National Economic Policy: The Presidential Reports

National Economic Policy: The Presidential Reports

National Economic Policy: The Presidential Reports

National Economic Policy: The Presidential Reports

Excerpt

The reports from 1947 on have undergone change in both format and content. For the years 1947-1952, two reports were submitted: one in January and one in July. The latter, the mid-year Report, essentially was an updating of the January one. It is interesting to note that the subjects selected for treatment in the first Report (1947)--the review of the preceding year, prices, wages, profits, employment, production, stabilization, budgetary and fiscal policy, credit and monetary policy, and international economics--have continued, in the main, to constitute the heart of the succeeding Reports, although with changes in emphasis. As the years moved on, more elaborate statistical information has been included as a significant feature. Beginning with the 1949 Report, the President started the document with his own report which became a rather lengthy review of the nation's economic health. This was followed by a detailed report of several chapters by the Council of Economic Advisers. The Council's Report became essentially an analytical and statistical support for the President's more general review. In effect, the President's Report gave the summary and the framework and the Council's Report filled in the details.

In some instances, valuable appendices presenting detailed discussions of special problem areas have been included in the Reports. Some of the earlier Reports also included a helpful section that summarized both the important legislative recommendations and the significant economic administrative and legislative actions of the preceding year.

Considered as a total document, the Reports may be classified as being concerned primarily with macro-economics. In general, those of President Truman leaned toward a greater reliance on the role of government than did those of his successor, Eisenhower. The Reports of President Eisenhower (1954-1961) differed in format. Instead of the division into the President's and the Council's Reports, the document was submitted to Congress as the Report of the President accompanied by a few-page letter of transmittal. The chapters that followed, however, differed little from the prior Council Reports. A greater emphasis was placed on the need for recognizing and strengthening the institutions of free-enterprise in American society.

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