The following is a list of the pre-Presidential Task Force Reports submitted to President-elect Richard M. Nixon prior to his inauguration. They were assembled by the White House Office of Presidential Papers and Archives (OPPA).
Scope and Content Note
The following reports are available for research in the Research Room at the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, California.
- Task Force on US Balance of Payment Policies
The Task Force on U.S. Balance of Payment Policies was charged with evaluating the balance of payment position and policies of the United States. It concluded that the nation's trade accounts were in a serious state of deterioration and were being camouflaged by a combination of "window-dressing" transactions and an abnormal inflow of foreign capital. The Task Force made several recommendations to reverse the trend.
- Task Force on Resources and Environment
The report by the Task Force on Resources and Environment concentrates on a study of the environment rather than resources. A supplemental report was submitted that addressed issues such as minerals, energy policy and other resource matters. This particular report recommended that the new Administration improve environmental management, particularly in urban areas. The Task Force recommended the establishment of a National Commission on Environment to examine and recommend structural changes aimed at providing more effective monitoring of the major environmental impacts of Federal programs that did not protect the environment.
- Task Force on Urban Affairs
The report by this Task Force concentrates on the problem of giving African Americans and the poor a sense of increasing hope and opportunity and of greater control in their lives. The report stresses the importance of avoiding promises which cannot be fulfilled. It suggests that the new Administration give the public a more balanced view of urban areas by stressing urban successes as well as urban failures. The following are the areas the Task Force analyzed and made recommendations concerning: Equal Access; Income Distribution; Manpower and Employment; Housing; Transportation; Schools; Safety in Public Places; Organization; and Evaluation and Testing.
- Task Force on Budget Policy
The Task Force on Budget Policy was responsible for analyzing the fiscal policies of previous administrations and making recommendations for the budget policy of the incoming Nixon Administration. In a series of reports, this Task Force helped develop a fiscal policy for the new Administration and encouraged President-Elect Nixon to institute budget controls by reducing or restraining the expenditures to which he assigned a low priority.
- The Presidency and Policy Formulation: The Task Force Device
"The Presidency and Policy Formulation: The Task Force Device" is a research paper written by Norman C. Thomas and Harold L. Welman on the use of White House task forces as a formal means of policy formulation. The paper examines a set of significant changes that had occurred in the process of formulating presidential legislative programs in domestic policy. In analyzing those changes, the researchers focus on the areas of education and housing.
- Task Force – Executive Branch
The purpose of the Task Force on Organization of the Executive Branch was to identify a limited number of actions that might be taken in the early days of the new Nixon Administration to reorganize the Executive Branch of the Federal Government with the consent of Congress and without significant danger of weakening Amendments to the Constitution of the United States. The Task Force also outlined a long term program for achieving effective reorganization of the Executive Branch in an effort to preserve President Nixon's initiatives and provide him with the most flexibility in his decision making.
- Task Force on Education
The Task Force on Education argued that the then rapid expansion of the Federal Government into matters of education was a substantial responsibility of the Federal Government under the "general welfare" clause of the Constitution. The members of this Task Force made a variety of proposals for enlarging Federal expenditures on educational programs, including a separate Department of Education headed by an officer of Secretary rank, the creation of a National Council of Educational Advisors and the regrouping of a number of categorical grant programs into "designated block grant programs".
- Task Force on Federal Credit Programs
The purpose of the report generated by the Task Force on Federal Credit Programs was to set forth broad principles that would guide the Federal credit programs. The Task Force of Federal Credit Programs analyzed the economic climate of the time, established general principles to guide Federal credit programs and made recommendations that would have brought existing and new Federal credit programs into line with the guiding principles the Task Force had established.
- Task Force on Health
The report by this Task Force highlighted the rapid expansion in health expenditures accompanied by sharp cost increases. It concluded that additional funding would only increase costs further rather than expanding the number of services offered. The Task Force recommended the new Administration place heavy emphasis on greater efficiency and productivity in health care through a variety of means. The report includes recommendations in the following areas: Medicaid; Medicare; the Poor; Organization and Administration; Medical Manpower and Education; Licensing; Medical Education; Capital; Research and Demonstration; and Longer-range Special Problems.
- Task Force on Housing and Urban Renewal
The Task Force on Housing and Urban Renewal produced a report containing its recommendations for achieving a meaningful community improvement program for the country. The recommendations are divided into two categories. The first category, Part I, is comprised of recommendations of a general nature that required policy decisions made at the White House level. The second category, Part II, pertains to the responsibilities of the incoming Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
- Task Force on Improving Prospects of Small Business
The Task Force on Improving Prospects of Small Business was charged with reviewing the status of small business in general, and to recommend how to enhance its prospects. The Task Force was also charged with appraising the effectiveness of then current programs and policies designed to aid small business, make suggestions on how to improve the programs and policies, and to determine what actions might be taken to expand the role for small business with the nation's economy.
- Task Force on Labor Incomes and Manpower Policies
The report generated by this Task Force presented recommendations in three areas: labor relations policy; wage-price policy; and manpower policy. This report makes note of two basic convictions underlying the recommendations in all three areas covered in the report. These convictions are: 1) high employment is an important goal in itself, but is in tension with the goal of reasonable price stability; and 2) unions and companies themselves must be made responsible for making particular decisions free of government intervention and accepting the consequences.
- Task Force on Public Welfare
The report by this Task Force focuses on near-term issues and opportunities faced by the new Administration in the area of public welfare. In the report, public welfare was broadly defined to encompass problems and conditions of the poor in the United States and the government programs designed to assist them. The near-term issues and opportunities identified by the Task Force are: A) Public Assistance and Related Support Systems; B) Organization at the Federal Level of Service Programs for the Poor; C) The Community Action Program: Its Role at the Local Level; D) The Model Cities Program; E) The Community Self-Determination Act; and Other Areas for Early Action.
- Task Force on Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations
The Task Force on Inter-governmental Fiscal Relations encouraged the new Administration to implement basic reforms in the inter-governmental policies and programs of the Federal Government. The central premise of the report was that: 1) state-local public service needs are high and rising; 2) State-local tax systems are strained and their major tax sources have inequitable features; 3) The use of the federal tax system to aid state and local governments was essential; 4) The then federal aid system had critical deficiencies; and 5) The administrative machinery for achieving domestic public purposes needs strengthening at every level -- federal, state, and local. Part II of the report presents a framework of principles for inter-governmental reform while Part III presents specific proposals to accomplish this objective. The Task Force also made a recommendation to strengthen the Executive Office of the President to provide leadership in the field of inter-governmental affairs. Other sections of the report discuss broad functional areas in which new inter-governmental policies are required.
- Task Force on Space
This Task Force examined the state of space work by NASA and the Department of Defense (DOD) and made recommendations for financial and legislative support for continued work during the tenure of the new Administration. Some of the issues analyzed in this report include: a synopsis of the development and status of space work; a summary of issues and conclusions; a general budgetary discussion; and examination issues such as competition with the USSR, objectives and scope of Manned Program, lunar exploration, planetary exploration, use of spacecraft and associated techniques for civil or commercial benefit, the significance of the national space program to national security, and legislative issues.
- Task Force on Inflation
The report of the Task Force on Inflation analyzed the principle sources of inflation during the late 1960s. It recommended appropriate tools and techniques that might have brought inflation under control and the compatibility (or lack of compatibility) of moderating inflation with other goals such as high employment and balance of payments equilibrium. The report recommends a six month plan of action for the new Administration that was to take effect soon after new President took office. In addition to the six month action plan, the report offers considerations for a study of inflation related issues and a longer-term policy for controlling inflation.
- Task Force on Transportation
The report generated by the Task Force on Transportation identified several urgent problems in public transportation. The problems identified in this report include: a lack of guaranteed funding and support for public mass transportation; an air transportation system that was facing a national crisis of insufficient capacity; the controversy surrounding the Federal-aid Highway Program; the outmoded regulations governing the railroad industry; the need for the maritime industry to take advantage of technological advancements; and the lack of science and technology programs in transportation. The Task Force urged the President-elect to attack the problems of the transportation industry vigorously. The report recommended that the new Administration strengthen the Office of the Secretary of Transportation and give it the full support of the Office of the President. And finally, the Task Force urged the President-elect to take a fresh and objective look at the role of private enterprise in transportation.
- Task Force Summaries
This folder contains the summaries of eleven of the seventeen Task Force reports. These eleven summaries were forward to President-elect Nixon by Arthur F. Burns on January 18, 1969. The Task Force summaries included in this folder are: Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations; Federal Credit Program; Resources and Environment; Transportation; Labor, Incomes, and Manpower; Education; Urban Affairs; Housing and Urban Renewal; Health; Public Welfare; and U. S. Balance of Payments Policies. The remaining Task Force reports apparently were not summarized. The full reports of the other six Task Forces were forwarded to the President-elect because Burns believed these reports to be most important and, therefore, should not be summarized but read in their entirety.