THE BUDGET: A Tug of Political War

In the election year game of tug of war shaping up between Richard Nixon and the Democratic-controlled Congress, both sides last week exerted an important political yank. The President, as expected, formally warned legislators that federal spending in fiscal 1973 must be kept to a maximum of $250 billion, and he threatened to veto bills "calling for excessive spending, which threatens the federal budget." Nixon was clearly worried by the nation's ballooning deficit, which is expected to reach $35 billion in the current fiscal year.

The Democrats challenged Nixon's hold-that-line dictum on two counts. First, they warned, any such ceiling...

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