Time’s 1981 cover story, “AWACS—He Does It Again,” noted that the president had won Senate approval for sending radar planes to Saudi Arabia and went on to discuss his first-year legislative victories. Reagan’s priority was restoring an economy then viewed as the worst since the Great Depression, which baffled economists because of simultaneous recession and inflation. His program—reductions in taxes, regulations, and spending—had to pass the Democratic Congress and survive a classic struggle between a conservative president and a powerful, liberal Speaker of the House, Thomas P. (“Tip”) O’Neill. O’Neill dismissed Reagan’s prior relationship with a Democratic California legislature as “minor league.” Their first-name basis and swapping of Irish jokes papered over their intense battles. Reagan was only able to reduce the rate of increase in federal spending, and his first budget in January 1982 projected a deficit of $91.5 billion. But with support from sixty-three Democrats, he won a substantial, across-the-board decrease in income taxes.