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THE NATION: Asset in Exodus

2 minute read

The President of the U.S. stepped from the Columbine III into the overcast Georgia day at Augusta’s Bush Field. A middle-aged housewife in a print dress nudged her companion. “My, he looks wonderful,” she smiled, “but I sure do wish he’d cut that budget.” The other lady, wearing a sweater and skirt despite the warmth of the day, nodded in agreement.

Thus last week did the commotion over the Administration’s budget for fiscal 1958 follow Dwight Eisenhower to vacationland. Actually, the President was already moving toward a dramatic new effort to quell the continuing controversy. By writing House Speaker Sam Rayburn a 2,454-word message on suggested budget cuts (see below), Eisenhower even placated Treasury Secretary George Humphrey, the man who had tossed the first budget match. Clearly still a member of the Administration’s happy family, Humphrey too headed South and, as the President’s house guest, he was greeted at Bush airport by a buss from Mamie Eisenhower.

The letter to Rayburn was timed in the full realization that President Eisenhower was far from being the only Government official going on vacation. By demonstrating that the President was willing to meet Congress at least part way in its budget-cutting efforts, the letter was a shrewd appeal to the public opinion that Congress both generates and venerates. And no one knew better than Ike that the members of the 85th Congress were using the Easter holidays to head for home to feel the popular pulse.

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