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January 19, 1984
P.M. Lubbers of the Netherlands arrived. He’s battling for ec. recovery in his own country. He’s concerned though about his Parliament and how they are going to react to deployment of nuclear cruise missiles [. . .] He seems to understand the need but the Soviet propaganda has created an anti-nuke group. I’m appointing Ed Meese to succeed Bill S. as A.G. This is his life long dream—his main interest is & has always been law enforcement. My decision was taken well by Mike & Jim. Bill will announce on Monday. I hope we dont have any leaks. Admin. time and I was honored by acceptance into the religious heritage hall of fame. Then the international Kiwanis Pres. brought me a clock. Had a picture taken with my “junkyard dogs.” This is the Council on Integrity & Efficiency—our Inspectors General who’ve done a great job on ferreting out waste etc.—so far about $31 bil. worth. Earlier Ed, Jim & Don Regan came in with a budget plan which does involve some loophole closing in taxes—mainly some Xmas tree items the special interests hung on our 1981 tax reduction. With this is an ongoing plan for budget reductions. Together they are a down payment on an ongoing program to reduce the deficits leading toward a balanced budget. It may work. I’ve said OK. Our group on physical fitness gathered in the St. dining room. Geo. Allen heads it up. This group of private citizens with no govt. money is building a national physical fitness academy in Indianapolis. Then a farewell party for Dave Gergen.