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Slipping away

“In his attempt to keep planning for the war as closely held as possible, Lyndon Johnson would not give accurate economic projections, would not ask for a necessary tax raise, and would in fact have his own military planners be less than candid with his own economic planners . . . . The reasons for Johnson’s unwillingness to be straightforward about the financing were familiar. He was hoping that the worst would not come true, that it would remain a short war, and he feared that if the true economic cost of the war became visible to the naked eye, he would lose his Great Society programs. The result was that his economic planning was a living lie . . . the Great Society programs were passed but never funded on any large scale.” – David Halberstam, The Best and the Brightest (emphasis in original)

Published inDavid HalberstamEconomicsPolitics & LawThe Vietnam War

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