Section One

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March 31, 1966: “Watch That Carpet, Fella”
Washington Post

A few days before this cartoon appeared, President Johnson had signed a supplemental appropriations bill that provided $13.1 billion—the amount he had requested—for the Vietnam War. At the same time, LBJ was meeting with his top domestic advisors, asking them to trim expenditures in nonmilitary sectors of the budget so that the deficit could be held to its predicted level.

Herblock, a strong supporter of LBJ’s War on Poverty programs, made a number of cartoons critical of Johnson’s changing priorities, which were reflected in bigger military budgets and cuts for domestic programs. Judging by the number of Herblock’s cartoons on this theme, as opposed to those dealing directly with LBJ and Vietnam, he seemed more disturbed by Johnson’s cuts in the War on Poverty than by the Vietnam War itself.