As progress stalled and truce talks broke down over the Civil War in El Salvador, unrest and fighting continued. Only the tentative promise that there would be more talks was any sort of glimmer of hope that this seemingly never-ending civil war would come to an end.
But tentative was the operative word – and this first day of December in 1984 peace was iffy at best.
There was other news going on – the recently installed Jarvik 7 in artificial heart recipient William Schroeder was resting this morning, after a few trial runs with the power supply that doctors hoped would free him from his hospital room. The first trial run was 22 minutes the day before, with power run from a portable battery pack and for an hour later that day. Doctors were gradually increasing the time Schroeder spent on the portable system during the next few days, although the FDA approved the portable driver for a use of 3 hours maximum. Doctors were also addressing the accompanying emotional and physical aspects of adjusting to the new device; the ups and downs and the exhaustion associated with this new piece of technology.
President Reagan was busy working on his Federal deficit cutting proposal, which was now estimated at some $2 billion. Aides said he was making a tentative decision to hold overall spending to 1984’s total. But so far he hadn’t looked at Defense which was expected to cost more. Subsequently, the Freeze concept was growing in popularity on Capitol Hill because it was considered a painless way of addressing budget cuts. An across-the-board freeze would have the effect of cutting every program, popular or unpopular by the same amount in real terms, by the amount of inflation in each year. An example was; if inflation was 4% and the appropriation for low-income energy assistance was kept the same, poor families would be able to get 4% less heat. But the freeze appealed only if everyone was hurt by the downside. But many felt President Reagan would exempt Defense to a great degree and a few other programs – so the pain was expected to be greater for some than for others. So pressure was on the President to make deeper Defense cuts – but, it was also pointed out; the Freeze talk was all tentative.
And that’s a small slice of news for this first day of December in 1984, as presented by The CBS World News Roundup.