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December 21, 1983
Two budget meetings—coming to wrap up time. We aren’t making the dent in spending we should but the biggest bundle of spending is Soc. Security, medicare, pensions etc. We do have a proposal for medicare that will result in savings; however it calls for higher share costs for the recipients in short illnesses but makes up for it with catastrophic (no limit) insurance. Still I’ll bet we get pilloried for proposing it. Geo. B. & Geo. S. & I had lunch in the V.P. office. Japan & it’s election was subject of most of the conversation. Then Geo. S. & I had a session on the Middle East. We are agreed we must do something to get some movement in the peace process without waiting for settlement of the Lebanon problem. Some desk work & then went up to the 2nd floor of the West wing & did a Merry Christmas drop in on all the offices there. In these 3 years I had never been up there before. Tonite 8:15 Senior Staff party here in the W.H. Half our people couldn’t get here—an ice storm had the streets impassable.