Once—sometimes twice—a year, according to the public demand, a solemn little farce is played in Washington. There are always the same actors in the same roles, always the same finale.

Out of the White House comes either Mississippi's Senator Pat Harrison or North Carolina's Bob Doughton, fresh from a lunch with Franklin Roosevelt. (Sometimes they come out together, but this is usually considered bad stagecraft.)

Pausing thoughtfully on the steps, Mr. Harrison sucks heavily on his frankfurter-sized cigar—or Mr. Doughton fiddles with his broad-brimmed sombrero—and says in effect: Revenues are pouring into...

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