Nation: Cost of Living

"These are extraordinary times," said President Kennedy in his second State of the Union speech of the year. "We face an extraordinary challenge."

The times and the challenge were extraordinary indeed, and the nation was deeply disturbed by the record of Communist successes and stalemates, from Laos and Cuba to Geneva and outer space. Mindful of his European trip, the President added: "I am here to promote the freedom doctrine."

As President Kennedy reckoned it, the cost of living in cold war had never been higher: in all, it added up to $1.9 billion in new requests, on top of the 1962 federal...

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