Economic Policy

University of Virginia, Miller Center: Dwight D. Eisenhower

University of Virginia, Miller Center: Dwight D. Eisenhower

Contents:

Free Markets

Ike never cared about Abilene’s class structure as a child.  He barely realized it existed, even though he grew up on the wrong side of the tracks.  (Smith, Eisenhower in War and Peace)

He believed that private enterprise should fuel the economy, that the private sector allocated resources better than the government, and that free enterprise was a key to democracy. (Kreig, Dwight D. Eisenhower: Soldier, President, Statesman)

He defended capitalism and private property from criticism: “Our system is based upon the concept that each person is an individual, with dignity and certain inalienable rights. It has been said that we uphold property rights in the free enterprise system against human rights. I say this is a false statement. The right of property is only one of the human rights, and when that falls all else falls with it. The abolition of property rights means an eventual dictatorship. We have been criticized for our large numbers of unemployed during the early 1930s. That was held up as a condemnation of the capitalistic system. But those men were not working in the salt mines, and they were not under the whip and bayonet.”  (Ledbetter, Unwarranted Influence)

Ike, like most politicians, praised small business: “Every big business was once a small business. They are the lifeblood of our economy, just as the family is the unit of our whole social order and civilization.  Loosening credit and lowering taxes for small businesses will help them have more opportunities.”  (1956 CBS Broadcast, The Women Ask the President)

He sensed that businessmen from the 1950s were different individuals from the speculators and bankers who plunged the nation into Depression in the late 1920s.  He had seen businessmen patriotically work with the government during WWII and helped make the country the “Great Arsenal of Democracy.”  (The Eisenhower Diaries)

Ike did not turn the free market into a god, like some conservatives.  He understood the prevalence of greed.  Dr. Gabriel Hague, an economic advisor, opposed Ike’s veto of 1956 gas bill.  Ike said, “you have a situation where the whole life of the US can be affected by a corporate decision. This sort of thing can be very dangerous unless people act with the greatest wisdom and concern for the nation.”  Hague replied, “Business must have an honorable place in society.”  Eisenhower said, “I want to give businessmen an honorable place, but they make crooks out of themselves.”  (Ambrose, Eisenhower: Soldier and President)

Though Ike had reservations about big business, he remained deeply anti-communist.  Ike analyzed Lenin’s “Contradictions of Capitalism” and decided he was wrong.  Lenin’s view of capitalism was one of no restrictions on large corporations, leading to conflict for resources and wars between “capitalist states.”  Ike concluded that Lenin’s analysis was correct under “extremist conditions” of no government regulations.  But, Ike wrote, “All human experience involves progress which is possible only as extremes are avoided and solutions to problems are found in a great middle way that has regarded for the requirements, desires, and aspirations of the vast majority. Consequently, the inevitability of the results of the so-called contradictions in capitalism is open to question.”  (Cook, The Declassified Eisenhower)

Ike was bothered that some American workers used Marxist rhetoric and spoke of an inevitable class war.  He said it was, “the most evil thing [he could] think of.”  (Kreig, Dwight D. Eisenhower: Soldier, President, Statesman)

He rejected class warfare: “There are no big and little people. We are all necessary and we all contribute to society regardless of what job we do.” He did not believe in “big Americans” and “small Americans.”  He was friends with millionaires and people in Abilene. (1956 CBS Broadcast, The Women Ask the President)

Regulation

Ike favored anti-trust laws, which helped small businesses.  He supported moderate deregulation where possible. (Kreig, Dwight D. Eisenhower: Soldier, President, Statesman)

He vetoed an oil deregulation bill when he learned the oil lobby had tried bribing congressmen.  Ike said the Republican Party could not become known as the party of big business.  (Ambrose, Eisenhower: Soldier and President)

Free Trade

Ike favored free trade and abhorred protectionism.  This overturned standard conservative orthodoxy, which had favored tariffs since Alexander Hamilton.  Ike saw free trade as key to his foreign policy: “Unless we are prepared to adopt the policies I have recommended to expand trade and increase the flow of our capital into foreign investment, our friends abroad may be discouraged in their effort to reestablish a free market for their currencies.”  He also said free trade aided economic growth for the US and its allies.  (Kreig, Dwight D. Eisenhower: Soldier, President, Statesman)

Foreign Aid

Ike knew 1/3 of the world lived in extreme poverty.  He feared they would turn to communism unless he could raise their standard of living and promote stability through free trade and foreign aid.  (Gellman, The President and the Apprentice)

Ike saw foreign aid as investing in America’s future.  He preferred to cut military spending or his own salary than cut foreign aid.  (Smith, Eisenhower in War and Peace)

Balanced Budgets and the National Debt

Ike studied economics as president of Columbia.  He quickly became a budget and deficit hawk and viewed deficit spending as irresponsible and inflationary. (Ambrose, Eisenhower: Soldier and President)

Twenty years of deficit spending under Roosevelt and Truman as a result of the New Deal, WWII, the Cold War, the Fair Deal, and the Korean War had brought America’s debt to GDP ratio to 127%.  This was not sustainable and resulted in escalating inflation.  Ike was determined to balance the budget and bring the debt under control.  He did not want to pass on a massive national debt to future generations.  This was his central domestic policy goal and his primary way of doing it was to cut military spending.  (Hartmann, The Tea Party: Not Eisenhower’s GOP)

Ike explained the relationship between deficits and inflation: “When the economy is booming and the federal government concurrently is spending so heavily as to create sizable deficits, inflationary pressures are bound to build up and the cost of living can be expected to increase. This is irresponsible and practiced by only those who believe that next month’s profit and loss statement is more important than the long-term and steady growth of a free economy.”  (Eisenhower, Waging Peace)

Ike and Treasury Secretary Humphrey worked for balanced budgets, low inflation, a strong dollar, and minimum borrowing.  They believed this would keep the economy stable and allow it to grow at an acceptable rate.  (Kreig, Dwight D. Eisenhower: Soldier, President, Statesman)

Deficits were only acceptable in emergencies.  Otherwise, the federal budget should be just adequate for national purposes. (Kreig, Dwight D. Eisenhower: Soldier, President, Statesman)

He supported a Lime-Item Veto to prevent pork barrel spending.  (Mieczkowski, Eisenhower’s Sputnik Moment)

Spending $168 million on harbors and flood control was “stupid.” (Ambrose, Eisenhower: Soldier and President)

He said one role for the minority party was, especially in times of prosperity, to oppose deficit spending.  (The Eisenhower Diaries)

He submitted his request to raise the debt ceiling shortly before he had to, giving him more leverage in his negotiations with Congress.  (Cooke, Nullification Nonsense)

Ike and his economic advisers carefully crafted the 1953 budget by cutting unnecessary aspects of Truman’s budget.  This was not enough for Republicans led by Senator Taft, who, Ike said, went on a “demagogic tirade.”  (Baier, Three Days in January)

Ike fought a Democratic Congress to balance the budget in 1958 and 1960.  He through political bombs at will and enjoyed the process.  (Mieczkowski, Eisenhower’s Sputnik Moment)

Ike said that those who wanted “reckless” federal spending were “extremists.”  He called the “Spender Wing” of the Democratic Party a “radical group” and said “I believe that kind of spending must stop or the US is in the most serious trouble that we can think of. I am going to fight this as hard as I know.” (Mieczkowski, Eisenhower’s Sputnik Moment)

He regarded JFK’s platform of additional defense and social spending, combined with a tax cut, with horror.  (Ambrose, Eisenhower: Soldier and President)

Inflation

Ike’s opposition to a large national debt was in part motivated by his dislike of inflation.  Like high taxes, he disliked inflation because it took away a person’s wealth.  He considered inflation to be more dangerous than unemployment and wanted to promote growth while keeping prices stable.

Ike saw Senator Taft give a speech in the late 1940s asking Americans to eat less to lower food prices.  Liberals criticized the speech, but Ike agreed with Taft “one-hundred percent.”

Ike sawed off pieces of wood at rallies during the 1952 election to show the effect inflation had on money.  (Baier, Three Days in January)

Ike feared Democratic deficit spending would result in inflation.  He wrote, “I know that anyone who speaks up against deficit spending is accused by the ‘sophisticated’ liberals of being more interested in money than in people. But I ask, what is more inhumane to more people than deliberately taking away the value of the money on which they must live in the future? Let's be specific. The dollar you earned and saved 24 years ago is now worth just 45 cents. This loss is nothing we can shrug off with "Poppa knows best." It is a cruel injustice to people who worked hard all their lives who were frugal and self reliant in accumulating savings, insurance and pensions for their old age. But now the value of their retirement dollars has been cut to less than half of that when those dollars were earned, by easy-money and inflationary policies of the government.”  (Eisenhower, Why I am a Republican)

Keynesians did not agree with Ike’s emphasis on balanced budgets.  They called him a reactionary fossil and said his fear of inflation was fetishism.  (Mieczkowski, Eisenhower’s Sputnik Moment)

Monetary Policy and the Gold Standard

Ike explained his view of monetary policy: “There are forces trying to push our economy toward inflation or deflation. The purpose of our Government, and this includes the Federal Reserve Board, which it is an independent agency in the management of our money, the purpose of that whole government is to do its part so that these forces keep rather balanced and you keep a stable cost of living for example. If there are any signs that we are going for another depression, everything the government can do, every single force and influence it has to bring to bear, will be brought in timely fashion and not after any such catastrophe occurs. I really believe that with social security payments, with unemployment insurance, with all the kind of things now that are available to someone who is temporarily out of work, our chance of getting a spiral deflation are much less than they ever were, because the purchasing power is equal - stays up through those means.”  (1956 CBS Broadcast, The Women Ask the President)

Ike’s dislike of inflation led him to prefer slower money growth, but he knew voters associated Herbert Hoover and the Republicans with the Great Depression.  As a result, Ike pledged to use the full power of the federal government to prevent a new depression.  (Ambrose, Eisenhower: Soldier and President)

Ike called gold, “the standard of the most enlightened nations on Earth” when he ran for president.  He quickly abandoned this idea once in office.  He told a friend the “gold bugs” are “merely another type of isolationist” and suspect some owned gold stocks.   (Kreig, Dwight D. Eisenhower: Soldier, President, Statesman)

Taxes

Ike disliked high taxation, but thought tax cuts should be deferred until after the national debt was reduced.  Otherwise the deficit would grow and cause inflation, deteriorating people’s money and negating the benefit of the tax cut.  (Eisenhower, Why I am a Republican)

He would not agree to a tax cut if it reduced government revenue.  He opposed House Speaker Sam Rayburn’s plan to cut taxes for every dependent a family had because it would reduce revenue.  (Ambrose, Eisenhower: Soldier and President)

Ike ended the Korean War in July 1953.  The war’s end caused the government to decrease its armament purchases.  Unemployment rose from 2.6% to 6.1% by September 1954.  Arthur Burns, an economic advisor, said Ike should cut taxes and expand public works programs to reverse the economic downturn.  Secretary Humphrey objected.  Ike sided with Burns and pushed for a $7 billion tax cut.  He also signed legislation extending unemployment benefits for four million workers.  This deficit spending ended the small recession in less than a year.  (Gellman, The President and the Apprentice)

Ike’s tax cut targeted middle and lower class families.  (Newton, Eisenhower: The White House Years)

Ike said that anyone with a high income ($7 million in today’s dollars for this example) doesn’t get to complain about high taxes.  (Beschloss, The Gang that Always Liked Ike)

He rejected the Democrats’ proposal for a tax cut in 1960 because he wanted to balance the budget one last time before leaving office.  He hoped Nixon would succeed him and could get the credit for the tax cut.  (Mieczkowski, Eisenhower’s Sputnik Moment)

Ike vetoed a bill giving tax relief to movie theaters for their tickets.  Ike thought the movie industry’s problems came from spending too much on actors whose “only qualification were good looks.”  Ike thought he was informed on this issue because, “I have personally met a number of these stars; those with whom it is a pleasure to talk informally constitute a very small portion of the whole. I think one of ten would be an exaggeration.”  In addition, Hollywood had a monopoly on in-door entertainment after outcompeting its alternatives.  It grew careless in its monopoly and could not compete with television.  Ike ignored their begging and vetoed the bill.  (Ambrose, Eisenhower: Soldier and President)

Infrastructure

In the aftermath of World War I, Eisenhower was ordered by the military to accompany an army convoy across the country.  The trip took two months.  The experience taught Eisenhower that America needed a better road system to travel between states.  The lesson was reinforced at the end of World War II, when Eisenhower saw the Autobahn in Germany.  Hitler had built the giant road-system in the mid-30s, and the project helped raise Germany out of the Great Depression.  (Smith, Eisenhower in War and Peace)

The Interstate Highway System was the centerpiece of his domestic agenda.  He believed the government had to take the lead on this project because the free market could not.  (Mieczkowski, Eisenhower’s Sputnik Moment)

He pushed for a highway and school construction bill in 1955.  He liked this combination because, “roads lead to schools.”  Congress rejected this bill.

Ike resubmitted his highway bill to Congress in 1956 and sold it by saying it was necessary to evacuate cities in case of a nuclear attack.  (Smith, Eisenhower in War and Peace)

WWII proved that government spending stimulated the economy, but Ike understood that infrastructure allowed a return investment while military spending didn’t.  This was because roads allowed goods to be sold easier across the country, creating competition and jobs.  This increased the amount of wealth Americans had and led to increased government revenue that Ike used to pay down the national debt.  The highway fueled the 1950s’ economic boom.  (Hartmann, The Tea Party: Not Eisenhower’s GOP)

Ike wanted to pay for the highway through a toll road system, instead of a bond.  Lucious Clay, an advisor on the project, convinced him otherwise.  Ike established a six-cent gas tax to fund the highway.  America got $6 for every $1 invested.  (Smith, Eisenhower in War and Peace)

Ike sped up highway construction during recession and slowed it down when the economy boomed.  (Mieczkowski, Eisenhower’s Sputnik Moment)

Ike also build the Saint Lawrence Sea Way.  He feared Canada would take the lead.  (Mieczkowski, Eisenhower’s Sputnik Moment)

Ike believed federal investments should be for the long-term, not merely spending for spending’s sake.  That’s why he considered infrastructure to be the best government investment.  He believed infrastructure and urban renewal benefited business, real estate, and construction unionists.  (Mieczkowski, Eisenhower’s Sputnik Moment)

Labor Unions

Ike grew up poor and empathized with workers.  He wanted to protect the rights of workers to join a union and bargain collectively.  He said, “I have no use for those, regardless of political party, who hold some vain and foolish dream of spinning the clock back to the days when organized labor was huddled, almost a hapless mass. Only a fool would try to deprive working men and women of the right to join the union of their choice.” (Smith, Eisenhower in War and Peace)

He regarded workers as he regarded soldiers in that “they have a job to do for the nation.”  (Kreig, Dwight D. Eisenhower: Soldier, President, Statesman)

He raised the minimum wage for two million workers to $8.15 in today’s dollars.  He would extend the minimum wage for as many people possible while remaining practical.  (Smith, Eisenhower in War and Peace)

He opposed any legislation that strictly sided with either labor or business instead of promoting equity and fairness.  He wanted government to promote social harmony and mutually beneficial cooperation.  He saw citizenship as “blending, without coercion, the individual good, and the common good.”  (The Eisenhower Diaries)

Ike criticized Truman’s seizure of the steel mills during the 1952 Steel strike. (Ambrose, Eisenhower: Soldier and President)

Ike initially wanted to stay out of the 1959 Steel Strike, saying, “These people must solve their own problems.”  He finally evoked the Taft-Hartley Act to force the workers to return to their jobs.  (Gellman, The President and the Apprentice)

He wanted to revise the Taft-Hartley Act to protect more effectively the rights of labor unions, management, and the public. (Ambrose, Eisenhower: Soldier and President)

Ike opposed public sector unions, saying, “Allowing federal employees to unionize would be a terrible mistake. Suppose you had an organized Army reporting and responsible to union bosses - wouldn’t that be something! I am not going to be slick on this one. I am going to run around the cabbage patch.”  (Ambrose, Eisenhower: Soldier and President)

Welfare

Ike was wary of the large-scale “tax and spend” strategy the Democrats took to the economy.  He called the government spending and expansion of the New Deal and Fair Deal a “national disgrace.”  (Mieczkowski, Eisenhower’s Sputnik Moment)

Ike thought it was wrong to tax all Americans to aid just the Tennessee Valley through the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).  It was his least favorite of FDR’s New Deal programs.  Ike tried to sell the Tennessee Valley to a private collector but this was ruled illegal.  Memphis took over the program, a victory for Ike’s administration.  (Leuchtenburg, The American President)

He opposed federal funds for a hydroelectric power project and opposed the Hells Canyon Dam.  Federal funding should not fund a local issue. 

Ike claimed that JFK wanted to “turn the government into Santa Claus.”  (Mieczkowski, Eisenhower’s Sputnik Moment)

Ike advised LBJ to pursue a major legislative agenda to help the country get passed the Kennedy Assassination, even though he disagreed with the Great Society.  (Gibbs, The Presidents Club)

He complained the Great Society built a vast bureaucracy and used taxpayer money to “reward laziness” for people “who just want an easier living.”  He said the government should help the “needy” but not the “lazy.”  He feared welfare damaged values like hard work.  (US News, Eisenhower Speaks his Mind)

He noted that social democracies like Sweden had high suicide rates and high rates of drunkenness.  He blamed their socialistic philosophy.  He later apologized to Sweden. 

Though Ike disliked big-government liberalism, he was not a libertarian.  He was a “yes, but conservative” or a “Democrat-light.”  This meant he accepted the New Deal but wished it to be smaller.  An analogy would be that he controlled the car’s break while giving the Democrats the wheel. (Williamson, Why Like Ike)

Ike opposed Social Security in the 1940s, comparing it to prison.  He reversed his position by the time he ran for president.  He wrote his conservative brother, Edgar, “Should any political party attempt to abolish Social Security, unemployment insurance and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history.  There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things.  Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas.  Their numbers are negligible and they are stupid.”  (Korda, Ike: An American Hero)

Ike believed that the Western Frontier allowed free land for those Americans down on their luck in the Nineteenth Century.  But the frontier had closed and now the government had to aid the needy through social programs.  (Rives, Eisenhower, the Frontier, and the New Deal)

Libertarians fear authoritarian government.  Socialists fear authoritarian massive corporations.  Ike saw the threat of both.  His centrism led him to balance massive private wealth and an all-powerful state to preserve individual liberty.  (Madsen, The International Origins of Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Political Economy)

Federalism

His views on federal-state relations were conservative but not reactionary.  He feared state and local governments could become greedy and dependent on federal spending if allowed. (Kreig, Dwight D. Eisenhower: Soldier, President, Statesman)

He thought the federal government should only address issues that individual states could not manage.  Besides issues like race, he preferred decisions to be made on the smallest possible scale because he assumed those responsible would have the most experience with the issue.  (Nichols, A Matter of Justice)

Healthcare

Healthcare never received his full attention.  His advisors and Columbia tutors, who shaped his economic views, shaped his approach to this issue.  (Kreig, Dwight D. Eisenhower: Soldier, President, Statesman)

Ike strongly opposed Truman’s proposal for national health care.  He disliked single-payer and socialized medicine.  (Kreig, Dwight D. Eisenhower: Soldier, President, Statesman)

However, he did not believe the US could remain the only industrial country that did not have affordable health coverage.  He said it was the responsibility of private charities and local governments to build voluntary, non-profit insurance plans. (Kreig, Dwight D. Eisenhower: Soldier, President, Statesman)

Ike proposed a centrist plan that was in between Democratic single-payer and the American Medical Association’s (AMA) free market approach.  His plan was permanent tax breaks for employers to sponsor healthcare for their employees.  The government would reinsure companies and provide insurance for the unemployed.  The AMA opposed the plan, killing it in Congress.  Ike called the AMA “stupid and reactionary.” (Kreig, Dwight D. Eisenhower: Soldier, President, Statesman)

He said medical school should reduce the number of years required so there could be more doctors at the same cost. (Kreig, Dwight D. Eisenhower: Soldier, President, Statesman)

He was open to federal investments in medical research.  He helped distribute free vaccines to protect millions of children from polio and funded Science for Peace, which sought to end malaria through global cooperation.  But he opposed a $350 million investment into research, saying the cure for cancer would come from “some little guy working in the attic without a federal grant.”  (Mieczkowski, Eisenhower’s Sputnik Moment)

He signed the Ker Mills Act into law in 1960, which gave states the power to decide which patients needed financial assistance.  The federal government provided matching funds to the states for the program.  It laid the foundation for Medicare and Medicaid.  (Kreig, Dwight D. Eisenhower: Soldier, President, Statesman)

Ike equated LBJ’s Medicare with socialized medicine.  He said, “I am convinced that any system of medical insurance of the aged should be on a broadly based, self-sustaining and voluntary basis. This need cannot be met fairly, in my judgment, by overloading the Social Security system with the multi-billion annual costs of the so-called Medicare plan, thus concentrating the whole burden on workers and employers. Adequate medical care for older citizens can be assured, in my opinion by a carefully thought-out program combining private insurance, individual contributions and government assistance to distribute the load equitably among segments of our society in accordance with their needs. (Kreig, Dwight D. Eisenhower: Soldier, President, Statesman)

Oil

Ike feared America becoming addicted to foreign oil and thought national security depended on a reasonable balance between imports and domestic production.  (Newton, Eisenhower: The White House Years)

Although he opposed protectionism, he supported voluntary limits on imported oil to keep importation at twelve percent of domestic crude oil production.  He later switched to mandatory quotas.  (Newton, Eisenhower: The White House Years)

Agriculture

Ike’s major agriculture initiative was the Soil Bank, where the government would pay farmers to retire land for ten years.  This would promote conservation and protect the soil.  However, he was determined to avoid farm subsidies that would create millionaires.  (Ambrose, Eisenhower: Soldier and President)

Education

Ike believed education was at least as important as defense.  He said teachers needed society’s support because, “They are doing one of the most necessary and exacting jobs in the land. They are developing our most precious national resources: our children, our future citizens.” (Mieczkowski, Eisenhower’s Sputnik Moment)

He strongly supported the GI Bill.  (Ambrose, Eisenhower: Soldier and President)

Ike initially opposed federal involvement in education.  He feared the government could tell schools what to teach.  The government would then have too much power over too many people.  Ike feared this could lead to statism or slavery.  (David Eisenhower, Going Home to Glory)

Sputnik caused Ike to evolve on the issue.  He recommended Congress fund the construction of public schools.  He wanted money to be prioritized for poorer states, not all states equally regardless of need.  (Smith, Eisenhower in War and Peace)

Ike supported student loans, especially for STEM fields.  He invested heavily in math and science education so America could meet challenges of the age.  (Mieczkowski, Eisenhower’s Sputnik Moment)

He supported establishing recognizable standards for teachers and teaching. 

He warned against making education too cheap.  If “everything is provided freely there is a tendency not to put value on anything.”  (Ambrose, Eisenhower: Soldier and President)

NASA

Congress and many Americans wanted to increase military spending after Sputnik.  Ike refused and instead asked for investments in education and established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).  He also created the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), which went on to develop the Internet.  (Mieczkowski, Eisenhower’s Sputnik Moment)

Ike was obsessed with the strength of the US economy and would not invest heavily in space beyond the pragmatic needs of national defense.  He opposed creating a Department of Space because he thought it would emphasize satellites when he wanted to emphasize missiles.  (Mieczkowski, Eisenhower’s Sputnik Moment)

Ike did not care about making America first place in global prestige.  Substance mattered more than fluff.  It did not bother him that the Soviets launched the first satellite or the first man in space.  (Mieczkowski, Eisenhower’s Sputnik Moment)

He cared little for manned space flight and did not care if humans reached the moon, saying, “I’m happier here on Earth.”  He was more interested in missions to Mars because he thought there could be life there.  (Mieczkowski, Eisenhower’s Sputnik Moment)

Ike took an incremental, step-by-step approach to space exploration.  He had a long-term view of politics.  His efforts led to the current environment where hundreds of satellites orbit Earth, aiding communication and engaging in reconnaissance.  (Mieczkowski, Eisenhower’s Sputnik Moment)

An Atlas rocket was launched into orbit in December 1958.  It carried a recording that became the first radio broadcast projected from space.  Ike’s message was, “This is the President of the United States speaking.  Through the marvels of scientific advance, my voice is coming to you from a satellite circling in outer space.  I with to convey to you America’s wish for peace on Earth and goodwill toward men everywhere.”  (Mieczkowski, Eisenhower’s Sputnik Moment)

Ike and Wernher von Braun shared a mutual antagonism.  Ike dislike von Braun for serving the Nazis.  Von Braun thought Ike was too conservative and should invest more in space.  (Mieczkowski, Eisenhower’s Sputnik Moment)

Ike thought JFK’s moon program was a waste of money and would deepen the national debt.  It was symbolic but not practically useful.  (Mieczkowski, Eisenhower’s Sputnik Moment)