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.The controls proved popular with the public andprovided Nixon with a boost as he headed into the final year ofhis first term.Still, the plan had its share of skeptics.The economist Mur-ray Rothbard wrote in the New York Times,  On Aug.15, 1971,fascism came to America.And everyone cheered, hailing the factthat a  strong President was once again at the helm. He asked, By what right do you use coercion to tell buyers and sellerswhat prices they may or may not agree upon, or employers andworkers what wages they may pay? What possible stretch of theConstitution gives the President the right to freeze rents in aSioux City boarding house? 17Complicating matters further were the unresolved questionsof what to do when the initial freeze ended and who would su-pervise the implementation of that still undetermined plan.The Cheney63executive director of the Cost of Living Council, an economistfrom the University of Chicago named Arnold Weber, had madeclear to Nixon that he wanted to return to academe followingthe initial ninety-day freeze, which was scheduled to expire onNovember 13, 1971.Nixon picked Rumsfeld to replace Weber,and he asked George Shultz to make the phone call. Don, the president and I want you to run phase two of theeconomic stabilization program, Shultz told Rumsfeld. Well, I don t agree with it, said Rumsfeld. I don t believein wage or price controls; I m a market man. Well, we know that, Don.That s why I want you to do it. 18Rumsfeld took the job at the Cost of Living Council andasked Cheney to come with him as director of operations.Cheney, though, already had another offer.Over the course ofhis time at the OEO and the White House, he had quietly begunworking with a small group that would become the heart of Nix-on s reelection team in 1972.Along with another young WhiteHouse staffer, he had set up the campaign s surrogate speakerprogram, an operation that would dispatch campaign represen-tatives to events around the country: while Nixon was stump-ing in New York, Cheney s operation might send the campaignchairman to address the Rotary Club of Topeka, Kansas, or senda prominent senator to attend the annual Lincoln Day dinnerin Orange County, California.Cheney s reward for laying thegroundwork was a position on the Committee to Re-Elect thePresident, which was soon to be announced.It seemed like an obvious decision: on one hand was thefast-paced excitement of a presidential election, with a high pro-file and potentially big rewards; on the other, the anonymousdrudgery of a bureaucracy regulating technical aspects of theU.S.economy.As he had when he passed up the internship inSenator Kennedy s office to remain on the staff of RepresentativeSteiger, Cheney opted for substance over flash.He chose to toilin obscurity at the Cost of Living Council rather than work onNixon s reelection campaign.On October 7, 1971, in a televised speech to the country,Nixon announced that wage and price controls would continuebeyond phase 1, the initial ninety-day freeze.In his speech, he Stephen F.Hayes64provided an overview of phase 2, but the lack of planning atCamp David meant that the details of those regulations were leftto his new team.The plan would go into effect at midnight onNovember 13.That left the team in the words of the Washing-ton Post  the luxury of a month to devise the rules.19Two bodies were set up under the Cost of Living Council togovern phase 2: the Price Commission and the Pay Board.Butover the next weeks, both were racked with internal politics, andtheir deliberations were often reduced to bickering over minu-tiae and tactical maneuvering among the board members.Timeticked away, and little was accomplished.Finally, on Thursday, November 11, 1971, two days beforethe deadline, Rumsfeld called an emergency meeting of his seniorstaff.There was one item on the agenda: to write the regulationsthat would run the U.S.economy for the foreseeable future.Working through the night, economists and noneconomists aliketossed out ideas about how to regulate the prices that Ameri-can businesses could charge their customers and the wages theycould pay their employees.Cheney, as the typist, had a front-row seat.The results of this session were published in the Federal Reg-ister on November 13, 1971.The entire U.S.economy would begoverned by rules that took up just twelve pages.Even in theirrudimentary form, though, the regulations included several pagesof mind-numbing detail.Raw honeycomb honey was exempt from the new price con-trols;  processed and blended honeybutter product was not.Unpopped popcorn was exempt; popped popcorn was not.Gar-den plants and cut flowers were exempt; floral wreaths were not.Wigs and toupees were exempt, and so was taxidermy.If most Americans understood what their employers meantby a raise, this was not so simple to the bureaucrats at the Costof Living Council [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]

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