Richard Nixon photo

Memorandum on the Need for a Review of the Budget

January 27, 1969

Memorandum for Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies

As we set the course of the new Administration, a careful and thorough review of the budget must be the first order of business. The American people have a right to expect that their tax dollars will be properly and prudently used. They also have a right to expect that fiscal policy will help to restrain the present excessive rate of price inflation in our economy.

At my request, the Budget Director has asked you to begin promptly a review of the budget requests sent to the Congress by the outgoing administration. This task must receive your personal attention. As you evaluate the programs of your agency in that review, I want each of you particularly to:

• identify activities of low priority which can be reduced or phased down and perhaps, over time, eliminated completely;

• start now to redirect ongoing Federal programs toward this Administration's goals and objectives.

We must act promptly along these lines in order to make room for new programs that seem urgent.

For the fiscal year ending June 30, 1969, we must operate under the spending ceilings set in the Revenue and Expenditure Control Act of 1968. Fiscal year 1969 is more than half over, and our flexibility for making changes is limited.

However, we need to begin now to lay the foundation for our future actions. I want you, therefore, to examine in detail the spending plans of your agency through this June and to achieve all the savings that you can--not by deferrals or stretch-outs which will have to be made up later, but by actions that will provide a sound base for future programs we will want to undertake. The Director of the Budget should be informed of your plans within the next 30 days. Our examination of the Government's programs and budget levels in the coming weeks is of central importance to the success of the new Administration in achieving a more efficient and responsive Government. I ask each of you to cooperate fully in this endeavor.


Note: The memorandum was dated January 25, 1969, and released January 27, 1969.

Richard Nixon, Memorandum on the Need for a Review of the Budget Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Simple Search of Our Archives