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Statement of the Vice President of the United States, on the Budget, Nashville, TN

October 06, 1960

The revised budget figures released at the White House remind US of the importance of responsible executive leadership in managing our Nation's finances. The prospect of a surplus in excess of $1 billion for reducing the huge public debt is heartening.

Even so, the real budget story is this: the need for fiscal vigilance.

Last January President Eisenhower sent the Congress a budget for the present fiscal year which proposed a surplus of $4.2 billion to be applied against our costly national debt. Congressional action this year both increased the spending the President asked for and cut the revenues he requested by a total of $2 billion. Corporation profits and taxpayments - although still at record levels - started running somewhat lower than had been expected, as our high-level economy became more competitive. Thus, the prospective surplus would have been completely used up had it not been for Presidential care and responsibility, plus less-than-anticipated expenditures for interest and a few other items.

It is plain that if President Eisenhower and his administration had not stood firm on limiting Government expenditures to essentials, despite the irresponsible demands from some quarters for unlimited spending in an election year, your Government's report would show a discouraging prospective deficit instead of a healthy surplus.

A case history of the necessity for care in these matters is found in actions taken by the Congress in the past 6 years under the leadership of my Opponent's followers.

The Congress cut appropriations by $8.8 billion, but most of this, $5.8 billion, was cut from the Nation's defense and our vital mutual security programs. My opponent points to these cuts, while lavishingly promising vast new spending, but he ignores congressional action in other areas. These three Congresses in the last 6 years passed Federal programs calling for spending more than $32 billion above the President's recommendations, while at the same time turning down Presidential revenue requests amounting to $3.7 billion.

So, while the three opposition Congresses in the last 6 years cut Federal appropriations by $8.8 billion, they authorized additional spending of $32 billion, withheld revenues amounting to $3.7 billion, thus giving a net addition to Federal costs of some $27 billion above President Eisenhower's recommendations.

The opposition's yen to spend is highlighted in this campaign by the fact that my opponent's platform will cost the taxpayers a minimum of $10 billion a year more than mine.

We can all be sure that in the coming years, Government at all levels in the United States will face increased demands for public services. In order that the essential demands may be met, the next President will have to set priorities wisely and not emotionally or rashly. A President, a party, an administration which has little respect for the taxpayers' dollars will surely repeat or worsen the record of the past 30 years, in which budget deficits have outnumbered budget surpluses by 4 to 1. On the other hand, a President, a party, an administration which is prudent with the people's money will serve as a dependable partner with the people in building a better, stronger, and richer nation.

Richard Nixon, Statement of the Vice President of the United States, on the Budget, Nashville, TN Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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