Chapter 32 An Age of Limits
Section 1 The Nixon Administration
Nixon wanted to limit the power of the federal government and reverse some of Johnson’s liberal policies of the Great Society programs.
Nixon’s program to downsize the federal government by distributing a portion of federal power to state and local governments was known as New Federalism.
State & Local Fiscal Assistance Act • In past, federal government told state and local how to spend their federal money. • Under revenue sharing - state and local governments could spend it as they saw fit. • In 1972, the revenue-sharing bill, known as the State and Local Fiscal Assistance Act, became law.
Nixon introduced a plan known as the Family Assistance Plan (FAP), that would make welfare recipients responsible for their own lives by giving a family of four with no income a federal check of $1,600 a year with the ability to earn an additional $4,000 in supplement income.
Recipients would have to take job training and take any reasonable jobs offered them.
The bill passed the House, but the Senate disapproved and the bill was defeated.
Nixon’s New Federalism wore two faces. • increased Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid payments • made food stamps more accessible. • This won the support of the Democrat-controlled Congress.
At the same time, Nixon tried unsuccessfully to eliminate the Job Corps and funding for HUD, (Housing and Urban Development).
Nixon impounded, or withheld necessary operating funds for programs involving health, housing, and education.
The federal courts ordered the release of the $15 billion in impounded funded ruling the use of impoundment as unconstitutional since Congress had the authority to decide how federal funds could be spent.
One of the reasons Nixon was elected to office was his promise to end the war in Vietnam and help mend the divisions the war had caused in America.
Nixon de-escalated troops in Vietnam and oversaw peace negotiations with North Vietnam.
Nixon also began the “law and order” policies he promised his “silent majority”, those middle-class Americans who wanted order restored to America that had been caused by urban riots and antiwar demonstrations.
To accomplish this, Nixon had the FBI to illegally wiretap left-wing individuals in the Democratic Party offices that led to the Watergate incident.
The CIA compiled files on American dissidents, those objecting to the government’s policies.
The Internal Revenue Service even audited the tax returns of antiwar and civil rights activists.
Nixon even built a personal “enemies list” of prominent Americans that the administration harassed.
Vice-president, Spiro T. Agnew confronted the antiwar protesters and lashed out at the media.
Agnew called the media and liberals “an effete [weak] corps of impudent snobs” and “nattering nabobs of negativism.”.
Knowing he had won the 1968 election by a slim majority, Nixon looking to the 1972 presidential election tried to build conservative support in the South.
Known as the Southern strategy, Nixon appealed to the southern conservative Democrats by promising to name a Southerner to the Supreme Court to help overturn some of the desegregation and liberal court decisions.
Many Southern Democrats felt their party had grown too liberal during the Great Society and civil rights movement.
To attract white voters in the South, President Nixon decided to slow the country’s desegregation by saying integration was a middle road course between instant integration and segregation forever.
In direct violation of the Brown v. Board of Education decision, Nixon tried to reverse several civil rights policies by ordering the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) to delay desegregation of schools in South Carolina and Mississippi.
The Supreme Court ordered Nixon to abide by the Brown II ruling that called for the desegregation of schools “with all deliberate speed.”
By 1972, nearly 90% of children in the South attended desegregated schools.
To prevent further advances of the civil rights movement, Nixon opposed the extension of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that added nearly one million African Americans to the voting rolls. Despite Nixon’s opposition, Congress extended the act.
In 1971, the Supreme Court ruled in Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education that school districts could bus students to other schools to end segregation.
To halt desegregation of schools, Nixon urged Congress on national television to stop this practice.
During Nixon’s first term, four justices including the liberal Chief Justice Earl Warren retired.
In 1969, the Senate approved Nixon’s appointment of conservative Warren Burger as chief justice and three other conservative Supreme Court judges.
Though the Supreme Court was now more conservative, their decisions were not.
In 1971, the court ruled in favor of racial integration through busing.
Between 1967 and 1973, the United States faced high inflation and high unemployment, a situation in the economy known as stagflation.
One of the causes of stagflation, high inflation, was due to Johnson’s funding of Great Society programs and the Vietnam war through deficit spending.
Another cause of stagflation was increased competition in international trade, and a flood of new workers including women and baby boomers.
Many of the Middle Eastern countries belonged to a cartel called OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries).
Still yet another cause of stagflation was America’s dependency on foreign oil from the Middle East. 64% of world’s oil reserve.
On October 6, 1973, Syria and Egypt invaded Israel on the sacred Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur because of border disputes.
The Yom Kippur War as it was known pitted Israel against Egypt and Syria.