The Item Veto Controversy
The President is denied proper control over the federal budget. To remedy this, we support enhanced authority to prevent wasteful spending, including a line-item veto.
Republican party platform, 1984
The item veto is not (as often depicted) a simple, politically neutral device for bringing about economy and efficiency in government. It is first and foremost a political instrument and should be understood in this context.
Ronald C. Moe ( 1985)
Things are seldom what they seem, skim milk masquerades as cream.
W. S. Gilbert HMS Pinafore
In his State of the Union Addresses from 1984 to 1988, President Reagan requested that Congress grant him a power long sought by presidents. Resurrection of the idea that the president could and should have an item veto has stirred anew a controversy that itself reveals much about conceptions of the presidency. The vigor of this debate is seen in the sheer volume of public discourse since 1984 alone (examples of arguments for the item veto: Best, 1984, 1986; Palffy, 1984; Wall Street Journal, May 16, 18, 1984, October 21, 1986; Lambro, 1985; Mobil Oil ad in New York Times, March 7, 1985; Reynolds, 1985; examples of arguments against the item veto: Cronin,