MONEY: Empty Pockets on a Trillion Dollars a Year

CAN a nation with a trillion-dollar economy be running out of money? That startling question is forcing itself upon every government official who must shape a budget, from President Nixon down to the head of the smallest local mosquito-abatement district. By most measures of private wealth, the U.S. is the world's richest country. But in terms of its ability to pay for the public services—health care, education, welfare, garbage pickup, pollution control, police and fire protection—that make the life of its citizens pleasant, or at least tolerable, or in some cases even possible, the country seems almost to be going broke....

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