Dick Darman: Man in The Muddle

Dick Darman helped create the budget mess, but he can't find a way to solve it

The year is 1981, the uncertain dawn of the supply-side revolution. David Stockman, Ronald Reagan's Budget Director, is standing in the White House parking lot talking with Richard Darman, a powerful presidential assistant. A crisis is at hand: frenzied Republican and Democratic lawmakers are piling additional giveaways onto Reagan's tax-cut bill. Unless they can be stopped, ( the nation will be burdened with deficits in the hundreds of billions for years to come. "I don't know which is worse," says Darman, "winning now and fixing up the budget mess later, or losing now and facing a political mess immediately."

Moments later,...

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