Sunday, April 3, 2016


JFK+50:  Volume VI, No. 1908  


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) On April 3, 1963, 53 years ago today, President John F. Kennedy responded to the following question at his State Department news conference...

"Mr. President, General Eisenhower has taken a crack at the national budget.  He (said)...that he thought it could be reduced by about $13 billion.  The General was especially critical of your space program.  He said that there was enormous sums being wasted in that field.  Would you care to comment?"

The President, obviously well prepared for this topic, answered...

"Well, I think that President Eisenhower referred us to Maurice Stans*, his budget director, for guidance, and I have examined that record.  Under (Mr.) Stans, this country had the largest peacetime deficit in history.

It took a $500 million surplus and put it into a $12,5 billion deficit.  It had the largest outflow of gold in dollars in our history. 1959, about $3.9 billion.  

We had two recessions, 1958 & 1960, and we had the highest peacetime unemployment, 1959, since World War II.  

That is not a record that we plan to duplicate if we can help it."

President Kennedy went on to point out that his administration's increase in non-defense spending was actually less than that of the last 3 years of the Eisenhower presidency. 

JFK said he was more concerned that there might not be enough of that type of spending due to the growing population of the country.

*Maurice Hubert Stans (1908-1998) was born in Shakopee, MN & attended Northwestern University & Columbia.  He became an accountant, political organizer & served as Postmaster General in the Eisenhower administration from 1955 to 1957.  MHS was Deputy Director of the Bureau of the Budget in 1957-58, & Director 1958-1961.

MHS was Secretary of Commerce in the Nixon administration 1969-1972 & was chairman of the Committee to Re-Elect the President in 1972.  His activities for CRP came under scrunity during the Watergate hearings.


"Kennedy and the Press:  The News Conferences,"  Edited and Annotated by Harold W. Chase & Allen H. Lerman, Thomas Y. Crowell Company, New York, 1965.

Maurice Hubert Stans
Department of Commerce Photo