Presidential Management and Budgeting from War to Peace: Truman’s First Budget Director, Harold D. Smith, 1945–1946
Keywords:US Bureau of the Budget, Harold D. Smith, President Harry Truman, Cutback Management, Reorganization
This article provides a glimpse into cutback management long before the term came into use. The end of World War II was a major transitional stage in public administration, including demobilization, abolishing wartime agencies, and cutting military spending. It also included the need for novel governmental structures to deal with new subjects emanating from the war, including how to govern atomic energy, how to administer science research, merging the military services, and a policymaking structure to implement the goal of full employment. As Truman’s budget director and de facto manager-in-chief of the executive branch, Harold D. Smith was at the crossroads of practically everything from April 1945 to June 1946. What did he do and how did it do it?
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