny of congressional deliberations and the deliberations of the other members of the future executive branch.

So, I'd like now to sign these books.

First, one for the President of the Senate.

The second one is to the Speaker of the House.

And the third one I said was to the President-elect, but I think it's to you. This is to the Director of OMB for delivery to the President-elect.
REPORTER. Any P.S., Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT. No. P.S.'s. [Laughter] I'll even grant him the right to make some modifications in it if he sees fit.

Q. If he can.

THE PRESIDENT. And this has always been the case when I submit a budget. It has to go to the printers early in December or late in November. And the subsequent events in our own domestic affairs and foreign affairs requires some modification before the budget's finally passed 10 months or so later.
Jim, would you like to add a word?

MR. McINTYRE. Mr. President, I think that in the hours that we have deliberated these budget issues with you that all of us have come to realize the importance of a balanced, not in the sense of a zero sum, but in the sense of the approach to dealing with our national security and our human needs and natural resources in this country, a balanced approach to allocating our resources. And you, in my judgment, have done a superb job in sitting down and looking at these issues and balancing those difficult choices and making sound recommendations to the Congress.

Also, I'd like to thank Charlie Schultze and Bill Miller, who was not able to be with us, and my staff for all of the hard work that they put in in helping put this budget together and getting it out for you.

THE PRESIDENT. I'd like to say, Jim, I expressed my thanks earlier to your staff and to you, but this is one of the most difficult assignments that anyone in Government has, because it requires long hours, a detailed knowledge of every element of the Government bureaucracy plus the delivery of services to people. It has to be done with humaneness and with a very fine and a proper assessment of the relative priorities. I think it's a good document. I think subsequent events in the Congress and the public assessment will prove this to be true.

When will the budget be made public, and when will it be delivered to the new administration?

MR. McINTYRE. It will be made—actually, we've had our press conference this morning and copies are going to the Hill, and the embargo will be off the budget at 5 o'clock this afternoon. So, it will be public today.

THE PRESIDENT. Are your staff now basically working for the next administration?

MR. McINTYRE. Yes, they have been for several days. [Laughter] Some of us look around to find help, and the help is already working in other areas.

THE PRESIDENT. Well, that's good.
MR. McINTYRE. That was according to our arrangement with the Directordesignate, and it's going very smoothly, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT. The OMB is very highly technical and highly professional, a nonpolitical staff. And I want to express again not only my thanks but my admiration to all of you.
MR. McINTYRE Thank you, sir.

THE PRESIDENT. Thank you, Jim.
MR. McINTYRE. I appreciate it.

Note: The President spoke at II :40 a.m. in the Cabinet Room at the White House.

Jimmy Carter, Budget Message Remarks at the Signing Ceremony. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/250692

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