As Under Secretary (1961 - 1964) to Treasury Secretary C. Douglas Dillon, Henry H. Fowler (1908 - 2000) had spent much of his time with Congress promoting the passage of the Kennedy Administration's tax reform program. Appointed Secretary of the Treasury by President Johnson, he had to face the problems of inflation and a trade deficit, both of which had been exacerbated by massive spending due to the war in Vietnam.
Sec. Henry H. Fowler
Irving Resnikoff as "Charles J. Fox"
Oil on canvas
54 1/2 x 44 1/4 x 1 1/2
To spur economic growth, Fowler's immediate predecessors had administered "Keynesian" policies combining tax incentives and tax cuts. Fowler had to employ the next and less popular step in the Keynesian approach: tax increases to slow the economy and curb inflation. In order to pay the increasing expenses of the Vietnam War, Fowler lobbied and won Congressional approval for a ten- percent tax surcharge in June 1967. Another Fowler concern was the trade deficit, which had continued to grow throughout the Johnson years. He implemented a tax on foreign securities and urged corporations to place voluntary restraints on overseas investments. Fowler resigned one month before the end of Johnson's term to become a private banker.
About the Artist
Portraying himself as the son of a well-known Austrian artist, Leo Fox, under the pseudonym Charles J. Fox, obtained portrait commissions from many eminent members of society and the Government. In reality, Irving Resnikoff (1897 - 1988), a Russian immigrant artist living in New York, painted the portraits from photographs. In addition to the Treasury Collection "Fox" portraits of Secretaries Dillon and Fowler, Fox is represented in official Washington in the collections of the Army, the Supreme Court, and the U.S. Capitol.