Friday, 6 July 2007

The Founder of the Environmental Protection Agency

President Nixon, Lino-Cut by M-J, 1972
The Nixons with Beverly Sills
President Richard M. Nixon's Domestic Policies

Although often viewed as a conservative by his contemporaries, Nixon's domestic policies often appear centrist, or even liberal, to later observers. As President, Nixon imposed wage and price controls, indexed Social Security for inflation, and created Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The number of pages added to the Federal Register each year doubled under Nixon. He eradicated the last remnants of the gold standard. Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), promoted the Legacy of parks program and implemented the Philadelphia Plan, the first significant federal affirmative action program, and dramatically improved salaries for U.S. federal employees worldwide. As a party leader, Nixon helped build the Republican Party (GOP), but he ran his 1972 campaign separately from the party, which perhaps helped the GOP escape some of the damage from Watergate. The Nixon White House was the first to organize a daily press event and daily message for the media, a practice that all subsequent staffs have performed.
On January 2, 1974, Nixon signed a bill that lowered the maximum U.S. speed limit to 55 miles per hour (90 km/h) in order to conserve gasoline during the 1973 energy crisis. This law remained in effect until 1995, though states had been allowed to raise the limit to 65 miles per hour in rural areas since 1987.