Page 1 article text (OCR)
Meat loaf makes a big sandwich for the big game/C1 Prayer flak Minister angers Rep. Delbert Gross, other legislators /C4 I! K-State returns to action tonight / D1 ! Best students can skip some tests / 61 VSM *> Low: 27 Warmer and partly sunny today with south winds increasing /B3 I.*«.' f Classified/C4 Comics/B4 Deaths/AS Food/C1 Great Plains/Bl Money/A4 Sports /D1 .';I Viewpoints/B2 Salina Journal WEDNESDAY JANUARY 24, 19SI6 SALINA, KANSAS T STATE OF THE UNION Clinton's Challenge President confronts Republicans over shutting down the government By TERENCE HUNT The Associated Press WASHINGTON — Delivering his State of the Union address to a skeptical Republican Congress, President Clinton traced the themes of his re-election campaign Tuesday night and confronted the GOP on the budget, demanding they "never — ever" shut the government again. Democrats rose with loud cheers but Republicans sat in stony silence at Clinton's challenge. GOP lawmakers — particularly the rebellious House freshmen — had been coached by party elders to be on good behavior and not boo Clinton, as some did last year. The speech was brief by Clinton standards, 61 minutes, less than last year's record 81-minute marathon. Clinton proposed several new initiatives, among them $1,000 college scholarships for the top 5 percent of graduates from every high school, and turning the FBI loose on youth gangs. With Republicans controlling the legislative agenda, Clinton's proposals are unlikely to see the light of day, especially in an election year. The House chamber overflowed with Senate and House members, Clinton's Cabinet, the Supreme Court justices in their black robes and ambassadors from around the world. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Clinton's yearlong nemesis, sat immediately behind the president, applauding politely on some occasions, and sitting in stern silence when the president criti- T AMERICANS' THOUGHTS cized Congress. And criticize he did. "I challenge all of you in this chamber," Clinton said, "never — ever" shut the government again. He said it was time to "finish the job" and pass a balanced budget plan that he could sign. First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, listening alongside her- GOP Whitewater critics, was applauded as she entered with her 15-year- old daughter, Chelsea, who was making her first State of the Union appearance. The president introduced the beleaguered Hillary Clinton as a "wonderful wife, a magnificent mother and a great first lady," and Chelsea led a standing ovation of Democrats and Republicans alike. "The era of big government is over," Clinton said, twice, as if to capture a campaign slogan. Republicans liked that, and answered with applause. Democrats hailed Clinton's next sentence: "But we cannot go back to the time when our citizens were left to fend., for themselves." Clinton began his remarks expressing pride in U.S. peacekeepers in Bosnia. He said the state of the union was "strong" and cited economic and falling crime rates to make the case. In all, Clinton was interrupted 78 times by applause. Clinton's speech provided a clear counterpoint to the Republican agenda. He challenged their stands on welfare reform, tax cuts, the minimum wage, health insurance, Medicare and Medicaid, environmental cleanup, crime-fighting and foreign policy. DOLE • ; The Associated Press President Clinton acknowledges the ovation as he prepares to deliver his State of the Union speech. Nervousness pervades among common folks Most tired of political bickering and want budget balanced By JOHN KING The Associated Press EXETER, N.H. — By the numbers, there is little argument that the state of the union is reasonably good. Yet Joan Henson is worried. No, frightened. T CHAMBER OF COMMERCE "As a country I think we are very insecure and we need somebody to rally us," the retired teacher says. "So far, so good," is economist Martin Ringo's assessment. Too many people whine and worry, he says, before sharing his own prediction of trouble: "We have a brewing social crisis in this country." Given the chance to stand in President Clinton's place Tuesday night, everyday Americans would paint a conflicted picture of a country with too much political bickering and too little economic security, a place where something important but often intangible, a shared sense of values, seems to have gone awry. "But can government fix that? Can Bill Clinton or Bob Dole fix that?" Ringo asks, sensing that family and community don't mean as much as they used to and are supposed to. "For every big moment in history, you can look back later and find a rallying point. I guess we need one of those." But where will it come from? Here in New Hampshire, and half the country away in Iowa, early campaigning has given people a taste of the presidential election to come. If this contest is to become the focal point for a debate on what is right and wrong with America, it hasn't yet. Nor has the yearlong battle between Clinton and the Republican Congress over the role and scope of government. "Here are all the people who are supposed to be the ones running the show, and you see them on TV, and they're worse than my 4-year-old," said Marshall Barkema of Murray, Iowa. Given a chance to lecture Washington, lowan James Jacob would be blunt: "They need to balance the budget and get along and try and get something done. They're See AMERICANS, Page A2 T REPUBLICAN RESPONSE^! Clinton course blasted Dole says Clinton's way off course, GOP would turn country around By LARRY MARGASAK The Associated Press WASHINGTON — Bob Dole, responding for Republicans and seizing the chance to help his political prospects, accused President Clinton Tuesday night of "careening dangerously off course" in welfare, education, Medicare and taxes. "I do believe we have reached a defining moment," Dole said in response to President Clinton's State of the Union address. Speaking as Senate majority leader but outlining his own presidential themes, the front-running GOP contender assailed Clinton as "the chief obstacle to a balanced budget" and "the last public defender of a discredited status quo." Dole seized the moment to describe starkly different philosophies — his own vs. Clinton's, the Republicans vs. the Democrats. The Kansan vowed that Republicans would send Clinton another balanced budget bill. Clinton vetoed the last one, and talks between GOP leaders and the president failed to produce a compromise. The president offered "only a fantasy" to replace the GOP bill, Dole said, promising to pepper the White House with "bill after bill, returning power and programs to the states." Dole said the president has chosen to defend: • A welfare system that is "a daily assault on the values of self-reliance and family." • An education establishment "run by liberals whose goal is to operate every school in America by remote control from Washington." • The status quo in Medicare, "a program in urgent need of rescue." • A tax burden "that has pushed countless families into their own personal recessions." "It's as though our government; our institutions and our culture have been hijacked by liberals and are careening dangerously off course," said Dole, vowing that Republicans "know the way back." The GOP, he pledged, will rein in government, reduce the tax burden, put parents hi charge of schools, untie the hands of the police and restore justice. Kemp wants big economy, tax change Tax revisions would build base for more investment, prosperity for the whole country, he says By DAVID CLOUSTON The Salina Journal "People generally are civil and tolerant when they feel their future is boundless." Americans don't want to redistribute wealth through the tax code, Jack Kemp told Salinans Tuesday, they want to keep more of what they earn. Do that, he said, and you've got a foundation for more investment, more entrepreneurship and greater prosperity for the whole nation. "We need a bigger economy. We need a bigger pie. And when the pie is shrinking, when economies are in contraction, it not only increases social spending, but it puts tremendous burdens on people's civility," said Kemp. "People generally are civil and tolerant when they feel their future is boundless, in terms of opportunity, particularly for their children." Civility is just one casualty that Kemp sees succumbing to an economic malaise in the U.S. A former U.S. representative, cabinet secretary and maverick Republican, Kemp brought his message of economic revival to Salina as the speaker at the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce's annual meeting at the Bicentennial Cen- Jack Kemp national Republican leader ter. Before the banquet, he gave a news conference outlining some of the findings in a report his tax reform commission released last week. Kemp was appointed by Sen, Bob Dole and House Speaker Newt Gingrich to head the group, which forwarded its recommendations to Congress. The plan outlined by the commission, Kemp said, would double U.S. economic growth from 2 percent to 4 percent annually without inflation. At 4 percent growth, the nation's gross national product would double in 10 or 11 years, he said. "If we double the size of the American economy in 10 or 11 years, that would mean we would have a 12, 13 trillion dollar economy," Kemp said. "That would give us another trillion dollars of revenue with which to bring down deficits and debt, and save Medicare and Medicaid, without throwing senior citizens out in the snow, in Buffalo, New York, in wintertime." A key component of his plan, Kemp said, is the single rate tax plan, what some Republican presidential candidates are calling a flat tax. Kemp's vision of a such a tax, he said, differs from candidate Steve Forbes' plan. While Forbes would tax corporate income, Kemp favors aiming the tax at shareholders instead of the business. "So then the company could deduct the dividend, but mom and pop who own the stock, or own the corporate bond, or take a capital gain, would pay the tax as the recipient of the income. So in effect you would still be taxing all income, widen and broaden the base, and tax it once, at a low rate." Kemp wants a rate of about 20 percent. Kemp's tax reform views drew periodic bursts of applause from the crowd of Salina business and government officials throughout his speech. Also in attendance were Kansas Gov. Bill Graves and local and area legislators. Kemp drew a laugh as he described when his grandson introduced him to his Sunday school class as a very important public "serpent." He's been described by others as a snake oil salesman, a witch doctor, a dangerous riverboat gambler and a voodoo economist, "and hey, that's just coming from our party," he said, jokingly. "You can't believe what the other guys said." i KELLY PRESNELUThe Salina Journal Former U.S. Rep. Jack Kemp talks to reporters Tuesday before the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce dinner.