The Economy: The Law Nixon Used

WHEN he announced the wage-price freeze, President Nixon based his action on the Economic Stabilization Act of 1970. The law gives stand-by powers to the President to "issue such orders as he may deem appropriate to stabilize prices, rents, wages and salaries." The irony is that Nixon vigorously opposed the bill when it was debated in Congress and said he would not use it.

It was passed as part of the continuing cat-and-mouse game between Congress and the President. In August 1970 inflation was climbing and job rolls were shrinking. Anxious about the economy,...

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