One Last Hand of Budget Poker

Reagan and O'Neill get ready to call each other's bluff

The urgent negotiations between Administration officials and congressional leaders were carried out in uncommon secrecy. Twice the group met at 7 a.m. at George Bush's house; each time the Vice President had already left for work, to throw sniffing journalists off the scent. There were dawn breakfasts at the homes of top White House Aide James Baker and House Budget Committee Chairman Jim Jones. The impressive result: tentative agreement on a sweeping plan to reduce the projected 1983 deficit by billions through spending cuts, adjustments to the Social Security program and new...

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