Remarks on Signing the Message to the Congress on Fiscal Year 1978 Budget Revisions
We have actually had about 3 weeks to work on this budget modification. I think it's a good improvement on the previous budget. We will prepare the 1979 fiscal year budget in a much more organic way, beginning early in the spring with detailed meetings between myself and the members of the OMB staff and the individual Cabinet officers and other agency leaders.
Then, later on in the spring, perhaps early summer, they will be given an overall budget figure within which they will have to prepare their departments' proposals. And then later on in the fall, we will decide the exact figures to attach to each individual item in the budget.
The whole process will use the zero-base budgeting technique, where you put every item on an equal basis whether it's been in effect 50 years or whether it's a new proposal for next year, so that the priorities can be determined on an annual basis.
This is quite a radical departure from previous budget procedures, where the Congress and the OMB primarily concern themselves only with the assessment of new proposals. But this will mean that we'll have a complete reexamination annually of every proposal, no matter how long it's been in existence.
It also permits the personnel deep within each department to have a role to play in the evolution of the budget proposals. So these two elements are quite radical departures. I think we'll have a much more carefully considered budget next year than we've had in the past.
Note: The President spoke at 9:33 a.m. at the ceremony in the Cabinet Room at the White House.
Jimmy Carter, Remarks on Signing the Message to the Congress on Fiscal Year 1978 Budget Revisions Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/242329