Exchange With Reporters on Economic and Foreign Policy Issues

October 18, 1981

Q. Mr. President, are you considering now a cutoff or a boycott, of oil from Libya?

The President. No, I heard a statement about -- that would have to be a worldwide boycott, because there are plenty of customers for oil, and you've got to make sure that none of them would take the place.

Q. What do you hear about the Polish Government resigning?

The President. Well, all I've heard is that we are waiting for more details and that Kania is out. We have to find out what that means and we'll probably know more when we know who's going to replace him.

Q. Mr. President, if Congress is unwilling to give you your rescission and impoundment authority, what makes you think you can gain the support of Tip O'Neill and his cult of followers on your new line legislation, who at this moment are probably turning over in bed unable to wait to get to work on Monday morning to do everything in the realm of their power to provide you with more?

The President. That's the result of the meeting with the editors from all over the country, and in answer to their question, I was telling them how most States ran and balanced their budgets on authority that was given to Governors of States, as was given to me when I was Governor of California. And I was pointing out the great weaknesses in the budgetary systems at the Federal level. And there are weaknesses, or we wouldn't have a trillion dollar deficit.

Q. Do you think you would be able to pass that legislation?

The President. No, I doubt if Congress would ever give up that power, and I think they're wrong.

Q. What do you think of Richard Nixon's proposal for an economic boycott of Libya -- --

Q. Do you think we are in a recession?

The President. I think there's a slight and, I hope, a short recession. Yes, I think everyone agrees on that.

Q. -- -- Richard Nixon's proposal for an economic boycott -- [inaudible].

The President. I know, I just answered that a moment ago. I heard that. No, as I say, that would have to be worldwide. No one country could affect them by having a boycott.

Q. Did you talk to him about his plan?

The President. No, I haven't talked to anyone.

Q. Thank you, Mr. President.

Note: The exchange began at 11:51 a.m. on the South Lawn of the White House, as the President was departing for his visits to Yorktown and Williamsburg, Va.