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Clinton economic nominees offer plans similar to NLC's deficit reduction strategy.

President-elect Bill Clinton is drafting an economic recovery and deficit reduction plan that aims to provide more than $200 billion in economic stimuli and cut between $300 billion and $400 billion out of the deficit in the next four years, according to key members of his economic team.

The Clinton economic recovery program appears to incorporate many of the recommendations overwhelmingly adopted by NLC members at the Congress of Cities in New orleans last month after consultation with chief advisors to Clinton's transition team, including HUD Secretary designee Henry Cisneros. The Clinton team's testimony of came as NLC Past President Cathy Reynolds urged the Congress to adopt just such a broad ranging package to set new priorities for local economies.

In hearings before Senate confirmation panels last week, the new Clinton economic advisors indicated that President Clinton could be submitting a comprehensive set of recommendations to the Congress early next month. The Clinton package will contain three parts: economic stimulus, increased public investment, and deficit reduction. Roger Altman, the Presidentelect's choice for deputy Treasury Secretary, predicted the package would create 8 million new jobs over four years.

Altman's comments were a response to a plea by incoming Senate Finance Committee Chairman Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.) to hurry up and send a package to the Congress for action: "We're ready if you are able. The question is whether you will seize the day,"

Current Senate Finance Committee Chairman Lloyd Bentsen, Clinton's nominee for Treasury Secretary, at his confirmation before his own committee said that the Clinton administration will make deficit reduction a central focus. Bentsen said the new administration would be willing to tackle difficult entitlement choices as well as propose new federal revenues.

Similarly, Clinton's choice for his new budget director, current House Budget Committee Chairman Leon Panetta (D-Calif.) described in broad outline Clinton's deficit reduction and economic growth plans. He said both will be included in the President-elect's fiscal 1994 budget next month.

Panetta said the 'Presidentelect will include an income tax increase on the wealthy as well as a millionaire's surtax. He indicated that a large measure of the' spending cuts are likely to come from defense; Medicare, which is the fastestgrowing health entitlement program; and across-the-board management savings.

Panetta testified that Clinton is still considering including a short-term economic stimulus plan in his budget, but would likely limit that plan to about $20 billion in the first year.

The short-term plan most likely would include an acceleration of spending on highway projects and other infrastructure initiatives also expected to be included in Clinton's long-term economic program.

Panetta confirmed that a long-term infrastructure spending initiative will be major component of Clinton's plan to restructure the budget and the economy away from consumption and toward investment. He said the new President will include only initiatives that have a maximum impact on stimulating investment, productivity, and growth.
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Title Annotation:Bill Clinton; National League of Cities
Author:Shafroth, Frank
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Jan 18, 1993
Words:478
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