Budget Watch

A newsletter covering budget reform and the latest news and views on the federal budget, published by The National Center for Public Policy Research, 501 Capitol Court, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002 (202) 543-4110, Fax (202) 543-5975, and the Small Business Survival Foundation, 1320 18th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20036 (202) 785-0238, Fax (202) 822-8118, E-mail [email protected], Web http://www.nationalcenter.org/.

Issue # 24 - February 22, 1996 David A. Ridenour and Karen Kerrigan, Editors

American Pulse: How the Public Views
the Budget Debate

Tomorrow's Taxpayers Support GOP Budget Plan,
ABC Survey Shows

The very people who will soon inherit the heavy burden of government debt built-up by their parents' and grandparents' generations -- America's teenagers -- support the GOP's position on the budget over President Clinton's by a margin of 53% to 36%, according to a January ABC News survey. The survey, based on random telephone interviews with 505 young people between the ages of 12 and 17, also found that 60% of teens believe that it is more important to balance the budget than maintain the current levels of government services. They favor balancing the budget for good reason: With a balanced budget, interest rates would drop by one to two percentage points, reducing the cost of a typical 10-year loan on education at a four-year college by $8,885, slashing the price of a four-year car loan of $15,000 by $676, creating 4.25 million new jobs over ten years and increasing per capita income by 16%. Perhaps the White House should give greater weight to the views of the taxpayers of who will be forced to live with the decisions the President makes for them today.

Sources: ABC News, National Center for Policy Analysis

Administration Watch: Where the Clinton Administration Stands on Budget Issues

Self-Proclaimed "Defenders of the Elderly"
Prepare to Raid Pension Trust Funds -- Again

The Clinton Administration is again raiding a federal retirement trust fund to fend-off government default. On February 15, Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin announced that he would take an additional $6.4 billion from the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund (CSRDF) to help avert default. Last November, Rubin took similar steps, raiding two government trust funds to raise $61.3 billion, including $39.8 billion from the CSRDF. So much for the Administration's much-vaunted concern for the elderly -- or, for that matter, its concern for federal employees. But the elderly and civil servants may not be the only ones to pay a price. The Clinton Administration has reportedly been considering other measures to continue borrowing without congressional approval of a debt ceiling extension, including suspending payments of tax refunds.

Will President Clinton Steal the Economic Growth Message?

Clinton Changes Tune on Government Spending's Relationship to a Healthy Economy

In the "Economic Report of the President," which was recently sent to Congress, President Clinton's Council of Economic Advisors lays out the Administration's strategy for raising living standards. The principles may sound familiar to those paying close attention to the Republicans' "extreme" agenda this past year. The Council's recommendations to Congress include balancing the budget in seven years and making government smaller and more efficient. While the White House appears to have adopted the GOP's rhetoric it is not quite ready to adopt its substance: The report goes on to recommend measures that would make government bigger, not smaller. For example, it calls for "investing" in education and training, rejects the flat tax, calls for the status quo on the earned income tax credit and dismisses the concept of devolution to the states. Clinton may attempt to steal the economic growth/fiscal responsibility message, but his polices go in the opposite direction.

Small Business Survival Foundation
1320 18th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202)785-0238
Fax: (202)822-8118

The National Center for Public Policy Research
501 Capitol Ct NE
Washington, D.C. 20002
(202) 543-4110
Fax: (202)543-5975
E-mail [email protected]

Nothing written here should be construed as an attempt to help or hinder legislation before the U.S. Congress. Reprints are permitted provided that original source is credited.

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