President Reagan will leave his successor a spending blueprint projecting that the federal budget can be balanced by 1993, nine years later than the target Reagan set when he campaigned for the presidency in 1980.
Officials, who are putting the finishing touches on the administration's final budget, said it will call for a deficit of $92.5 billion for the 1990 fiscal year, which starts next October.That would represent a decline from an actual deficit of $155.1 billion in the 1988 fiscal year that ended Sept. 30.
The narrowing of the gap between government revenues and spending was accomplished by optimistic economic assumptions that boost the government's tax take and a combination of spending cuts, increased user fees and $6 billion in sales of government assets.
The administration is projecting that its policies will result in a balanced budget by 1993 without the need to increase taxes.
The 1990 budget more than meets the $100 billion deficit reduction limit established by the Gramm-Rudman law. That legislation sets declining deficit targets for each year ending with a balanced budget in 1993.
Reagan's final spending plan projects meeting those targets each year, ending with a small surplus in 1993. When Reagan campaigned for the presidency in 1980, he promised to balance the budget by 1984.
Joseph Wright, head of the White House Office of Management and Budget, briefed Reagan, Vice President George Bush and other members of the Cabinet on the administration's final spending blueprint on Wednesday.
Officials said that all decisions have now been made on the budget, which the administration will submit to Congress on Jan. 9.
Reagan told reporters that his budget "will be in keeping with the Gramm-Rudman program leading toward a balanced budget."
Wright told reporters at a briefing that the administration had succeeded in reaching its deficit goals without touching Social Security or abandoning the president's goal of boosting defense spending by 2 percent above the inflation rate each year. Wright also said that the budget would not include any new taxes.
While Wright would not reveal the actual deficit figure, an administration source, who spoke on condition that his name not be used, said that Reagan's final budget would show a deficit of $92.5 billion.
This figure includes $6 billion in asset sales, the source said. These sales do not count toward meeting the Gramm-Rudman target. However, even with the asset sales discounted, the administration's budget would still be below the $100 billion target.
The administration's final budget is calling for spending of $1.15 trillion in 1990, an increase over projected spending of $1.10 trillion in the current fiscal year.
Without any changes in current government services, the administration projected the 1990 deficit would total $127 billion. However, this projection does not include about $9 billion in increased spending for defense, space programs, AIDS research and other areas where Reagan will seek increases rather than reductions.