The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on June 5, 1998 · Page 10
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 10

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Salina, Kansas
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Friday, June 5, 1998
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Page 10
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FRIDAY, JUNE 5. 1998 WASHINGTON THE SALINA JOURNAL T SOCIAL SECURITY Retirement worries unite foes Clinton, Republicans agree on need to fix Social Security system By MARCY GORDON The Associated Press WASHINGTON — Decrying Americans' penchant to spend rather than save, President Clinton urged Congress to make overhauling the Social Security retirement system its first order of business next year "so we baby boomers don't bankrupt our children." Clinton's proposal Thursday got no disagreement from House Speaker Newt Gingrich or Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, who both poignantly described personal concerns in caring for elderly parents as they shared a stage with the president. Speaking at the start of a two- day national summit on retirement savings, Clinton said the CLINTON GINGRICH LOTT nation's political leaders ought to act on Social Security now, while the economy is on the upswing, because "we do not know when we will have a time like this again." "If we can't deal with this issue now, when will we ever deal with it?" Clinton implored. "Our goal ought to be to have the Congress take up Social Security reform as the first order of business early next year, and finish in the first half of 1999 ... so we baby boomers don't bankrupt our children in their ability to raise our grandchildren." So great is the issue's political punch it brought together Clinton, Gingrich, Lott, Vice President Al Gore and House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt in a rare display of bipartisanship. Framed by a sparkly blue background on a hotel ballroom stage, they beamed and applauded each other as they took turns speaking. "This is something you won't see very often. Here we all are together," quipped Lott, R-Miss. "This is truly a historic occasion." Said Gore, who recently turned 50, "We must make sure that as America grows grayer, it also grows wiser about the future." Lott said he sees the issue "in a different way, a more personal way" after having to sell his childhood home to provide assisted care for his mother who suffered a stroke last fall. Her Social Security benefits "won't even pay half of what her monthly bill is," Lott said, let alone the cost of her medication. "This is real, it's emotional, it is difficult," Lott said. "We really must have a serious discussion." Gingrich, R-Ga., saying his mother also had to sell her home, said Social Security was never designed to fill the needs of a generation that can expect to live 30, even 40 years beyond the general retirement age of 65. The key to salvaging Social Security lies in restructuring the PICA payroll tax, he said, suggesting Americans may save very little now because the tax takes such a big bite out of their paychecks. "It is an automatic, regressive tax," Gingrich said, calling lower taxes "inevitably good for savings." T DRUG TESTING Republicans propose drug testing for House By Scripps Howard News Service WASHINGTON — A bill requir- irig mandatory random drug testing of House members and their staffs was introduced Thursday by a group of influential Republicans. Rules Committee Chairman Gerald Solomon, R-N.Y., a key sponsor of the bill, said the House will vote on the measure next week, and he expects it to pass "overwhelmingly." Because the measure is. a change in House rules, it does not have to be approved by the Senate or signed by the president. The bill outlines a drug-testing program that includes the election year publication of the names of lawmakers who test positive for drugs. "We want to set an example," said Solomon, who is retiring at the end of this year. "It's not that there is widespread abuse with members and their staffs, but there is some. Nobody knows how much." Republicans said they tried to implement a drug-testing program last year, but Democratic leader. Richard Gephardt of Missouri opposed establishing procedures, forcing them to seek a vote of the House. DEBBIE NIGRO 10am-11 am Weekdays MAURE WEIGH Auto - Home Insurance Phone 827-2906 115 East Iron NEWS TALK 91O T PRESIDENTIAL SCANDAL High court won't hear Starr appeal Starr had sought urgent appeal on testimony in Lewinsky part of probe By The Associated Press WASHINGTON — In his first court setback in the Monica Lewinsky investigation, prosecutor Kenneth Starr lost an urgent Supreme Court appeal Thursday to compel grand jury testimony from presidential aide Bruce Lindsey and three Secret Service employees. The justices deliberated the matter in private, then issued a two-paragraph order, bland in language but rich in implications. They declined to leapfrog an appeals court but asked that court to act quickly. Still, that will mean months of legal maneuvering before Starr might get testimony that he has called critical to determining whether President Clinton lied about his relationship with the former intern and then asked her to cover up. "We believe that the American people's need for facts in this criminal investigation justifies extraordinary requests for relief," said Charles Bakaly, a spokesman in Starr's office. The White House marked its victory by attacking Starr. "Today is day 1,400 of Ken Starr's tenure as independent counsel at the rate of $30,000 a day of taxpayers' money," said press secretary Mike McCurry. "If there's any delay, that's the delay right there." Starr wanted the high court to take the case directly from U.S. District Judge Norma Holloway Johnson, who had ruled in favor of Starr on both matters. That unusual procedure has been used only five times this century, most prominently when the high court directed President Nixon to surrender secret White House tapes. Nixon complied, and that led just weeks later to his resignation. The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals may hear arguments in both cases next month. In requesting the justices' intervention, Starr indicated he needed to settle the dispute before proceeding with key decisions, including a possible impeachment report to Congress or indictments. STARR Thinking Balloons? rtful Parties & Events 921 Shalimar Dr. (behind the Southgate Dairy Queen) • 827-8448 NATIONAL NURSING ASSISTANTS WEEK June 4 through June 11 S moky Hill Rehabilitation Center would like to congratulate and applaud our CNAs. Their dedication to our residents shows in the loving care delivered each and every day. They are a very important part of making Smoky Hill Rehabilitation Center a great place to live. Thanks To All Of You! 1007 Johnstown Salina, Ks. 785-823-7107 SUMMER SAVINGS! 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