Ford’s War on Inflation and Teague’s Last Stand
This chapter focuses on the conclusion of the Vietnam-era G.I. Bill saga, highlighted by the clash between Congress and President Gerald Ford over a proposed increase in Vietnam War veterans' education benefits. Throughout his brief term as president, Ford surpassed Richard Nixon's attempts to bring a culture of economic sacrifice to government spending. As a former member of the House Appropriations Committee, Ford demonstrated a strong interest in and knowledge of economics. Three days after taking office, he identified inflation as “public enemy number one.” This chapter examines Ford's attempt to kill a G.I. Bill that passed both the Senate and the House by vetoing an increase in veterans' education benefits and how that veto was overridden by Congress. It concludes with a discussion of the final rounds of debates over funding levels at the end of the 1970s, along with the continued influence of Olin Teague on limiting the benefits offered to Vietnam veterans.
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