The Nation: Don't Underestimate Bert

As director of the Office of Management and Budget, Thomas Bertram Lance, 45, is managing three of President Carter's top-priority projects: balancing the budget by 1980, reorganizing the bureaucracy and preventing runaway inflation. Last week, as Lance weighed the final revisions of the fiscal 1978 budget, TIME Correspondent Philip Taubman called on him and sent this report:

Up by 4 a.m. and in the office by 7, he reviewed the budget changes, huddled with top Carter Aide Hamilton Jordan on Government reorganization, appeared on a radio talk show and chatted with Carter three times. Then he went over the CIA budget with...

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