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December 17, 1984
Cap W. came over. Bud M. had worked out some figures indicating Defense could trim more than Caps compromise bud. proposal. Cap had also worked out some new figures. This cut in outlays was bigger than Buds but in Budget Authority he was higher. We arrived at a settlement we’ll go with.
Time to present awards to some civil service management people for creating efficiencies etc.
We had an N.S.P.G. meeting again on our negotiating posture in the upcoming meeting with Gromyko & the arms talks. I believe the Soviets have agreed to the talks only to head off our research on a strategic defense against nuc. wpns. I stand firm we cannot retreat on that no matter what they offer.
The international champion Barber Shop Quartet came by for a photo & sang a song (my kind of music).
Greeted incoming White House Fellows then dropped by 3 Xmas parties at E.O.B.—N.S.C., Speechwriters & Personnel Last go around at 6:15 the W.H. reception for the S.S. Had a meeting—Arthur Burns—who plugged for retaining the Ec. Advisory Board. Dave S. had suggested elimination. I think Arthur’s right. Jack Block came by to tell me his plan to turn Agriculture back to the free mkt.—I buy that.