Essay: READING THE BUDGET FOR FUN & PROFIT

STANDING somewhere between Nostradamus and a Wall Street broker, the President of the U.S. each year draws up a federal budget-essentially a forecast of events as they are expected to occur as much as 18 months hence. The law requires him to perform this task, but there is no law that says he has to stick to his budget. This extraordinary leverage over the public purse has been gradually wrested from Congress, which over the years has ceded its once jealously held fiscal powers to the White House. Today, the President does not consider...