Turkey And Trimmings

At the last moment, a half-baked deal is cut

In the dark days after last month's stock-market crash, there was one glimmer of hope: the calamity would shock Washington out of its derelict disregard of the deficit and force some courageous budget decisions on Congress and the White House. With great fanfare and high expectations, a "domestic summit" was convened. President Reagan agreed to drop his reflexive opposition to any taxes. Congressional leaders made so many declarations about the need for cooperation that they began to sound almost sincere. Partisan quarrels would be set aside. Now was the time for bold action.

After four intensive weeks, the talks ended last...