The best reading in the federal budget in recent years has been the unsigned "Chapter 3," an essay entitled "Budget Program and Trends" by Office of Management and Budget Director David A. Stockman. The document is filled with Stockmanesque logic and language; for instance, last year's version documented a "staggering" rise in the interest the government has to pay on the national debt.

Also last year, Stockman wrote hopefully about reducing spending to less than 20 percent of the gross national product by the end of the decade, a goal that now seems more distant.

This year Stockman has decided not to write the essay. One official said he has been too busy with late-breaking budget developments.

Noting that Senate Republicans are writing their own budget plan before President Reagan's is formally submitted, another official said, "Maybe we should let Bob Dole write it." Dole is Senate majority leader.

This year's explanatory chapter probably will be staff-written "boilerplate," officials said.

ABOUT THAT PAY CUT . . Right after word got out that Reagan will propose a 5 percent pay cut for federal workers, the White House announced that Reagan and other top officials would be willing to take a 10 percent pay cut.

Not much has been heard of the 10 percent cut, and you won't find it in Reagan's fiscal 1986 budget document. Why? An official said the savings are smaller than the so-called "rounding-off error" in the nearly trillion-dollar budget.

In Los Angeles over the New Year's holiday, Reagan signed a little-noticed executive order that, among other things, gave top officials, including the vice president, Cabinet members and White House aides, a 3.5 percent pay raise for calendar 1985, the same as other federal workers received. LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAK . . .

In a recent interview with the Dallas Morning News, Reagan suggested that reporters check with the administration before publishing leaks about national security policies. Reagan didn't bring it up, but his remark came after Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger criticized The Washington Post for publishing a story about the Pentagon's cargo on a forthcoming space shuttle mission.

Asked about "faults" of the media, Reagan said, "I've never had any complaints" about the Dallas paper, and added:

". . . I think inside the beltline here, in Washington, is kind of a company town. And the great search for leaks, and the premature billing of something as a fact when many times it isn't a fact, this can become a problem. It can become a problem, for example, on the international scene. To take a leak, some information from someone who won't let their name be used, and take this as valid enough to print on the front page of a paper, and then leave us with having to mend fences with some friendly government that is offended by this misinformation -- and there have been cases of that kind.

"I guess all that I would like to say is I wish that the media that does so much of that, that portion of the media, I wish that they would have an ethic in which they would check that out with us to see whether it, in some way, might be harmful to our national security; and take our word for it if we said that it would be. And we'd be willing to explain why it would be. Then we might -- we might not have so many incidents that cause us problems and set back sometimes programs that have been going forward." -- David Hoffman Inside: the White House Budget Lacks Anonymous Stockmanisms

The best reading in the federal budget in recent years has been the unsigned "Chapter 3," an essay entitled "Budget Program and Trends" by Office of Management and Budget Director David A. Stockman. The document is filled with Stockmanesque logic and language; for instance, last year's version documented a "staggering" rise in the interest the government has to pay on the national debt.

Also last year, Stockman wrote hopefully about reducing spending to less than 20 percent of the gross national product by the end of the decade, a goal that now seems more distant.

This year Stockman has decided not to write the essay. One official said he has been too busy with late-breaking budget developments.

Noting that Senate Republicans are writing their own budget plan before President Reagan's is formally submitted, another official said, "Maybe we should let Bob Dole write it." Dole is Senate majority leader.

This year's explanatory chapter probably will be staff-written "boilerplate," officials said.

ABOUT THAT PAY CUT . . Right after word got out that Reagan will propose a 5 percent pay cut for federal workers, the White House announced that Reagan and other top officials would be willing to take a 10 percent pay cut.

Not much has been heard of the 10 percent cut, and you won't find it in Reagan's fiscal 1986 budget document. Why? An official said the savings are smaller than the so-called "rounding-off error" in the nearly trillion-dollar budget.

In Los Angeles over the New Year's holiday, Reagan signed a little-noticed executive order that, among other things, gave top officials, including the vice president, Cabinet members and White House aides, a 3.5 percent pay raise for calendar 1985, the same as other federal workers received. LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAK . . .

In a recent interview with the Dallas Morning News, Reagan suggested that reporters check with the administration before publishing leaks about national security policies. Reagan didn't bring it up, but his remark came after Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger criticized The Washington Post for publishing a story about the Pentagon's cargo on a forthcoming space shuttle mission.

Asked about "faults" of the media, Reagan said, "I've never had any complaints" about the Dallas paper, and added:

". . . I think inside the beltline here, in Washington, is kind of a company town. And the great search for leaks, and the premature billing of something as a fact when many times it isn't a fact, this can become a problem. It can become a problem, for example, on the international scene. To take a leak, some information from someone who won't let their name be used, and take this as valid enough to print on the front page of a paper, and then leave us with having to mend fences with some friendly government that is offended by this misinformation -- and there have been cases of that kind.

"I guess all that I would like to say is I wish that the media that does so much of that, that portion of the media, I wish that they would have an ethic in which they would check that out with us to see whether it, in some way, might be harmful to our national security; and take our word for it if we said that it would be. And we'd be willing to explain why it would be. Then we might -- we might not have so many incidents that cause us problems and set back sometimes programs that have been going forward."