Plunging into the Red Ink

Reagan's budgetmakers find it easier to leak than to cut

Medicaid, veterans' benefits, farm price supports. Civil service pensions, aid to mass transit, student loans. Plus . . . well, not defense or Social Security. But name almost any other federal spending program, and somebody in Washington was telling reporters last week that it might be cut deeply in the budget that Ronald Reagan will send to Congress early next year.

The rumors reflected the frustration of budgetmakers who have been handed an almost impossible assignment. Briefly put, a sharper than expected slowdown in...

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