The Economy: Guessing Games on Taxes

The performance bristled with suspense. First, Louisiana's Democratic Congressman Hale Boggs hustled back to Washington after a conference at the L.B.J. ranch with word that the President might request a tax increase of as much as $15 billion. Lyndon Johnson dismissed the report, sniffing that "guesses will be made from time to time—that is a democratic privilege." Next, Gardner Ackley, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, flew down to Austin with a report as bright as the Texas sun: 1967, he said, should bring a "more balanced, moderate kind of growth," with fewer slowdowns or inflationary pressures. Did this...

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