The Senate Budget Committee seemed to put on an impressive show this past week, whipping through vast portions of the 1986 budget with a flurry of roll-call votes. Combinations of Republicans and Democrats whacked $19 billion from military spending and refused to submit to President Reagan's demands for domestic cuts and program eliminations.
In the process, however, committee members lost ground in attacking the federal deficit and teetered perilously close to an old Reagan political trap by painting themselves as big spenders. The committee would have demonstrated more responsibility had it been more selective in looking at the President's proposed reductions.
Fortunately, there is plenty of time for the committee to undo, or rearrange, what has been done so far. This is only the early skirmishing in this year's budget war. And the committee is handicapped because it is trying to play the game with less than a full deck of cards.
The solution to the 1986 budget dilemma will rest on decisions affecting Social Security, new taxes, reductions in military spending and domestic program cuts. But so far the President is willing to put only the domestic issues onto the table.