The $130 billion in tax increases and spending cuts over the next three years that Congress wrapped up Thursday night differ markedly from the deficit reductions that President Reagan proposed in his budget six months ago.
Congress increased taxes $98.3 billion, or twice what Reagan recommended, and cut so-called entitlement or basic benefit programs $30 billion, or about half what he proposed.
Congress cut most of what Reagan wanted from the Medicare program for the elderly, but put more of the burden on hospitals and doctors and less on the patients.
It cut considerably less than he wanted from Medicaid for the poor, Aid to Families with Dependent Children (welfare), food stamps and loans for college students.
Neither Reagan nor Congress moved to touch Social Security in an election year, although they both took aim at the benefits of federal retirees.
The budget resolution Congress passed with Reagan's endorsement in June envisions, on top of the entitlement cuts voted this week, cuts in both domestic and defense appropriations.
In targets for appropriations savings, too, there are major differences from Reagan's original recommendations.
Congress' target of $35 billion in domestic appropriations cuts is about half what Reagan proposed. Moreover, Congress has committed itself to $26 billion in cuts from the massive military buildup that Reagan recommended in his budget, about one-quarter of the new spending that the president wanted.
In all, the deficit reductions that Congress hopes to make -- $380 billion, including the tax increase as well as spending cuts -- are about $100 billion more than Reagan proposed.
One of the main reasons is that a congressional recomputation of Reagan's budget pointed to deficits far higher than Congress felt it could swallow, especially for future years.
In addition, some of Reagan's proposals for cuts in social welfare spending were clearly not going to pass, meaning the deficits would be even higher -- as high as $182 billion for next year alone if none of the cuts were made.
In all, the cuts, those to be made in the future as well as those enacted this week, take less from social welfare and more from taxes and defense.
Congress, for instance, is balking at Reagan's proposal to end subsidized housing programs. It also appears determined to save the Legal Services Corp. for the poor. Reagan wants to shut it down. Congress intends to make far fewer cuts in education than Reagan is seeking.