Federal File: Summit talk; New plan

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President Clinton presided over an economic summit in Atlanta last week, where he asserted that his Administration has helped bolster the U.S. economy and pare down federal bureaucracies.

Still, he added, stagnant wages and economic insecurity are fostering pessimism. Mr. Clinton said the nation's anxieties are like those of Southern states while he was the Governor of Arkansas.

The solution is the same, too, he said: better education, more jobs, and closer partnerships between the public and private sectors and people of all races and backgrounds. "That's the strategy, the real Southern strategy that lifted the South from the 60's forward," he said.

The event, held at Emory University, was attended by Cabinet members, business leaders, and workers. Three more such meetings are slated at different sites this year.

The House minority leader, Richard A. Gephardt, D-Mo., unveiled a tax plan last week that would let families with annual incomes up to $75,000 deduct up to $10,000 a year in college-tuition costs.

Individuals making up to $50,000 a year would also qualify. The plan, which would cost the government about $25 billion over five years, replaces a $66 billion proposal Mr. Gephardt floated earlier this year.

Mr. Gephardt said his plan favors the middle class more than a House g.o.p tax plan to offer a $500-per-child tax break to families making up to $200,000 annually. "Their ultimate dream is to have rich people escape taxation," he said.

Sixteen leading researchers have written to President Clinton and Congressional leaders to protest proposals to cut and consolidate job-training programs for youths.

The researchers' statement is being coupled with protests and vigils in various cities.

In his fiscal 1996 budget, President Clinton proposed consolidating youth-training programs into a block grant built around the school-to-work model. The Administration requested $1.3 billion for 1996, while the programs that would be replaced received $1.6 billion this year.

Meanwhile, the House has passed a bill that would trim from the current budget almost $1.5 billion that had been appropriated for youth-training programs, eliminating funding for some of them. A Senate bill, which passed last week, would make smaller cuts.

-Robert C. Johnston & Mark Pitsch

Vol. 14, Issue 28

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