November 12, 1981

Memorandum for Heads of Departments and Agencies

Subject: 1983 Budget

During the next six weeks, I expect to make final decisions on nearly all aspects of the 1983 budget that I must submit to the Congress in January. This budget will reflect my firm commitment to hold down government spending and reduce the serious adverse effect that government spending and government-stimulated borrowing is having on the national economy.

In September, you were advised of the outlay ceilings for 1983 and 1984 that I approved for your department or agency for the purpose of guiding the development of the request that you have submitted to the Office of Management and Budget. There will be very few, if any, cases where it will be possible for us to exceed those outlay ceilings. In some cases, it will be necessary to go even lower.

The Office of Management and Budget is reviewing your requests, and you will begin receiving the results of these reviews. I hope that there will be very few appeals but, if you find that an appeal is absolutely necessary, you should submit that appeal within 72 hours of the time you are notified of the initial decision. I have instructed Dave Stockman and his staff to work with you to resolve as many appeals as possible.

If some unresolved issues remain, I will look to the Budget Review Board that I established last July (consisting of Ed Meese, Jim Baker and Dave Stockman) to meet with you to consider any remaining appeal. You should be prepared to submit any matter unresolved at that level to me within 24 hours after you are advised of the Board's decision.

We have made good progress in bringing the size and cost of government under control, but we have a long way to go. Your continued cooperation in this effort is sincerely appreciated.

Ronald Reagan

Note: The text of the memorandum was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on November 13.