The Administration: A Tough Year

More than any other state document, the annual budget forces a President to translate rhetoric into reality, to assign priorities and price tags to his visions. The budget's cold columns leave no room for fantasies—just stark, unyielding figures. In the budget for fiscal 1968 that Lyndon Johnson is sending to Congress this week, bound in a subdued, rust-colored cover, the priorities are baldly stated. The President calls for a sizable increase in defense spending to sustain the Viet Nam war, with a complementary slowdown—though not an actual decrease—in Great Society spending.

Despite the size of the budget—a...

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