The Congress: Wilbur's Full House

"All those men have their price," sneered England's 18th century Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole, speaking of his opposition. In Wilbur Mills's case, the price came high: $6 billion sliced from the proposed 1968-69 federal budget of $186 billion. Not a cent less, insists the flinty House Ways and Means Committee chairman, will coax a mulish Congress to stomach a 10% surcharge on personal and corporate income taxes in an election year.

With the graven mien of a frontier gambler who has peeked at his opponent's hole card, the Arkansas Democrat has stood pat against Lyndon Johnson — himself the...

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