THE ECONOMY: The Great Bite

For a cast-iron conservative, Treasury Secretary George Humphrey found himself in an embarrassing and awkward role last week: defender of the biggest peacetime budget in the nation's history. The budget that President Eisenhower had just sent to Congress called for expenditures of $71.8 billion in 1958, nearly $3 billion more than in fiscal 1957 (ending next June 30). It was a balanced budget, but the estimated surplus, $1.8 billion, was too narrow to permit tax cuts. Ike proposed to use it to pare a chip off the $270-odd billion national debt.

Humphrey's dissatisfaction with the budget was obvious in his remarks...

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