President Reagan

President Reagan - Plunging deficits, skyrocketing defense and thumbed noses at Air-traffic Controllers.

August 18, 1981 – The Budget Deficit And Increased Defense Spending – Reagan On Air Traffic Controllers: “I’m Sure They Were Nice People” – Cracking Down On Crime.

President Reagan
President Reagan – Plunging deficits, skyrocketing defense and thumbed noses at Air-traffic Controllers.
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August 18, 1981 – CBS Radio – Frontline Report – World News Roundup – Newsbreak – 9:00 news – Gordon Skene Sound Collection.

August 18, 1981 – President Reagan was front-and-center in this news this day. Worries over the budget deficit had many scrambling to figure out what went and what stayed in the budge. While everything was getting scrutiny over a possible chopping block, the Defense budget was skyrocketing and according to Reagan, was maintaining a hands-off policy.

High interest rates and a sluggish economy were driving projected budget deficits far higher than previously anticipated. So the Reagan Administration were setting out to look for more budget cuts even for the following fiscal year. Reagan was looking for tens of billions of dollars in additional cuts for fiscal years 1983 and 1984. But Defense as a major target was virtually ruled out. After the previous days’ National Security review of nuclear Defense needs, White House counsellor Edwin Meese said budget considerations would not be a driving force in achieving what the Administration called “the margin of safety”, adding they were not going to be imprudent or wild spenders, but were going to do what needed to be done in order to maintain Defense capability.

Meanwhile, President Reagan, during a Republican fundraiser, made a few choice comments regarding the Air Traffic Controllers Strike, which was now it its second week. The President again emphasized that the walkout was illegal and he had no alternative but to dismiss the strikers. Citing the attitude of two predecessors, FDR and Calvin Coolidge and remarking “I’m sure there were nice people, but I don’t think there was any choice – public employees cannot strike.”

And a bi-partisan task force on violent crime was taking the nation’s pulse and concluded it was time to crack down on criminal suspects. The Attorney Generals office, which called for the task force study as well as a series of crime commission reports, concluded it was time to implement a series of get-tough recommendations, some of which were considered and rejected as too oppressive by earlier Crime commissions. The findings and conclusions all indicated that the only solution to the situation was to implement a get-tough policy by pervading detention of suspects while they were waiting trial. Use in court of evidence seized by police illegally when the illegality was unintentional. Limitations on State’s Prisoners rights to have cases review in Federal court. A change in the insanity defense which permitted deranged defendants to be found guilty but mentally ill and then sentenced to periods of treatment and imprisonment and $2 billion in Federal funds to help the states build more prisons.

All that and a lot more or this August 18th, 1981 as reported by CBS Radio News.

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