The Nation: Don't Get Your Hopes Up'

During his run for the presidency, Jimmy Carter pledged to balance the federal budget by the end of his first term and to increase spending for social programs. His changes in the fiscal 1978 budget, which are going to Congress this week, reflect that precarious balancing act. There are some cuts—but not too many. There is some additional spending—but not too much. The revised budget will not make anybody very happy, but then it will not make anybody too unhappy either. In short, it is quintessential Carter.

Carter has increased former President Ford's budget from $440 billion to $459 billion, with an...

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