The beans are bubbling, the ham's a-roast, A new year dawns. But let us toast Not with champagne, but rather gin, 'Cause it looks a lot like where we've been. From trimming budgetary fats To shrinking pay for bureaucrats And tossing rules out by the ton -- It quite resembles '81. There's an eerie sense of deja vu (And even a Mandate No. II). So we predict, as sure as sin, The fiscal fights will soon begin, With bitter words and endless brawling, And lots of anguished caterwauling. But first, dear readers, lend an ear, As we salute the passing year.

To those who toiled through '84, We drain our glass and reach for more. Some tired, though, of public hector And left us for the private sector. So say farewell to T.H. Bell, Who says the schools have gone to hell. Who'll get his niche? And for how long? (Reagan still thinks ED doesn't belong.) To Bill Smith, who is outward bound, Now that a special sleuth has found, After digging deep in the matter's heart, No lawless deeds on Meese's part. Salud, Bill Ruckelshaus! Mr. Clean Departs the EPA again: "It wasn't the battles that I lost, I merely analyzed benefit/cost." To Bolger, Bill, we send our best. (We shipped it out by UPS.) We'll hold off Jeane Kirkpatrick's toast, In case she finds a worthy post. As for Paul Thayer: We'll wait to see What comes of his spat with the SEC.To others who left when clouds rolled in: Regards to Daniel Benjamin. From DOL, he set his sail, "Was all in work," the man did wail. And cheers to FEMA's Fred Villella, In Emmitsburg, he built a villa. But others simply grew too weary Of answering every congressional query. That cocklebur, Feldstein, M., has fled Back to Harvard. And now it's said There's no more need for the CEA If it can't make deficits go away. Farewell to del Real and Brandt As they tiptoe from HHS' tent; To Ray Arnett, Carruthers, Garrey, Nancy Steorts and Carmen, Jerry. Prost, Michael Pertschuk! Abrams, Phil, and Cathie Shattuck, Ripley, Dillon, Richard Lyng and Donald Sowle, Zimmerman, Don, and Sickon, Joe. Farewell, Thorne Auchter! Chris DeMuth! We'll miss you all, to tell the truth. Were it not for all you do and say, How would this page come out each day?

A round of drinks, now, for the crew That vows to stay through Reagan II. To Baldrige, Mac, who'd like to change His job to one of smaller range. "A Trade Department makes more sense," He said. "Out, NOAA! Get thee hence!" Alas, though, here things go to fuzz. Bill Brock thinks trade is what HE does. Hail, Hodel, Don! and Bill P. Clark Who thinks Interior's quite a larkBut keeps an eye on the highest court. (Ron Reagan rather likes his sort.) Cheers, Donald Regan! (A pity that Your tax proposals fell so flat.) To Weinberger, Cap, our awestruck bows. (He's cornered all the sacred cows.) Star Wars, MX, spy satellites -- "I need 'em all! And more, besides!" John Block, to farmers' woeful groans, Declared they'd do without fed loans. But at Farmer's Home, they found a stash, And lent his partner piles of cash. If George Shultz has his way at State, The FSOs will celebrate As conservatives beat a quick retreat To help Jesse guard the tobacco leaf. And Liddy Dole? Well, Ron sure needs her 'Cause she goes home and feeds a "Leader." Sam Pierce, too, will stay around While housing programs tumble down. To Maggie Heckler, here's some bubbly, To get you through your row with hubby. And Donovan, who the last we sighted Was the only Cabinet man indicted.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot, Because of all the grief they brought? Heck, no! So Burford, Anne, was sent To advise on the environment. It so upset the wildlife bunch They couldn't eat their White House lunch. So she withdrew, but wasn't miffed. "A nothingburger," Burford sniffed. Less felicitous phrases, too, were heard (Though Barbara Bush let us guess the word). Even her husband, so proper and straight, Crowed what he'd kicked in the candidates' debate. "Sports talk," he said, by way of explaining. (So is "personal foul" and "out of training.")

It's New Year's! Can it really be The sunset of the CAB? And more, if Stockman has his way: The Bureau of Rec, the SBA. But fittingly, we find, for instance, The Archives has its independence. For the coming year, NASA's on course. They sure know how to pick a horse. Jake Garn to space? No teacher, guys? (Jake's better seated, committee-wise.) We see it coming, in this space age, Galactical junkets will be all the rage. A USIA toast? It shouldn't be missed! And to all the folks on its old black list. Rights for have-nots and for haves Is the New Year's wish of Linda Chavez. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Now sees bias by different lights. Here's a question for '85: Will goals and timetables survive After extended scrutiny By Clarence Thomas and th' EEOC? Conservatives thought it was terrific: The Court found student aid program-specific But lib'rals thought it quite a pity They could not overturn Grove City.

The CIA gave us a chill With its little tome on how to kill. (Or, at least, we must surmise That's what they meant by "neutralize.") Congress, when it heard the matter, Decried the book with a great clatter. "We didn't know that boys play tough When they go to war in jungles rough." The World Court thought we shouldn't oughta Put mines in Nicaragua's water. But the White House, faced with that admonition, Declared the Court lacked jurisdiction. Now let's not let long-running feuds Dampen all our holiday moods. Shake hands, both Richards, Burt and Perle And your strategic plans unfurl. The time is ripe for you to weave a Missile blueprint for Geneva.

Hail, public servants, small and great! From Cabinet chief to GS-8. We salute the toil of government, nd wish it could be kept solvent. To programmers, lawyers and typing pools, To lobbyists, clerks and writers of rules, From those who measure society's norms, To the folks who check the IRS forms. We hope, as we start this year's rat race, No FOIA finds you with egg on your face. And pray (silently) that you survive E'en after RIF notices arrive. So as the year sails out of port, We wish you good fortune! -- The Federal Report