Act II, Scene 1, Form 1040

Lots of characters in search of a tax cut

Act I of Ronald Reagan's economic program came off without a hitch. In Scene 1, two weeks ago, the President's budget proposal sailed through the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives. In last week's predictable though impressive Scene 2, the Senate passed the budget 78 to 20—a margin so wide that had not a single Republican voted (and 50 out of 52 voted aye), the Democrats alone would have carried the measure.

But even before that scene was over, the impresario was turning his attention to the much trickier second act. At a White House...

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