Last in A Dreary Line: Clinton's Budget Vow

New figures end his hope of halving the federal deficit in four years

RONALD REAGAN PLEDGED TO BALANCE THE BUDGET by 1984. Congress, in the first, 1985, version of the Gramm-Rudman Act, promised to wipe out the deficit by 1990. Bill Clinton in last year's campaign merely proposed to cut red ink in half in four years. But if his vow was more modest, it was not, apparently, any more realistic than -- well, George Bush's prediction three years ago of a balance by fiscal 1993. In fact, Bush's final budget reveals that during his Administration the deficit nearly doubled, rising to an expected $327.3 billion in fiscal 1993 -- the current year. Forecast...

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