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TRW'S GORMAN CALLS FOR 'NATIONAL AGENDA' BASED ON STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES

 DETROIT, March 22 /PRNewswire/ -- TRW Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Joseph T. Gorman today addressed the Economic Club of Detroit, calling for America to develop a "national agenda that is comprehensive, clear, credible and affordable."
 "For at least the past 20 years, we have allowed partisan politics and special interests to drive our policies in a piecemeal, ad hoc fashion," Gorman said. "Is it any wonder that we find ourselves in trouble!"
 Gorman said he is "strongly encouraged" by President Clinton's first 60 days in office. "He is bright, well-informed, focused on the tough issues, listening, adjusting, and genuinely, I believe, trying to strike an appropriate balance," Gorman said to more than 400 attending the club's weekly luncheon meeting.
 In an address titled "The American Dream: From Rhetoric to Reality," Gorman recommended three strategic objectives for the country:
 -- Superior economic performance that is sustainable, generating enough good jobs and the rising standards of living necessary to social harmony.
 -- Superior social systems that are sustainable, which together with good economic growth generate opportunity for all but a safety net to the truly needy.
 -- Strong world leadership in promoting international cooperation in problem-solving.
 Noting America's "spending and borrowing binge" -- low savings rate, lagging productivity growth and spiralling budget deficit -- Gorman urged that "our national goal should be to eliminate the deficit and begin to generate modest surpluses, including Social Security, within 10 years."
 To achieve that national goal, Gorman recommended five specific targets for action, including a "radical overhaul of our system of entitlements, which now account for 50 percent of the budget."
 Gorman called it "outrageous" that the "inter-generational imbalance that permeates our tax and other policies allows $14 in benefits to go to the elderly for every $1 that goes to children." The other targets Gorman recommended are:
 -- Reform the tax system to eliminate the perverse incentives we have built in that penalize savings, encourage consumption and discourage investment.
 -- Slow the growth of skyrocketing health-care costs while weaving reasonable safety nets for the 37 million Americans without coverage.
 -- Reduce defense costs in a manner consistent with retaining the strongest and most technologically advanced military force in the world.
 -- Hold the cost of other discretionary spending to below the rate of inflation, something that has not been done for a decade.
 Although Gorman said he does not agree with all of the president's economic package, he noted that "some of the revenue assumptions are on shaky ground," but emphasized he agrees "fundamentally with the president's approach." Gorman said spending cuts should go deeper, particularly on entitlements, and that research and development and investment incentives "should be more broadly applicable."
 "Our economic, industrial, manufacturing and technological competitiveness matter," Gorman said, "and, yes, key industries also matter."
 While the United States should not be in the business of picking winners and losers among individual companies, Gorman called for actions "to enable and encourage U.S. competitiveness in key industries and technologies."
 Gorman said there is a "strategic importance" to the North American automotive industry which, in today's global trading system, means that "systems of competition and trade must be compatible."
 As chairman of the Business Roundtable's Education Task Force, Gorman said education must also be part of the national agenda. He cited a recent report by the Carnegie Foundation that our educational crisis "reflects a major failure of social policy, a piecemeal approach to a problem that requires a unified response."
 "Fundamentally, we must change from an input, process-oriented system to one measured by results holding school systems and children accountable for the quality of the results," Gorman said.
 Gorman said that unless Americans "take control of our economic and social plights at home, we are unlikely to have either the resources or the moral authority to lead" elsewhere in the world. "The reality," Gorman emphasized, "is that we cannot afford not to lead."
 -0- 3/22/93
 /CONTACT: Gary Klasen of TRW, 216-291-7179/
 (TRW)


CO: TRW, Inc. ST: Michigan IN: SU:

ML -- DE015 -- 8323 03/22/93 15:24 EST
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Date:Mar 22, 1993
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