The $85 Billion Dollar Man
October 18, 1952 — The Times Record

The Mossadegh Project | March 21, 2019                          

U.S. President Harry S. Truman (1884-1972)

President Harry Truman’s $85 billion dollar budget, which enraged this Troy, New York newspaper in 1952, was a record breaker at the time. Now, Donald Trump’s proposed $4.75 trillion budget would be the largest in U.S. history. And he reneged on his campaign promises not to cut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security!

Harry Truman media archive


The last budget, prepared under the supervision of President Truman, was for approximately $85,000,000,000. It was the largest in the nation’s history; and, as was proved by plenty of evidence, was so full of fat that it was a national disgrace. At least ten billions could have been eliminated if politics and waste had been forgotten—and the reduction would not have affected a single activity of any importance. It would not have affected the process of improving our defenses in any respect. Unfortunately the approach of the election prevented Congress from making suitable cuts. Some were made but many were forgotten by members afraid of the repercussions on Election Day.

How much is eighty-five billions? A reader has sent us the information. If one hired 10,000 men at $10 a day at the birth of the Christian era, worked them seven days a week century after century and totted up accounts today, he would discover that there was enough left to keep such an army of men at work at such a price for 379 years longer.

Or, to use another picture, let us take the national debt. If one stood at Broadway and Third Street and gave out a hundred dollar bill every second to a passerby—that means $6,000 an hour—eight hours a day, every day in the year, he wouldn't match the national debt until the year 2262.

That is the kind of situation we must face. And we certainly need an administration which doesn’t pour out funds for every crazy purpose that seems to mean votes. We must get rid of Truman and his gang or go broke.

What Went Wrong in Iran? | Amb. Henry Grady Tells All (1952)
What Went Wrong in Iran? | Saturday Evening Post, Jan. 5, 1952


Related links:

“Rude, Uncouth, Ignorant” | The Times Record, October 18, 1952

The State of Mr. Truman | The Chicago Sun, Jan. 7 1947

Plenty Is Wrong, Mr. Truman | Spokane Daily Chronicle (Dec. 10, 1951)

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