THE PRESIDENCY: The Cost of Security

In the new State Department building's softly lighted auditorium, which he had pre-empted for the occasion, Harry Truman presented his 1952 budget to the press. Mrs. Truman and Margaret, whom he had invited because they wanted to see where all the money went, sat in a back row thumbing a 265-page summary of the 1,089-page full-size edition. The ladies listened attentively to the President, occasionally peered at the documents.

So did the newsmen. In the two costliest years of World War II (1944 and 1945) the U.S. had spent $168.2 billion for men and armaments. The President...

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