Richard Nixon photo

Remarks on Signing the Annual Budget Message to the Congress, Fiscal Year 1975.

February 04, 1974

I WANT to take this opportunity to thank all of the people who are here, people who have, I understand, according to Roy Ash and Fred Malek, worked harder than perhaps any people in Government in modern times in getting this budget ready and getting it done in such fine style.

I understand that Roy Ash had to direct several members of the staff to take Christmas Day off. We are very fortunate to have people so dedicated working for the country in getting together our budget documents and, of course, the budget itself, during this period.

I think this is an outstanding budget for two reasons. One, it is not inflationary, not inflationary because it is in balance in terms of full employment. It is very important that we have the cooperation of the Congress in not exceeding the budget, because if it does exceed the budget substantially, it will mean that it will become inflationary.

On the other hand, while the budget is non-inflationary--in other words, it does not have unnecessary spending in it--it is also a budget which is expansionary, expansionary in terms of providing the funds for our new initiatives that I described in the State of the Union.

It also will have a strong expansionary effect on the economy because of its size, over $300 billion.

Another feature I should mention is that it has an increase for defense, a substantial increase, which I justified in the State of the Union Message.

The final point I will make is that in terms of the budget, it is a subject that is never a popular one with the country, with the Congress or anybody else, because the people over in the Office of Management and Budget always have to say no, no to people who have this pet project or that.

In these two small books a great deal of money is contained and also a great number of projects. But we could have three times as many books and a lot of other worthy projects that could be included. Decisions have to be made in which we pick those things for Government to act on that are most important to the people and that we can afford. And here we have it, have it in terms of a budget that will not add to the fires of inflation--as a matter of fact will fight inflation--and at the same time a budget that will be antirecession, one that is flexible enough and has the funds available to be moved in wherever we consider it necessary, where there are any indications of downturns in the economy in certain areas because of the energy shortage and other reasons that you are familiar with.

So with that, I congratulate the people who have prepared the budget, all of you who have worked so long and so hard. The country is in your debt, and so if you aren't very popular among certain Members of Congress and others to whom you have had to say no, including many members of the Administration and departments, I can say there are millions of people across this country that will benefit from the sound, sensible, and responsible work that you have done in preparing the budget for the next year.

Note: The President spoke at 9:31 a.m. in the Cabinet Room at the White House. The ceremony was attended by staff members of the Office of Management and Budget.

In his remarks, the President referred to Roy L. Ash, Director, and Frederic V. Malek, Deputy Director, Office of Management and Budget.

Richard Nixon, Remarks on Signing the Annual Budget Message to the Congress, Fiscal Year 1975. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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