Clinton Takes Sales Blitz On the Road to California
PRESIDENT Clinton continued the relentless sales pitch for his budget package yesterday on the West Coast. He visited a high-tech graphics company in California's Silicon Valley, then headed to Washington state to address employees of Boeing, which just announced plans to lay off 23,000 workers. Mr. Clinton has proposed large cuts in military spending, but he is also calling for new high-technology partnerships between government and industry to help convert lost defense jobs to civilian employment. Even
before flying north to Boeing, Clinton had some tough words for Europe's state financing of the aircraft manufacturing consortium, Airbus, and strongly suggested again that the United States might have to counter these subsidies. Bentsen says stimulus package should come first
Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen has indicated that the Clinton administration may ask Congress to pass Mr. Clinton's proposed jobs-creating stimulus package before it votes on spending cuts and tax increases for deficit reduction - thus obtaining his program in several stages. In a typical Republican response to such a strategy, however, House Republican Whip Newt Gingrich (R) of Georgia has said that Americans should be wary of promises to raise taxes now and cut spending later. The Bentsen comment is probably another trial balloon, because two administration officials - Education Secretary Bill Riley and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Carol Browner - both said recently that the Clinton economic plan, including spending and program cuts, is a single package that must be looked at in its entirety. The whole budget question remains very fluid: Clinton himself hinted in Ohio Feb. 19 that a national sales tax is something the US may have to look at "in the years ahead." His proposed energy tax , somewhat similar to Europe's value-added taxes, is a broad consumption tax and would already be a radical change in US tax policy. And there have been reports Clinton will need more tax hikes to pay for his reworking of the nation's health-care system. Clinton names federal welfare chief
Clinton announced Feb. 20 he was naming Mary Jo Bane, commissioner of social services in New York state, to oversee federal welfare programs for children and families. The nomination of Ms. Bane to be assistant secretary of Health and Human Services for Children and Families came despite reports that she failed to pay Social Security taxes on college students she hired for household work. Campbell Gardett, a spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services, said the administration felt the issue
should have no effect on her nomination. Clinton's announcement made no mention of the controversy. She would oversee Aid to Families with Dependent Children, Head Start, and child-support enforcement. President asks Democrats for funds to push program
The president isn't just asking for support of his new economic plan - he's asking for money, too. In a Democratic National Committee fund-raising letter sent out with Clinton's signature, the president asks past party and campaign donors to "send as generous a contribution as you can" to help finance a party effort to promote Clinton's plan. "Already, the lawyers and lobbyists are working around the clock to stop change from coming. That's why I need your help," Clinton said in the letter dated Feb. 18,
the day after he unveiled the plan in a joint address to Congress.