Lyndon B. Johnson photo

The President's News Conference

December 28, 1964

THE PRESIDENT. I don't have any important news for you. I understood that some of you hadn't had a chance to come out and visit and you might like to do that before you went back. I know I am going to be here for at least the next couple of days.

[1.] I have a few brief announcements that will be of interest to you and I'll make them, and I have a comment I want to make about the state of the Union so that we can get it in the proper perspective. Then I'll go on "deep background" for you and answer freely and fully as I can anything that your editors may be interested in or that you may be interested in.

I have been poring over these thousands of pages from some 50 agencies regarding matters that they would like to have the President consider before drawing his pattern for his message to Congress this year. Obviously, the State of the Union Message will be brief and cannot deal with all these subjects.

We will give a general outline and emphasize some of the immediate, repeat immediate, recommendations that we would like to see promptly acted upon. The other parts of the administration's program will be dealt with during the next 4 years in a series of messages from time to time, and they will be timed based upon when the Congress is ready to receive them and when the committees can act upon them and when the administration has completed its studies in the respective fields.

So I want to point out to you that the message that I will give on the evening of the 4th will not be a complete or final summation of all that we hope to achieve in this

4 years. That program will evolve over a period of time through various messages.

I don't want to leave the impression that we expect to build a Great Society and develop it overnight, or in any 1 day or in any 1 week or in any 1 month or in any 1 session. There will be, as I want to emphasize, a series of legislative proposals, and these will be brief and considered very carefully.

[2.] Now George 1 will give you details of these biographical sketches.

1 George E. Reedy, Press Secretary to the President.

Mr. Frederick Lewis Deming will be the new Under Secretary of the Treasury, succeeding Mr. Roosa who will leave us the first of the year. Mr. Deming was born in Des Moines, Iowa, September 12, 1912; A.B. degree from Washington University, St. Louis, Mo.; has an M.A. degree from Washington University, St. Louis, Mo.; has a Ph.D. from Washington University, St. Louis, Mo. He has been since 1957 president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. He first went to work for the Federal Reserve Bank in 1941 as assistant manager of the research department. By 1953 he had served as economist, manager of the research department, assistant vice president, vice president, and finally first vice president. He continued to serve the St. Louis bank until 1957 when he became president of the Minneapolis bank.

From April to June 1956, Mr. Deming served as chief of Banking Advisory Mission to the Republic of Honduras, and from November to December 1960, served as consultant to the Central Bank, Government of the Republic of China. He was recommended by Secretary of the Treasury, Mr. Dillon, and by most of the--well, he is first on nearly everyone's list, and he is the only person that I have approached about it. I talked to him several weeks ago in Washington and he has now been cleared and he will give notice out there and be leaving shortly.

We are naming Mr. Sheldon S. Cohen, the General Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service, as the new Commissioner of Internal Revenue. Mr. Cohen is a Washington boy, finished Calvin Coolidge High School in Washington, D.C., has an A.B. degree from George Washington University with special honors in 1950; doctor's degree, with distinction, A average, and he completed it in 2 years in 1952; had special honors in accounting at George Washington University, where he was first in his school class. He is the recipient of Charles W. Dorsey Scholarship. He was editorial and business secretary, George Washington Law Review; he was case notes editor, George Washington Law Review; United States District Court for the District of Columbia Bar; United States Court of Appeals Bar; United States Supreme Court, the Tax Court Bar; and Certified Public Accountant, Maryland, since 1953.

He has been associate professorial lecturer of George Washington University from 1958 to date; Howard University Law School lecturer in 1957 and 1958; 20th New York University Institute on Federal Taxation lecturer; and in 1957, American University Tax Institute.

He has been Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service since January 6, 1964. He was formerly associated with the legal firm of Arnold, Fortas and Porter; of Stevenson, Paul, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison. He was Legislative Attorney to the Chief Counsel's Office of Internal Revenue in 1952 to 1956. He was an accountant in a CPA's office in 1950 to 1952. He was former treasurer and member of the board of directors, Lane Manor Citizens Association; assistant treasurer, director, and membership chairman of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington; second vice president, director, and chairman of the legal committee, Jewish Social Service Agency. He had military service, U.S. Naval Reserve,

1945 and 1946.

He will be succeeded by a career man whom I am naming today, Mr. Mitchell Rogovin, presently Assistant to the Commissioner of Internal Revenue; born in New York, December 3, 1930; has an A.B. from Syracuse, Maxwell School of Citizenship; LL.B. from the University of Virginia, Du Pont Scholarship; has an LL.M. from Georgetown University, master's degree in taxation.

His career from 1954 to 1958, officer-in-charge, trial section, base legal office, Camp Pendleton, handling over 300 general courts-martial; 1958 to 1961, Office of Chief Counsel, IRS, trial attorney; 1961 to 1964, Assistant to the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service. He received a Treasury Department Special Service Award in 1964. And he has got various memberships which George can give you.

He has taught at the University of Virginia Law School, 1958 to 1964, as a guest lecturer, and at Palomar College, 1956 to 1957, was an instructor in English and business law.

A note on Mr. Cohen may be of interest to you. During the last 12 months as Chief Counsel, from which position he is going to Commissioner, he inaugurated, in cooperation with the Commissioner, new procedures for the handling of rules and legislative proposals which will result in annual savings in excess of a million dollars. These new procedures, involving the elimination of duplication, will also mean faster service to the public and better administration of the tax laws.

He also developed the use of electronic data processing equipment to coordinate the work of field offices so as to provide similarity of treatment for taxpayers and to make the experience of individual field offices readily available to all of them.

Mr. Cohen streamlined the organization and operation of the Chief Counsel's office, which includes approximately 1,350 employees stationed in 32 offices throughout the Nation, with notable improvements in morale and efficiency.

Q. Do you have his birthdate, sir?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, it is June 28, 1927. But that data will be available to you. I won't take any more of your time on them.2

2 A biographical sketch of each of the appointees was released at Austin, Tex., on the same day.

[3.] We have a report today for the 5 months, July through November, of this fiscal year. Total expenditures of the Federal Government are down $1.2 billion over the same period of last year. The first 5 months of the present fiscal year's expenditures came in this afternoon, 39.3. The first 5 months of last fiscal year they were 40.5.

[4.] Secretary Rusk and Mr. Bundy will arrive at the ranch tomorrow. They will review with me international developments, various personnel matters in the department in Washington and ambassadors throughout the world, and we will finish up on the final study of the budget for the State Department.

I expect Mr. Gordon to be returning to review some extra data with us.

Q. Mr. President, may I interrupt? You mentioned Mr. Bundy. There are two of them. I assume this is McGeorge?

THE PRESIDENT. McGeorge Bundy. On Wednesday I expect Mr. George McGhee. He is home for consultations. I will ask him to come here and review developments in West Germany.

I have, in the last 24 hours, talked to Secretaries Rusk and McNamara, Mr. McCone, Mr. Bundy, and Mr. Moyers several times on the state of the Union; messages back and forth to the Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers and the Budget Director. I think that is about it. Now tomorrow will be Rusk's day primarily, and next day we will spend a good deal of time with Gordon and with Ambassador McGhee and others.3

3 The President referred to Dean Rusk, Secretary of State, McGeorge Bundy, Special Assistant to the President, Kermit Gordon, Director of the Bureau of the Budget, George C. McGhee, U.S. Ambassador to Germany, Robert S. McNamara, Secretary of Defense, John A. McCone, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Bill D. Moyers, Special Assistant to the President, and Gardner Ackley, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.

Q. Mr. Gordon on Wednesday, did you say, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT. I'm not quite sure; I think tomorrow, if they can get that many seats on the plane. I don't see beyond that.

[The remainder of the news conference consisted of "deep background" briefing.]

Note: President Johnson's thirty-fifth news conference was held at the LBJ Ranch, Johnson City, Tex., at 5:35 p.m. on Monday, December 28, 1964.

Lyndon B. Johnson, The President's News Conference Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Filed Under




Simple Search of Our Archives