he federal government has but two ways to balance its budget: raise taxes or reduce expenditures. The former is easy; anyone can contrive new levies. But new taxes may bring forth the wrath of those who are to bear them, which may spell political defeat to the legislators who impose them. A reduction in expenditures may be equally dangerous. To slash popular entitlements and transfer benefits may amount to political suicide.
When, shortly after World War II, the first electronic computers were placed into service, they occupied large rooms, contained miles of wire and hundreds of vacuum tubes, and cost many thousands of dollars. Today, a computer with similar capabilities fits on a desk top and, de spite rampant inflation, costs less than $1,000. The early computers consumed enough power to drive a locomotive; the modern computer uses less electricity than a television set.