This inside account of decision making in the White House describes the organizational challenges the President faces.
Presidential Decision Making describes two organizational challenges the President faces - the interrelatedness of the issues he is expected to address and the fragmented structure of the executive departments and offices he presides over. The dynamics and problems of the Presidency are illuminated in this inside account of decision making in the White House. Newly elected presidents invariably proclaim their commitment to an enlarged role for cabinet, department, and agency heads but often abandon the effort after a few months in office. The Economic Policy Board, a cabinet-level body established shortly after Gerald Ford became President, was one of the most systematic and sustained attempts to organize advice for the President in recent decades. This book examines in detail the Board's deliberations over three controversial policy issues: the 1975 State of the Union tax proposals, the U.S.-U.S.S.R. Grain Agreement, and the 1976 footwear import decision. In evaluating these decisions and assessing the Board, which Gerald Ford called 'the most important institutional innovation of my administration', the author draws on scores of interviews with cabinet officials and career civil servants. The author proposes methods for organizing the decision-making process in the White House and for structuring the cabinet-level committees.