In November of 1952 General Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected to the office of
President of the United States. It was the first time a Republican was elected since
Herbert Hoover in 1928. The Eisenhower administration started at a rather awkward
time, both politically and economically. First of all there was a war on. The Korean War
had begun in June of 1950 and was still waging. As was usual for wartime the country
was economically prosperous. However, the war had caused President Truman to abandon
his former restraints on government spending. The amount of money being spent on
defense skyrocketed to supply the troops in Korea with the supplies they needed. This
caused the federal deficit to increase dramatically (Pach and Richardson, 53).
Another legacy leftover from the Truman days was that of the Fair Deal domestic
program. Although Truman found much opposition to his programs in Congress he
managed to get several things done. Such as a public housing bill, an expansion of social
security coverage, and increased minimum wages. The Republican party was not in favor
of the majority of this legislation. Thus when Eisenhower was elected they immediately
made plans for cutbacks in the spending on these programs. Unfortunately for them the
newly elected president was not opposed to the programs Truman had began and
improved upon. Over the course of his administration Eisenhower often did not hold the
same opinions as some of the members of his party.
As the Chief Economic advisor to the President of the United States there are
many different issues which I must consider. These issues are both large and small,
foreign and domestic, and affect the upper, middle, and lower classes. At this point in
time there are several important concerns which I have. The Korean War is ending and
this is going to have a profound affect on the economy of the United States. During the
war the country was prosperous but afterward there is always a high risk of increased
inflation and an increase in unemployment. These conditions have the ability to cause a
recession. Now that an armistice has been reached in Korea, a recession is beginning to
occur (Pach and Richardson, 54).
I believe that the Presidentís chief concern should not be to make an immediate
and fast acting restoration of the general economy. The problems of the federal deficit
and the recession must wait until the more important problems are dealt with. The
problem at hand is the rising rate of unemployment. This problem must be dealt with
immediately with strong actions. I suggest implementing federal public works projects as
a way of creating jobs without burdening the government with additional expenses. Ideas
for these public works projects are: the construction of a Saint Lawrence Seaway, and an
Interstate Highway System. This system would be a massive undertaking and would be
one of the largest construction projects of all time but it would create many jobs for
Americans who are no longer employed by the war effort (Branyan and Larsen, 251).
The Republican party has not been happy with the nations economic policies for
quite some time. These are the policies of the Democrats, and more specifically those of
the New Deal and the Fair Deal. These social programs, such as social security and
welfare have been a drain on the federal budget for quite some time. Republicans feel that
the time has come to start cutting back the amount of money being spent on such
programs or at least curtail the yearly increases. However, there are times when a political
leader must make their own decisions and not base the way they run their administration
on the influences from their party. It would be better for the economic health of the nation
to maintain all of the social programs started under the Roosevelt and Truman
administrations. While this would normally pose a problem to the federal budget it will
not due to current conditions. The amount of money formerly spent on national security,
meaning military and defense spending has been severely reduced (Albertson, 139). This
frees up a large amount of money to be used for other goals. These goals should be those
of improving the standard of living for each and every American and not the immediate
reduction of taxes, a goal which many members of the Republican party would like to see
pursued. The programs initiated in the policies of the New Deal and Fair Deal should not
simply be maintained, instead they should be expanded upon. I suggest that the Social
Security system