For The Peace Dividend, The `Defining Moment' Is Now

Groan. It's budget time again. That must mean a whole new round of arcane disputes over process and a few feints at fiscal discipline. Nothing, it seems, ever changes. But two events--the collapse of the Soviet Union and out-of-control health care costs--may give real people a stake in the capital's budget decisions. A year ago, General H. Norman Schwarzkopf called the Persian Gulf war a "defining moment." In its way, so is the budget debate.

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