Rolling Stones Song Becomes Bush Budget Battle Cry

By | April 9, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Along with a tall stack of budget documents, a White House official Monday gave a handful of reporters a copy of their unofficial theme song: the 1969 Rolling Stones classic “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”

The song’s refrain “You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, you might find, you get what you need,” has become a mantra for President Bush’s budget writers as they have tried to balance the many interests vying for a piece of the $1.96 trillion U.S. federal budget.

“It’s been kind of our internal battle cry for the last several months,” said Office of Management and Budget spokesman Chris Ullman, saying he had given the song to four reporters partly to show “we do have a witty side here in budget land.”

“When you are budgeteer you are at the center of a spending vortex. You have a lot of competing interests. It’s very challenging to try to satisfy them all,” he added. “This song has provided us comfort at times when the competing interests were causing us angst.”

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