Bubbles in the Red Ink

Gurgle, gurgle, the budget is sinking

When they first saw the budget, Congressmen of both parties let out a bipartisan howl. Then they quieted down to plot strategy and develop proposals of their own. By last week trial balloons containing alternative budget plans were floating above Capitol Hill. For President Reagan, the question had become when, not whether, he would join the budget bargaining. "If you want to present a comprehensive proposal," he told G.O.P. leaders, "then we'll be happy to talk."

Any remaining chance that Reagan's 1983 budget would be passed intact was lost at midweek when Republican Senator Pete Domenici of...

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