Newstalgia Reference Room with a debate on Cutting The Budget in 1957. A panel discussion from May 1957 featuring the leading economists of the day, reviewing the current budget before Congress and what needs to be cut, if anything. Ha!
March 7, 2011

His headache then.

With the current debate over the budget, if you've been around on the planet for any length of time you'll realize what a broken record this thing is. It never changes. It has never changed.

In 1957 it was about the same thing - cut spending, cut social programs, cut aid, cut defense, reduce big government, cut taxes.

Here is a panel discussion, run on May 5, 1957 featuring some of the leading economists at the time - Milton Friedman, Edward Rosenheim, John Nuveen jr., and Robert Eisner, all arguing about basically the same thing that hasn't changed before or since.

Robert Eisner: “It seems to me that we shouldn’t talk about cutting the budget by eliminating the disgracefully small items for education and welfare. Let’s face the facts, there really isn’t very much to cut in the budget it’s just pittances. Unless we’re going to cut this military budget and it’s about time that we stop feeding that any figure that’s quoted to us for the military must be right. We’re all certainly agreed that we want to safeguard our country, we want to make sure that we have a strong, adequate defense, But it doesn’t follow that you should simply spend more and more, and no matter how large that figure is, that helps our security. We may actually get to a point where we’re spending so much that you create a climate in the world that jeopardizes our security.”

Every year it's the same dance, the same posture, the same hand wringing. And every year a jaundiced eye is cast towards the Pentagon. And even Eisenhower, a military man, saw the problem.

And it doesn't stop.

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