The Economy: Damn the Deficit

When President Kennedy announced back in January that he expected a modest budget surplus of about $500 million in 1962-63, the few faint cheers were drowned out by a storm of skepticism. The President's expectations were based on more ifs than Rudyard Kipling had in his famous poem: if the economy improved its pace, if Government spending did not rise, if Congress enacted higher postal rates when the Administration wanted them, if the farm bill was passed and had a chance to cut costs. It was if, if, if—and hardly any of the ifs turned out. As a result,...

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