Reagan's Defense Buildup

Archive Report

Spending and Politics

Fiscal 1985 Budget and Five-Year Plan

Even before feb. 1, when President Reagan asked for a 13 percent increase in defense spending for fiscal 1985, it was assumed that Congress would not give him as much as he wanted. Almost everyone agreed that Reagan's request for $305 billion in spending authority for the Pentagon had to be cut, mainly to staunch the enormous budget deficits the federal government has been running up in recent years.1 The president himself conceded the point March 15 when he agreed to support a deficit-reduction package that would cut the increase in defense spending to slightly more than 7 percent. So far, however, there has been little serious debate about the larger security issues raised by Reagan's long-term ...

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