President Reagan on Saturday gave the first of 10 weekly, five-minute, fireside chat-type addresses in which he asked the American people to give his economic program more time to work. ''Of course'' the program had not yet worked , he said, ''it hasn't really started yet.''
Monitor correspondent Godfrey Sperling Jr. reports Mr. Reagan said reduced budget spending and the 10 percent tax cut scheduled for July ''will be the real beginning of our program.'' He argued the 5 percent tax cut of last October had been canceled by an increase in social security taxes, and stuck to his position that future cuts will soon begin to stimulate the economy and that the regenerated economy will make the deficit manageable.
A radio sports announcer in his younger days, the President wrote his own speech, rejecting drafts prepared by aides. The broadcast, which was offered to all the major networks, was not aired by CBS, because of ''potential fairness doctrine implications.''
Meanwhile, a new Gallup poll gives Mr. Reagan a 46 percent approval rating and a 46 disapproval rating for the way he is handling his job -- four points behind President Carter and one point behind President Ford at a similar periods in their administrations.