How Reagan Decides

Intense beliefs, eternal optimism and precious little adaptability

Intense beliefs, eternal optimism and precious little adaptability

The tension was palpable in the Cabinet Room of the White House as David Stockman passed out photocopied sets of his revised 1984 budget figures. One page was missing. "The Xerox machine gagged on the numbers," he quipped. The machine had good reason. Stockman had put together the deepest cuts in social spending that the Administration could hope to coax out of Congress with the most optimistic assumptions it could make about economic growth and job creation, and the bottom...