President Reagan takes his case for further spending cuts to the American public tonight. Earlier in the week, the President's top advisers met to find new ways to trim spending to meet the administration's goals of holding the 1982 deficit to
Treasury Secretary Donald Regan told Congress on Tuesday that the President will propose additional reductions of $16 billion in 1982, but did not say whether the administration will accede to congressional pressure and drop a proposal to defer cost-of-living increases in social security benefits. Mr. Regan also said the President will not retreat from his tax cut program despite suggestions from Capitol Hill that the cut scheduled to take effect Oct. 1 be postponed to keep the deficit from swelling.
In a letter to Congress, Agriculture Secretary John Block said the food stamp program will have to be cut an additional 12 to 15 percent on top of the $1.65 billion slice already approved by Congress. The new cuts would be needed to counteract the effects of inflation, he said.
Although Congress has indicated it will seek larger cuts in plans to boost defense spending, an administration official says the President intends to hold reductions in Pentagon increases to $2 billion next year.
Another administration official has said the President will announce plans to abolish the Department of Energy. During the presidential campaign, Mr. Reagan promised to eliminate both the Energy and Education Departments.
Much as he has in the past, Reagan is expected to rely on his powers of personal persuasion to carry the message of a new age of austerity directly to the public.