In 1992 Russia was in terrible economic shape after the fall of the Soviet Union. Keeping up with the United States military expenditures had bankrupted the Russians. The United States which had strategically increased its defense spending to break the Russian economy if they tried to keep up. However, the U. S. expenditures had forced America into a deficit spending period which produced a national deficit greater than all the previous cumulative deficits in our history. So the American economy was not in great shape either. Meanwhile, Japan, whose constitution (imposed by America after WWII) forbade having a military and funding a military. The result was the Japanese economy was growing at a much more rapid rate, and did not have the unbalanced budget of the United States and Russia. Hence, Tsongas’ observation.