The controversy over the budget is much more than a debate about how much should be spent in 1977 on the military, or social programs. It is more than a struggle between two branches of the federal government--the legislative and the executive-- over which body should determine the national priorities. Ultimately questions are raised about the viability of the democratic planning process in the warfare/welfare state, and how the people--the governed--can be adequately represented in the process. All of these issues are touched on explicitly or implicitly by Congresswoman Holtzman in the debate (although, to be sure, she was most concerned with improving the flexibility of the budgeting process). For these reasons, the discussion is worth preserving.

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