Friendly Fire: How The Budget Could Blast The PentagonAmy Borrus
The magic asterisk is one of the oldest fallbacks for harried budget writers. Pressed for time, budgeteers will often pencil in a number and promise the details later. In 1981, for example, Ronald Reagan's budget pledged $70 billion in future "management savings" that never materialized. While Bill Clinton's first fiscal effort generally won praise for honesty, it contains a monumental asterisk: $127 billion worth of defense cuts over the next five years, with no details on what programs will be affected. Defense contractors and the armed services are worried--and with good reason.
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