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Dwight D. Eisenhower

Which republican president balanced a budget?

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2011-06-17 03:17:17
2011-06-17 03:17:17

Dwight Eisenhower was last Republican President to preside over a balanced budget. He had a balanced budget in 1956 and 1957. Since then, there have been two presidents to preside over balanced budgets, LBJ in 1969 and Clinton in 1998 through 2001. During the last 40 years there have been five budget surpluses, all five were under Democratic Presidents: 1969, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001.

To clarify, congress authorizes the budget. Between 1955 and 1981 Democrats held majorities in both chambers of Congress. From 1981 - 1987 republicans controlled the Senate, while Democrats held onto the House and then regained the Senate while holding controlling the House as well from 1987 -1995.

So the question is misleading in that the president alone cannot balance a budget. Congress has authority over financial and budgetary matters.

One point that is often misunderstood is that the budget for a President's first year in office is set by the prior President. Thus the balanced budget of 1969 was due to LBJ's budget even though Nixon was president for most of the year.

Eisenhower actually also balanced it in 1960. Before him there were three years after WWII b/c the war spending had stopped but the taxes and war controls were still in place. Before that it was Hoover in 1930 and before that it was Coolidge 1924-1929 (last president to balance it every year) and Harding 1921-1923.

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