Post by 49ersfootball on May 17, 2020 18:57:31 GMT
Governor White's 2nd term accomplishments 1:50 PM CST, May 17th, 1987
Governor White spent the majority of his 2nd term dealing with the overcrowding prison problem. He was an enthusiastic supporter of the War on Drugs & other national crime prevention efforts. The recession in TX in the aftermath of the Oil Boom going bust, continued to be severe & White focused his attention on job creation, economic diversification & the recruitment of out-of-state companies & industries. TX was also ordered by the courts to find a way of funding public schools between wealthy & poor districts & considerable efforts were being spent by Governor White, Lieutenant Governor Hobby, Speaker Lewis & the TX State Legislature towards finding a solution. The 70th Legislature had the most prolific legislative session in history; exceeding previous records set in 1983 & 1985. The TX State Legislature filed 4,179 bills of which 1,185 were passed & signed into law by Governor White.
Post by 49ersfootball on Jun 18, 2020 17:54:17 GMT
12:55 PM CST, Monday, May 18th, 1987
Sharpstown Mall Congressional Office, Houston, TX
The political stock of US Rep. Mickey Leland (D-TX) was rising very fast: having won reelection in a massive landslide to a 5th 2-year term to Congress virtually unopposed in 1986, he was seen not only as a rising political star in TX statewide politics, but also on the national level as well considering his aggressive campaigning for the Mondale/Ferrero ticket in 1984, hardworking GOTV efforts in Governor White's successful gubernatorial campaigns in 1982 & 1986, etc., Leland was the hottest ticket whenever he was on the speaking circuit on major national & international issues.
Born George Thomas Leland on November 27th, 1944 in Lubbock, TX to George Thomas Leland, II & Alice Rains; the Leland's moved to Houston's 5th Ward neighborhood. Growing up in a predominantly African American & Latino neighborhood, where he would became acquainted with Ben Reyes & Craig Washington among others, Leland attended Wheatley High School, where he ranked in the Top 10% of his class where he graduated from Wheatley High School in 1964 & furthered his education at Texas Southern University, where he was a staunch vocal leader in the Houston-area civil rights movement & had brought national leaders of the Civil Rights Movement to Houston. Graduating from Texas Southern University in 1970 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy. He also served as an instructor of Clinical Pharmacy at his alma mater from 1970-71, where he had set up "door-to-door" outreach campaigns in low-income neighborhoods to inform people about their medical care options & performing preliminary screenings. It was during the administration of then-Texas Southern University President Leonard O. Spearman, where Leland received an Honorary Doctorate from his alma mater. He also began to work with philanthropists John de Menil & his wife, Dominique Schlumberger, both of whom encouraged Leland to get involved in politics if he wanted to make major changes, which was needed on the legislative level.
In 1972, Leland was elected to the TX House of Representatives from District 88, when TX for the first time allowed its members in the TX House of Representatives & TX State Senate seats to be elected as single-member districts. Soon afterwards, five minority candidates (dubbed "The People's Five"), including eventual winners Leland himself, Craig Washington, Anthony Hall, Senfronia Thompson & Benny Reyes ran successfully for district seats in the TX House of Representatives, a first for a state that, although Barbara Jordan had been elected to the TX State Senate in 1966, hadn't seen any African American State Representatives since Reconstruction. Reelected in 1974 & again in 1976, he served 3 2-year terms for District 88. During his 6 years in the TX State Legislature, Leland became famous for being a staunch advocate of healthcare rights for poor Texans. He was responsible for passage of legislation that provided low-income consumers with access to affordable generic drugs, & supported the creation of healthcare access through Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs). In order to accomplish his goals in Austin, Leland served on the TX State Labor Committee, State Affairs Committee, Human Resources Committee, Legislative Council & the Subcommittee on Occupational & Industrial Safety. He was elected Vice Chairman of the Joint Committee on Prison Reform including becoming the first African American to serve on the Senate-House Conference Committee as a member of the House Appropriations Committee & also fostered state employment opportunities for minorities. In 1978, Leland constructed the National Black-Hispanic Dem Coalition that drew attention at the Dem Midterm Convention in Memphis, TN; during this time, he worked as director of special development projects for Herman Hospital & functioned as the vice president of King State Bank.
When US Rep. Barbara Jordan (D-TX) announced her retirement from politics due to health problems in 1978, Leland struck while the iron was hot & ran for the open US House seat for TX's 18th Congressional District & was elected that same year; Leland was reelected by overwhelming massive landslide margins virtually unopposed in 1980, 1982, 1984, 1986 & again in 1988. The congressional district included the neighborhood where he had grown up, & he was recognized as a knowledgeable advocate for health, children & the elderly. His leadership abilities were immediately noticed by many on Capitol Hill & he was named to serve as Freshman Majority Whip in his 1st term, & later served twice as At-Large Majority Whip. Leland met & married Allison Walton in 1983 & they would have 3 sons.
In Congress, Leland was an effective advocate on hunger & public health issues. In 1984, Leland established the House Select Committee on Hunger & initiated a number of programs designed to assuage the famine crises that plagued Ethiopia & Sudan through much of the 1980s. He pioneered many Afro-centric cultural norms in Washington, DC which included wearing a dashiki & African-style hats. Visiting soup kitchens & makeshift shelters, he became increasingly concerned about the hungry & homeless. The work for which he was most remembered began when Leland co-authored legislation with US Rep. Ben Gilman (R-NY St) in establishing the House Select Committee on Hunger, then-US House Speaker Tip O'Neill (D-MA) named Leland as chairman of the newly-formed committee when it was enacted. The Select Committee's mandate was "to conduct a continuing, comprehensive study & review of the problems of hunger & malnutrition." Although the committee had no legislative jurisdiction, the committee, for the first time, provided a single focus for hunger-related issues. The committee's impact & influence would stem largely from Congressman Leland's ability to generate awareness of complex hunger alleviation issues & exert his personal moral leadership. In addition to focusing attention on issues of hunger, his legislative initiatives would create the National Commission on Infant Mortality, better access for fresh food for at-risk women, children & infants, & the first comprehensive services for the homeless. His sensitivity to the immediate needs of poor & hungry people would soon make him a spokesperson for hungry people on a far broader scale. Reports of acute famine in sub-Saharan Africa immediately prompted then-Speaker O'Neill to ask Leland to lead a bipartisan Congressional delegation to assess conditions & relief requirements. Upon returning to the States, Leland brought together entertainment personalities, religious leaders & private voluntary agencies to create general public support for the Africa Famine Relief & Recovery Act of 1985. That legislation provided $800 million in food & humanitarian relief supplies. The international attention Leland had focused on the famine brought additional support for non-governmental efforts, saving thousands of lives.
His ability in reaching out to others with innovative ideas & to gaining support from unlikely sources was a key to his success in effectively addressing the problems for the poor & minorities. He met with Pope John Paul II about food aid to Africa & Cuban strongman Fidel Castro about reuniting Cuban families back in the States. In Moscow, as part of the first Congressional delegation led by Speaker O'Neill as part of the post-Cold War Era, he proposed a joint US/Soviet food initiative to Mozambique. As Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Leland proudly presented the first awards the Caucus had ever given to an Anglo, rock musician Bob Geldorf & ABC News TV Anchor Ted Koppel. Geldorf honored for his Band Aid concert & fundraising efforts for African famine victims & Koppel for his news stories on the African famine. Leland was a powerful advocate on other major issues as well: while chairing the House Select Committee on Hunger, Leland was a member of the Committee on Energy & Commerce, & the subcommittees on Telecommunications & Finance, Health & the Environment, Energy & Power. He also chaired the Subcommittee on Postal Operations & Services & served on the Committee on Post Office & Civil Service & the Subcommittee on Compensation & Employment.
Leland was also a highly effective promoter of responsible & realistic broadcast television & cable programming. Through widely publicized congressional hearings, he aroused the nation's conscience & reduced violence in children's television programming. He also advocated ethnic diversity through Affirmative Action in broadcast employment, both on & off camera, & ownership. In particular, he worked to assure that all of the characters in the media avoided ethnic stereotypes & fairly portrayed the rich diversity that makes up the American public. When the federal government began to privatize federal assets such as Conrail, Leland successfully included legislative language that required the participation of minority investment bankers in the negotiations.
Post by 49ersfootball on Jul 14, 2020 20:00:09 GMT
Highlights of the 70th Legislature
2:30 PM CST, Thursday, May 28th, 1987
TX State Capitol, Austin, TX
During the legislative session of the 70th TX Legislature, Senate bills responding to news-making events on various state university campuses were passed. These included a bill in response to a fraternity hazing death at the University of Texas & various bills directly addressing booster involvement in campus athletics. The latter bills were implemented to prevent events that had resulted in the so-called "death penalty" being assessed against Southern Methodist University by the NCAA. The issue was a particularly sore spot for former TX Governor William P. Clements, Jr., (R) since he was the head of the university's board of trustees during the scandal & had purportedly authorized payments to student athletes in direct violation in NCAA policy.
Key legislation regarding the sale of alcoholic beverages was passed in this session. These included regulating the sale of alcohol & passage of an open container bill to prevent drinking of alcoholic beverages while driving an automobile. Other legislations related to intoxicants address "designer drugs" & placed legal liabilities on those establishments serving alcoholic beverages.
The Senate approved observing the third Monday in January as Martin Luther King, Jr., Day. Senate Bill 485, 70th Legislative Regular Session. Chapter 159. Approved on May 25th, 1987, & effective August 31st, 1987, as an optional holiday.
Two special sessions were held. The first, called by Governor White, commenced on June 2nd, 1987, & ended the following day. It was specifically designed to address issue related to insurance & civil ability, otherwise known as tort reform. The second special session addressed 72 various topics from passing the state budget to wastewater treatment, between June 22nd to July 21st, 1987.
Post by 49ersfootball on Jul 14, 2020 20:35:14 GMT
Handling the budget crisis impacting Texans
3:15 PM CST, Friday, May 29th, 1987
TX State Capitol, Austin, TX
Governor White addressing Joint Session of the TX State Legislature during the State of the State Address from February 4th, 1987
Despite his hard-fought reelection victory in 1986, Governor White's second term was encountered numerous headwinds as he had faced in his first term. The state's economy continued to languish under his watch despite numerous job creation efforts & other plans to prevent a complete collapse, oil prices plunged, the budget situation was worse, & his education reforms were still unpopular. Plus the reelected Governor also found himself besieged in his early second term budget battle with the Dem-controlled TX State Legislature. Caught between the need to increase revenues (as he had done in 1986 during a special session) to maintain the state's basic functions, & campaign pledges during the 1986 campaign, Governor White eventually agreed to a compromise $38 billion budget, with additional riders to raise $5.7 billion. Predictably, TX GOPers were unappeased by the arrangement, while Dems derided the compromise as a betrayal of a core campaign promise. It had been inauspicious start of the continuing legs of White's political career. By the Summer of 1987---barely six months into his second term, White's disapproval rating was at 68%.
Yet despite many setbacks, White would cement his legacy in the latter part of his second term. From education reform to prison construction, & from luring new industries to promoting tourism, White steadily built a record of accomplishments. He dedicated himself to winning a proposed national particle collier for TX (the project later fell through when federal funding for the project was rescinded) & renovating the TX State Capitol. He also used special sessions to reform workers compensation laws, led the consolidation of state criminal justice agencies under the umbrella of a new TX Department of Criminal Justice, & established the TX Department of Transportation. During his tenure, the economy righted itself & diversified considerably, reducing the odds that an oil slump would send TX into another 1980s-style recession. All the while, his appointments of Dems to key posts throughout state government continued steadily.
Post by 49ersfootball on Jul 14, 2020 20:55:52 GMT
6:22 PM CST, Monday, June 1st, 1987
Speaker's Office, 2nd Floor, 2W.13
TX State Capitol, Austin, TX
Things were going smoothly for TX House of Representatives Speaker Gibson D. Lewis (D-Fort Worth), who had been running the TX House of Representatives like a tight ship, holding all factions together: Conservatives, Moderates, Liberals: getting all of them in line by pushing legislation through the 150-member lower chamber. He also realized the hotly-contested battle over school finance was going to become a real problem, having spoken with many school superintendents from rural & urban school districts & unless the 70th Legislature can tackle the ongoing issue seriously in a main, delicate manner, it would alienate many schoolteachers & students, who could pose problems later on.
Following the Blue Wave of 1982, Lewis along with Governor White & Lieutenant Governor Hobby, was a key figure in passing the 1984 Educational Opportunity Act (EOA), which was overwhelmingly passed during a well-publicized special session during the Summer of 1984. The EOA was hailed as one of the most sweeping public education reforms in TX history. He was also instrumental in the passage of the 1985 comprehensive TX Water Plan; Lewis later promoted legislation to combat crime, including stricter laws against drunken drivers. An avid sportsman & hunter, he carried legislation creating the "Operation Game Thief" program & was a sponsor of the Uniform Game Management Act. While Lewis was building these major achievements, there were also some investigations in regard to campaign contributions, acceptance of controversial gifts from a few political contributors such as one particular prominent law firm in San Antonio. These controversies were slowly, but surely hounding Lewis & would eventually come to a head some years later.
It was the first day of the special session of the 70th Legislature & a group of reporters & journalists gathered inside the Reception Room of the Lieutenant Governor's Office inside the 2nd floor of the TX State Capitol, where many assumed TX Lieutenant Governor Bill Hobby (D) was going to hold a typical press conference on the special session. What would happen next was going to lead to major political ramifications in terms of eager & ambitious down-ballot statewide officeholders itching to move up the ladder.
Lieutenant Governor Hobby arrived to the podium & began his remarks to the Capitol Press Corps as TV cameras were flashing & filming non-stop:
"Good afternoon everyone. I have asked frequently in recent weeks about whether I am a candidate for Governor in 1990. The answer is no.
This was an option I seriously considered, but I have concluded that I can better serve the State of TX by devoting all my time to the office I now occupy.
It should be clear to everyone that the next few years will be critical to the economic recovery & future of TX.
These times require an extra measure of unity, wise planning & concerted action. We should not be distracted again by the uncharacteristic political games which almost prevented the 70th Legislature from acting responsibly on the appropriations & tax bills.
I hope this was not a sign of things to come, because it is no way to conduct the essential business of state government.
If I have ever failed to separate elective politics from public service, it was not because I didn't try.
In this present situation I can be more effective if even the perception of politics is removed entirely from the decisions on state policy which I must make as Lieutenant Governor.
Consequently, I will not run for office in 1990.
Instead, I will spend the remaining three & a half years of my term working for a more equitable & efficient tax system & for the vital programs---especially public & higher education---which those revenues provide.
The experience of the past year has convinced me that I can make a greater contribution in that way if I am not a candidate for Governor & perceived as having partisan motives.
The 71st Legislature in 1989 should be prepared to act & not to procrastinate for lack of a plan. I can best be of service by helping develop that plan, rather than by running for office.
To serve as Lieutenant Governor is an honor beyond mere words. When I leave it, I will have devoted 18 years to this office. I want to leave with the shop in good order, to demonstrate my appreciation to the people who have elected me.
Today, I appeal to the reason & common sense of Texans of both political parties to get on with the task. That is my intention, & I can think of nothing more important to all of us."
Post by 49ersfootball on Jul 14, 2020 21:48:51 GMT
Ramifications of Hobby's retirement announcement
4:26 PM CST, Tuesday, June 9th, 1987
It had been less than eight days since Lieutenant Governor Hobby announced his retirement & not running for elective office in 1990, the ramifications was going to be critical & huge. Among those moving up the political ladder in TX state government:
1.) TX State Comptroller of Public Accounts Bob Bullock (D) quickly formed a statewide exploratory committee in running for the Lieutenant Governorship in 1990, the Lone Star State's second most powerful & influential office. An official announcement would be coming later in the Fall.
2.) TX State Treasurer Ann Richards (D) realizing Bullock was running for Lieutenant Governorship & with Governor White seeking reelection in 1990, decided to run for the United States Senate instead.
3.) TX State Attorney General Jim Mattox (D) already facing long odds of challenging an incumbent Governor in the upcoming 1990 Dem Gubernatorial Primary election, appears all set to launch his campaign, where some polling surveys show Governor White leading somewhere between 16 to 25 percentage points.
4.) TX Commissioner of General Land Office Garry Mauro (D) announced he'll be seeking reelection to a 3rd term in 1990.
5.) TX Agriculture Commissioner Jim Hightower (D) had considered running for the United States Senate in 1990, but backed out & decided to seek reelection in 1990. Although there were some scandals brewing inside the TX Department of Agriculture which would blow up Hightower's political career later on....
6.) TX Railroad Commissioner John Sharp (D) announced he'll be running for Comptroller of Public Accounts in 1990.
Post by 49ersfootball on Jul 28, 2020 20:15:09 GMT
Chapter 4: Richards
3:56 PM CST, Tuesday, June 9th, 1987
Somewhere in the outskirts of Austin, TX
A young Ann Richards being pushed into Barton Springs
Dorothy Ann Willis Richards was born on September 1st, 1933 in Lacy-Lakeview, TX to Cecil & Ona Willis. Richards entered Waco High School in 1946 & dropped her first name Dorothy & was known as Ann thereafter. She was a member of the Waco High School debate team & was the state debate champion as a senior. Prior to her senior year in high school, Richards attended Girls State, the annual mock-government assembly of students, where she was elected lieutenant governor. She later acknowledged this experience as fueling her interest in government & politics. Richards graduated from Waco High School in 1950 & attended Baylor University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in 1954. While at Baylor, Ann Willis married David Richards in 1953. The couple moved to Austin where David Richards attended law school at the University of Texas & Ann taught government at Fulmore Junior High School. Upon David's graduation from law school, they spent a year in Washington, DC before moving to Dallas, where David practiced law & Ann became active in Dem politics in Dallas. Their family grew to include four children: Cecile, Dan, Clark, & Ellen. In 1969, the Richards family returned to Austin where David became a labor & civil rights attorney. Ann became involved in local politics & successfully managed the legislative campaigns of both Sarah Weddington (1972) & Wilhelmina Delco (1974). Weddington later presented the oral arguments to the United States Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade (1973); Delco was the first African American to represent Austin in the TX State Legislature. Richards also served as Sarah Weddington's administrative assistant in the TX House of Representatives.
In 1976, David Richards declined a request from the Travis County Dem leadership to challenge three-term Travis County Commissioner Johnny Voudouris in the party's primary election. In David's stead, with her husband's encouragement, Ann Richards won the Dem nomination for Travis County Commissioner & became the first woman elected to that office in Travis County. She supported the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment to the US Constitution, presenting the amendment to the delegates of the National Women's Conference, held in Houston in 1978, but the amendment was never ratified by enough states to become part of the Constitution. In 1980, Richards was reelected to a second term to the Travis County Commissioners Court, garnering 81.4% of the vote against Laurel Freeman (LIB). During this time, Ann & David Richards' marriage ended badly due to serious issues behind the scenes: they became virtually estranged after their divorce (which became final in 1984). She also sought & completed treatment for alcoholism in 1980.
Richards' political career continued to take off even further when embattled TX State Treasurer Warren Harding (D) (no relation to the famous US President) was indicted on two third-degree felony charges of official misconduct for allegedly having two state employees work on his reelection campaign during time they were supposed to work for the State. After initially entering a not guilty plea, the indictments came mere days before the filing deadline, & three challengers (including Richards) entered the 1982 Dem Primary contest for TX State Treasurer, Harding stubbornly went ahead with his reelection campaign for a second full 4-year term (he was appointed State Treasurer by then-TX Governor Dolph Briscoe (D) on October 5th, 1977 following the death of longtime State Treasurer Jesse William James (D), who died in office on September 29th, 1977). In the May 1st, 1982 Primary elections, Richards garnered 570,526 votes (47.07%) to Harding's 411,623 votes (33.96%), advancing to the runoff election in what would've been an epic showdown....
Before the runoff election, Harding sensing the handwriting on the wall, pled guilty to a misdemeanor offense in return for prosecutors dismissing the felony charges & as a result of these developments, Harding withdrew his candidacy, resulting in Richards becoming the de-facto Dem nominee by default. In the November 2nd, 1982 general election, Richards easily defeated Allen Clark (R) in what turned to be a massive Blue wave hitting the Lone Star State & other parts of the country during the well-known 1982 Midterms: garnering 1,833,781 votes (60.76%) to Clark's 1,159,523 votes (38.42%) & took office on January 18th, 1983. On November 4th, 1986, Richards was overwhelmingly reelected defeating Robert F. Reid (LIB) garnering 2,425,836 votes (91.68%) to Reid's 220,024 votes (8.32%). With Richards' landslide victory in 1982, she made history becoming the first female to win statewide office in more than 50 years since Miriam Ferguson (D) in 1932, who was elected to a second non-consecutive term as Governor; during her tenure at the TX Department of the Treasury, Richards was a popular & proactive State Treasurer who worked to maximize the return of TX state investments. Richards said that when she took office, the Treasury Department was run something like a 1930s country bank, with deposits that didn't earn interest. At the 1984 Democratic National Convention in San Francisco, CA., Richards delivered one of the fiery nominating speeches for former US Secretary of State Walter Mondale, & she campaigned actively for the Mondale/Ferraro ticket in TX, even though President Ronald Reagan enjoyed great popularity in her home state.
United States Senator William Philip Gramm (R-TX) was born on July 8th, 1942 in Fort Benning,GA & grew up near Columbus. Soon after his birth, Gramm's father, Kenneth Marsh Gramm, a career US Army sergeant, suffered a stroke & was partially paralyzed. He died when Gramm was 14 years old. Gramm's mother, Florence (nee Scroggins), worked double shifts as a nurse to supplement the veterans disability pension.
He attended public schools, graduated in 1961 from Georgia Military Academy (now Woodward Academy) & graduated in 1964 from the University of Georgia. He received his doctorate in economics from the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business in 1967. He then taught economics at Texas A&M University from 1967 to 1978. In addition to teaching, Gramm founded the economic consulting firm Gramm & Associates (1971-1978). Gramm met his wife, Wendy Lee of HI (of Korean & Native Hawaiian ancestry), when she was interviewed by him as a PhD student for a position at Texas A&M University. Gramm, a senior professor, expressed his interest for her after the interview. Six weeks after she arrived on campus, they got married & became the parents of two sons: Jeff & Marshall.
In 1976, Gramm unsuccessfully challenged United States Senator Lloyd Bensten (D-TX) in the May 1976 Dem Primary for United States Senator. Then in 1978, Gramm ran successfully as a Dem for Congress from TX's 6th Congressional District, which stretched from the Fort Worth suburbs to College Station. He was reelected to his House seat as a Dem in 1980 & again in 1982. His voting record in the US House of Representatives was very conservative, even by TX Dem standards at the time. During his first four terms, he tallied an average rating of 89 from the American Conservative Union, & from 1980 to 1982 he garnered the highest rating from that body of any Dem in the TX congressional delegation. In 1981, he co-sponsored the Gramm-Latta budget which implemented President Reagan's economic program, increased military spending, cut other spending, & mandated the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 (the Kemp-Roth Tax Cut).
Just days after being reelected in 1982, Gramm was thrown off the House Budget Committee. In response, Gramm resigned his House seat on January 5th, 1983. He then ran as a GOPer for his own vacancy in a February 12th, 1983 special election, & won easily. One of his many special election opponents was the second-place finisher by only 115 votes in his 1978 Dem primary election, then the newly elected State Senator Chet Edwards (D-Waco), & later US Representative for the 11th & the 17th congressional districts of TX (1991-2011). Another special election opponent was State Rep. Dan Kubiak (D-Rockdale). Gramm became the first GOPer to represent the district since its creation in 1846.
After leaving the House, the seat was retained by US Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX).
In 1984, Gramm was elected as a GOPer to represent TX in the US Senate. He defeated US Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), former gubernatorial nominee Henry Grover, Robert Mosbacher, Jr., of Houston & several other contenders in the GOP Primary in May 1984. He then faced off against the Dem nominee, State Senator Lloyd Doggett (D-Austin) in the general election for the right to succeed retiring United States Senator Bob Krueger (D-TX), who was defeated in the May 5th, 1984. On election night, Gramm easily won handily: garnering 3,116,348 votes (58.5%) to Doggett's 2,207,557 votes (41.5%). Gramm was the first US Senate candidate in the history of TX to receive more than 3 million votes statewide.
In October 1985, Gramm, Fritz Hollings (D-SC) & Warren Rudman (R-NH) sponsored an amendment to establish a budget deficits ceiling that would decline to zero by 1991 that was attached to a bill raising the debt limit of the federal government by more than $250 billion. The amendment was approved by a vote of 75-24 & was stated as a possible prelude to a balanced budget in five years without a tax increase by US Treasury Secretary James Baker: "I think it's important that we recognize the Gramm-Rudman amendment is basically a process designed to give the legislative branch, & in some degree the executive branch, the political will to deal with the deficit. It means it's going to force some action. Given the political will to make the hard choices you can reach balance without having to raise taxes."