Patton in Korea/MacArthur in the White House

Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Douglas MacArthur is handling his job as president?

  • Approve

    Votes: 91 87.5%
  • Disapprove

    Votes: 13 12.5%

  • Total voters
    104
  • Poll closed .
Would the Senate actually confirm him? Because if they would.... I might actually be tempted to do this x'D
I really would recommend not. While he technically has the education for it, Nixon has no judicial experience or aspirations for the Bench. I also am skeptical that he'd be confirmed, but that aside, Nixon's most interesting when he's doing actual policy and Cold War nonsense.
 
I really would recommend not. While he technically has the education for it, Nixon has no judicial experience or aspirations for the Bench. I also am skeptical that he'd be confirmed, but that aside, Nixon's most interesting when he's doing actual policy and Cold War nonsense.
Nixon essentially is better off doing either foreign policy work or as a very pro-civil rights lawyer. He spent a lot of time trying to push abill through under Eisenhower but Eisenhower really watered it down to make it pointless.
 
I really would recommend not. While he technically has the education for it, Nixon has no judicial experience or aspirations for the Bench. I also am skeptical that he'd be confirmed, but that aside, Nixon's most interesting when he's doing actual policy and Cold War nonsense.
Not to mention he absolutely hated being a Lawyer - no way he would want to be on the court.
 
Part V, Chapter 35
CHAPTER 35

The Federal Income Tax Law of 1914 was, in MacArthur’s opinion, one of the worst laws ever passed in the history of the United States. It gave the government virtually unlimited access to the wealth earned by the hard work of the American people, and with no limitations on what that money could then be spent on. The communists took wealth from the people and decided how it was to be spent in their planned economy. No government of a free nation should have been doing the same thing.
Unfortunately, he also knew too well that some evils were necessary, and had to be tolerated for the time being. The budget for fiscal year 1954 (beginning on July 1st, 1953) as prepared by Truman in his last days in office, envisioned around 55 billion dollars of expenditures. About half of that was made up of veterans’ payments, education, infrastructure and social security spending, and payments on the federal debt, among other things. Most of it couldn’t be touched without either legal implications or causing massive disruption to the country in some way: actions of past governments forced his hand. The rest was about $25 billion going to the military, which he had no intention of cutting, and $7 billion in foreign aid and other international spending.
The money, according to Truman and his advisors, would overwhelmingly come from the hated income tax, and a similar corporate tax: together they had predicted $55 billion in revenue from those two taxes, and a further $13 billion in various taxes and excises. Fortunately Truman had found a way to balance the budget before leaving office - that was one campaign promise already fulfilled - indeed he had a good few billion dollars’ surplus to use, but doing things the way they had been done in his younger days and abolishing the income tax entirely was nowhere near possible.
What he could do, and what he was determined to do, was cut the tax rates. When the income tax was introduced, the lowest rate was 1% and the highest, paid by those earning more than $500,000 a year, was 7%. At present, the half-million bracket was gone, but anyone earning over $200,000 a year had to pay a truly excessive 91%, and even the poorest Americans were paying at least 20%, a figure that would have been utterly unthinkable in 1914.

MacArthur had ordered his Treasury and Defence departments to find a suitable lower tax rate that would allow him to maintain a balanced budget even as his new Defence policies were to be implemented. Joseph Dodge, Director of the Bureau of the Budget, had been in charge of finances in Japan, and knew what MacArthur was looking for. At the beginning of March, he had a proposal ready for the President.
Under the proposal, the income tax would be lowered by 10% for every bracket - the poor would now pay 18%, while the top rate would be 82%. “As you have stated in your campaign, sir, taxation is an unfair burden on every citizen, and by reducing taxes equally in this manner, we would be reducing this overall burden in a fair manner.” Dodge summarised. Phil LaFollette was inclined to disagree, emphasising the need to lower taxes by a greater amount for the poor, but MacArthur found his Treasury Secretary’s arguments unconvincing: to be seen favouring one group of citizens over another would challenge the “fair tax relief” ideal. The 10% cuts would stay as is.
The other big tax cut in the proposal covered corporate taxes. The standing rate was 52%, Dodge suggested it be lowered to 44%. That was around a 15% cut, and could be construed as MacArthur favouring business over the working classes, but this discrepancy too could be framed in terms of fairness. Truman had raised corporate taxes to pay for the Korean War, while leaving income taxes where they were, and now that the war had been over for more than a year, it was time to reverse these now-unnecessary demands.
Dodge and the economists had used Truman’s numbers, and tested some of their own, and believed that under the new tax proposal, the federal government would receive about $62 billion in the coming fiscal year, which would leave around $30 billion for the military in a balanced budget with no changes to foreign aid. MacArthur gave the proposal his full approval, and sent what would soon be called the Tax Relief Act of 1953 to Congress.

Congress offered little objection. Tax cuts had been a known vote-winner for as long as votes had been there to win, and these cuts were quite substantial. MacArthur supporters nonetheless pushed hard for the bill’s passage, arguing that it was the solution to the Truman Recession. That recession had technically ended around the time of the election, but economic growth was always an attractive prospect. One amendment was made to the Act, setting the corporate rate to the 1950 level of 42% rather than the 44% Dodge had envisioned, as House Republicans thought Truman’s tax hike was better repealed in full, and then strong majorities in both chambers of Congress quickly made the cuts official. The amendment would cut another billion dollars out of the budget, but that bothered MacArthur not a bit: there was a billion dollar program in the foreign aid budget that he was determined to end, and as soon as he could get a meeting with the French leadership, it would end.

***

Thirty billion dollars put the MacArthur military budget roughly halfway between the nadir of Truman’s “economisation” policy and the height of spending during the Korean War. There was no war on, so there was no need for a mobilisation budget, but MacArthur was not going to neglect the military the way so many of his predecessors had. The United States had needed more than a year to ready itself for World War I after war was declared: even assembling the Rainbow Division had been no easy task in 1917. FDR’s refusal to spend even the bare minimum had left the Philippines open to invasion in 1941. The defence of South Korea (back when it was South Korea) had required pulling scarce resources out of Japan, and Patton had complained many times that the equipment he did receive wasn’t up to scratch. How many more lives needed to be lost before the country would realise the value of preparedness?
The additional $5 billion going to the military, MacArthur decided, would go primarily to the Air Force, with a smaller sum dedicated to the Army. If war came, it would be most likely against either Red China or the Soviet Union, and neither had much ability to project power past their own coastlines. The United States Navy, reinforced by Truman during Korea, was more than up to any task that might be required of it. MacArthur had full confidence that his new Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Arthur Struble, would be able to use his existing assets to great effect.
Chief of Staff of the Army General Matthew Ridgway was ordered to use the increased funding to finish bringing existing divisions back up to full strength: MacArthur would not suffer divisions that had four battalions instead of the proper nine. Once production of the ‘President’ series of tanks: the M47 Taylor and M48 Jackson, had time to be ramped up and distributed, remaining Shermans and Pershings could be sold to allies such as France, Israel and Korea. MacArthur also expressed his wish for existing units in Europe to be redeployed to Korea or back in the United States, although this was not to be carried out without his direct order first. MacArthur said that the Chinese, not the Soviets, represented a greater threat (“Malenkov’s Red Army is deployed for defensive action, while Mao’s sabre is constantly rattling in the Pacific”), and the European powers needed to take greater responsibility for their own defence. Besides, “If we find ourselves engaged in war with either communist power, mass mobilisation will be required regardless of the presence of a couple of divisions at the starting line.”
If the United States found itself engaged in war, MacArthur believed that the first line of defence would come not from the Army, but from the Air Force. His Air Force had been the one military asset truly ready for action at the beginning of the Korean War, and it had not failed him, punishing the NKPA by air long before Patton had even made it into Korea. If the Red Army burst through the Fulda Gap, or the CCF lashed out at Korea or Chiang, the Air Force was to destroy them the same way it had destroyed the North Koreans. It would buy the Army time to get more boots on the ground, and it would lay waste to an opponent’s industrial base. Most importantly, MacArthur declared that there was to be no such thing as a “limited war” where the enemy was afforded safe havens the way Manchuria had been in the Korean War. Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Earle Partridge, was to attack anything that gave the enemy military benefit, and he was promised “as many B-52s as Boeing can build us” to attack them with. Use of nuclear weapons would be subject to Presidential approval (and MacArthur made no immediate changes to the nuclear program). Conventional weapons would not be held back.

Planning to fight World War III as an enlarged Korean War was unsurprising: MacArthur had been successful in Korea and much of his policy was not greatly different from traditional US strategy dating back to the 19th century, only now with a stronger standing army as a base.
What did come as a surprise to just about everyone who heard it was the other pillar of the ‘MacArthur Doctrine’: a shift in diplomatic policy. MacArthur had talked up “preparedness” many times in his campaign, and most people assumed that would mean either a continuation of Truman’s containment policy or a more aggressive ‘rollback’ strategy. The MacArthur Doctrine planned to do just that too… with regards to Communist China.
He had a far bolder vision for the Soviet Union.

MacArthur saw the Soviet strategy for dominance to be one made up of three continental axes. Though he described it as a “flank” in Soviet thinking, Asia would be one of his rivals’ two points of focus. The Soviets had already worked to successfully establish a communist regime in China, but now that they had, they would not use their best troops when allied manpower could further the cause on their behalf - allies that included communist insurgents in Malaya and the Philippines. This was the area the United States had the most influence over, with the alliances MacArthur had inherited and now the focus of his new Defence policy, and if they challenged him directly he felt sure of success.
The other so-called flank in MacArthur’s theory was Africa. His European allies, principally Britain and France, controlled most of the continent through their various colonies, but decolonisation was inevitable and when it happened, the Soviets would seek to exploit the resulting power vacuum to install communist regimes. Owing to the long distance from Soviet borders, their efforts would be those of opportunism more than outright aggression, but Africa would be a priority and those opportunities would be ruthlessly exploited. The United States had little influence in the region, so MacArthur’s approach would be to persuade the British and French to facilitate the transfer of power to native African leaders who would support Western interests instead of communist ones.
The ‘centre’ of Soviet thinking, he described, was Europe. The establishment of NATO meant that the Soviets had little opportunity for gains here, and thus their positioning would be defensive in nature. MacArthur saw little reason for concern here, but as long as the Red Army remained, it would create much paranoia in both military and political circles, in Europe and in the United States.

A lot of the paranoia was centred around Germany, and as long as the paranoia remained his Asian strategies would be resisted. Though he believed the Soviets did not seek direct conflict in Europe, the existence of a separate East and West Germany was a flashpoint for tension. It had been the cause of the Berlin Crisis, and a similar division had sparked war in Korea. His solution to that problem? A neutral, reunified Germany.
Reunification by force was not an option he sought to try. He aimed to prevent a worldwide atomic conflict, not spark one. Reunification by way of diplomacy though, that was a possibility. He had been made aware of the Stalin Note shortly after Stalin had offered such a proposal to Truman, although Truman had plainly ignored it as he did not see the document itself until he found it in the back of one of the drawers of the Resolute Desk. The Democrats had thought Stalin was bluffing, but Stalin wasn’t around any more. Malenkov was, and so far Malenkov had appeared less belligerent and more diplomatic than his predecessor. An agreement with Malenkov was worth pursuing, but only once he had the support of his key European allies.

The time had come for his first international visit as President.

- BNC
 
He had been made aware of the Stalin Note shortly after Stalin had offered such a proposal to Truman, although Truman had plainly ignored it as he did not see the document itself until he found it in the back of one of the drawers of the Resolute Desk. The Democrats had thought Stalin was bluffing, but Stalin wasn’t around any more. Malenkov was, and so far Malenkov had appeared less belligerent and more diplomatic than his predecessor. An agreement with Malenkov was worth pursuing, but only once he had the support of his key European allies.
So we might get a neutral, unified Germany a la neutral Austria? That's intriguing, along with the always neutral Swiss, it basically makes middle Europe a Cold War DMZ (not a literal one since these nations would have some military but no nato or warsaw pacts forces). That could be a huge butterfly for east / west relations moving forward.
 
I gotta admit if Mac pulls this off that's going to have huge ramifications on the cold war. Especially since the only borders that NATO would share with the SU/Warsaw Pact are the Norwegian Border, the Italian Border and if they've still joined like OTL the Greek and Turkish borders. That's going to put NATO in the better position since they have easier borders to defend now.
 
What will MacArthur due with the situation in Indochina, Guatemala, Cuba, Iran, and other related international interventions from the OTL Ike's rule
 
Damn President MacArthur has definitely thought this through. I like his strategy and the details you added as well. Looking forward to seeing Mac's first foreign trip as President. Should be fun.
 

nbcman

Donor
What will MacArthur due with the situation in Indochina, Guatemala, Cuba, Iran, and other related international interventions from the OTL Ike's rule
I think the Author has indicated something about Indochina.
The amendment would cut another billion dollars out of the budget, but that bothered MacArthur not a bit: there was a billion dollar program in the foreign aid budget that he was determined to end, and as soon as he could get a meeting with the French leadership, it would end.

Per the US State Department records the US originally planned about aid to France for the Indochina war for $800M in 1954 but then boosted it by $400M. So it looks like Dougie is turning off the funds
Source: https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1952-54v13p1/d367
 
I think the Author has indicated something about Indochina.
The amendment would cut another billion dollars out of the budget, but that bothered MacArthur not a bit: there was a billion dollar program in the foreign aid budget that he was determined to end, and as soon as he could get a meeting with the French leadership, it would end.

Per the US State Department records the US originally planned about aid to France for the Indochina war for $800M in 1954 but then boosted it by $400M. So it looks like Dougie is turning off the funds
Source: https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1952-54v13p1/d367
If it means the French government properly warns the army that they are negociating an end to the war, that could avoid the disastrous battle of Dien Bien Phu.
 
If it means the French government properly warns the army that they are negociating an end to the war, that could avoid the disastrous battle of Dien Bien Phu.
“Fine. We’ll let you go but no communism!”

EDIT: Was it mentioned if Beria is still around or did Malenkov get rid of him?
 
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So we might get a neutral, unified Germany a la neutral Austria? That's intriguing, along with the always neutral Swiss, it basically makes middle Europe a Cold War DMZ (not a literal one since these nations would have some military but no nato or warsaw pacts forces). That could be a huge butterfly for east / west relations moving forward.
I like Ike, doesn't mean I'm going to copy him!

Germany will be richer... :biggrin:
Always good to have more prosperity around :)

What will MacArthur due with the situation in Indochina, Guatemala, Cuba, Iran, and other related international interventions from the OTL Ike's rule
I've got stuff lined up for Indochina, Guatemala and Iran. Cuba wasn't a big deal until Ike's second term IOTL, so most likely it won't make an appearance.

Damn President MacArthur has definitely thought this through. I like his strategy and the details you added as well. Looking forward to seeing Mac's first foreign trip as President. Should be fun.
Most of that strategy is straight from his memoirs, I'm putting it into action :)

I think the Author has indicated something about Indochina.
:rolleyes:

“Fine. We’ll let you go but no communism!”
If 1972 was anything to go by, the Vietminh would say yes to that, pretend they're not communist until literally the minute the French leave, and then oopsie they decided to be communist now :p

EDIT: Was it mentioned if Beria is still around or did Malenkov get rid of him?
It's not mentioned directly, but I will now. Beria's gone. Cried like a baby before they shot him.

- BNC
 

bguy

Donor
Thirty billion dollars put the MacArthur military budget roughly halfway between the nadir of Truman’s “economisation” policy and the height of spending during the Korean War. There was no war on, so there was no need for a mobilisation budget, but MacArthur was not going to neglect the military the way so many of his predecessors had.

I don't know. IOTL the lowest Eisenhower was ever able to get defense spending down to was 42.5 billion, and MacArthur is barely spending 2/3 of that amount. Given that Eisenhower's OTL defense budgets weren't exactly profligate to begin with so cutting even an additional third off from them is pretty much a starvation diet for the military.

(Which is not to say that Congress wouldn't go for it as I'm sure such a low defense budget when paired with big tax cuts would be very popular.)
 
I don't know. IOTL the lowest Eisenhower was ever able to get defense spending down to was 42.5 billion, and MacArthur is barely spending 2/3 of that amount. Given that Eisenhower's OTL defense budgets weren't exactly profligate to begin with so cutting even an additional third off from them is pretty much a starvation diet for the military.

(Which is not to say that Congress wouldn't go for it as I'm sure such a low defense budget when paired with big tax cuts would be very popular.)
#1, Ike had to worry about West Germany. It's amazing what you can accomplish when you find a way for half of your responsibilities to just disappear.

#2, starvation diet has literally never failed him. Mac didn't learn a damn thing from anything that went wrong in Korea because they won the war in eleven months and were on the Yalu in less than six. (Truman didn't either - hence the '52 defence budget being dropped right back to $25bn). I'm not convinced he learned anything from WWII either - the rare times he talks about his failures are "Washington didn't send the ships they promised me" (in 1942) and "win your naval battle in Leyte fast because I need the air cover" (in 1944). Which comes to:

#3, Mac was a very strong believer in the philosophy of "wait for war to be declared, then mobilise a @#$$%-ton of troops and win the war with them" (ie what was done in the 19th century). Except you also had to a/ train officers*, and b/ have lots of planes. (*= he did a fair bit of complaining after WWI about the budget cuts then, but made a bit of a point of "its fine as long as we have officers").

In those frames of reference, as long as you spend $30bn on planes and officers, it's plenty. Whether those are the right frames of reference to be using in 1953 is another matter...

Loving it. These updates are informative, engaging and concise enough to be easily consumed.
Thanks mate :)

- BNC
 
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