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September 14, 1993 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 1993-09-14

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The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 14, 1993 - 3
Reinventing government plan will impact students

Fat-trimming means fewer government jobs for grads

Students may find little time amid
the rush of academic and social sched-
ules to keep pace with current political
issues. However, one piece ofWashing-
ton news may warrant further attention.
The Clinton administration is plan-
ning to "reinvent government," based
upon the recom-
mendationsof the
National Perfor-'
mance Review,
Vice President Al
Gore's six-month
investigation into
the nation's bu- im
reaucracy. Presi-
dent Clinton has
endorsed the
commission's book of more than 800
ideas to cut waste and reduce red tape.-
"The National Performance Review
has something in it that affects every-
one," said John Sanders, spokesperson
for Gore.
Among many policy changes, the
review proposes the elimination of
252,000governmentjobs, which would
reduce the federal payroll by 12 percent
and save more than $40 billion over five
"The changes are of course monu-
mental, but from a student's perspective
I would think the reduction in the gov-
ernment work force would be more
significant," Sanders said.
This reduction would reportedly be
conducted through early retirements,
attrition, and job buyouts. However,
administration officials concede lay-

offs are possible.
"The most obvious result of this
would be that there are less jobs avail-
able to graduates out of college," Sand-
ers said. "But remember, the govern-
ment can't afford to keep everyone on
the payroll even if it wants to-wehave
to make cuts somewhere."
Gore has defended the idea by point-
ing out that large corporations such as
General Motors and IBM have had to
lay off workers.
"Therehas to be abattening down of
the hatches.... It cannot be done eas-
ily," Gore said.
Several of the proposedbureaucratic
changes could also prove to be impor-
tant to the lives of students.
For example, one idea would ex-
empt individuals who do not itemize
deductions on their tax-statements from
filing them. The Internal Revenue Ser-
vice would compute the return for the
taxpayer, and then mail out rebates or
bills depending of the situation. After
people checked their statements for ac-
curacy, they would be able to pay any
amount due with a credit card.
Another proposal would eliminate
lines at the U.S. Post Office. Changes
would make counter service available
to customers in five minutes or less.
Local first-class delivery wouldbeover-
night, and out of town mail would take
three days.
However, despite cuts and changes
in many governmental departments, the
report did not recommend significant
reductions in technological fields and
scientific research.
"Both Clinton and Gore are com-

mitted to advancing the country techno-
logically into the 21st century," Sanders
said. "I would think that would please
students who want to be part of the
communications and technological
revolution that we see speeding up each
"Despite what you often hear, this is
a great time to be a student looking for
afutureingovernment.Would you rather
be part of the same old thing everyday,
or would you like to play a role in
reshaping or reinventing your govern-
ment for decades to come," Sanders
Although administration officials
concede that the road to changes in
government will be long, they say
Clinton will stay committed to change.
"The government is broke and we
intend to fix it," Clinton promised. He
said if all of his administration's recom-
mendations are implemented the gov-
ernment will save $108 billion over the
next five years and eliminate over a
quarter million employees.
"Many of these ideas can be imple-
mented easily, but that's not the prob-
lem," Sanders said. "The big issue is to
change the atmosphere in the govern-
ment and make people more respon-
sible, from high management on down.
"People have seen too much waste
that is obvious and pure negligence. We
have to bring the bureaucracy back into
reach of the people," Sanders said.
Gore said he estimates more than
half the plan will require varying de-
grees of Congressional approval, while
other recommendations can be activated
by an executive order from Clinton.

The Clinton-Gore plan
anticipates reducing
government costs by $108
billion over five years from the
following areas:
Combining and closing
~Eliminating jobs
Cuting 12 percent (252,000
jobs) from the federal payroll
Giving managers flexibility to
>make the best purchases
Information technology
Consoli dating and
modernizing computer
system s
Reducing bureaucracy
'requirements for state and
local. governments
What amount of the $108
billion in savings is expected to
come from each area.
5% New technology
3% Intergovernmental

Only Clinton's resolve can save
program from political graveyard

Even though President Clinton un-
veiled his administration's plan to "re-
invent government" last week with great
optimism, many skeptics feel the issue
has been nothing but a media blitz.
"Make no mistake about this: This is
one report that will not gather dust in a
warehouse," Clinton pledged. However,
history indicates he might be wrong.
In 1905, President Theodore
Roosevelt assigned Charles Keep, as-
sistant treasury secretary, to investigate
the government bureaucracy to find
ways to increase efficiency.
"Keep soon discovered that what
some people see as waste, others view
as a safeguard for stability, for their
ideals and in some cases for their jobs,"
said John Sanders, a spokesperson for
Vice President Al Gore.
Roosevelt's problems were just the
beginning. Since then there have been
at least 10 extensive reports on improv-
ing government efficiency and most of
their volumes rest quietly in a storage
room gathering dust.
Even if the Clinton administration
stays behind this project, political ex-
perts speculate fundamental change
could take more that a decade to occur.
Many of the proposals have already
met opposition.
The trimming of thousands of em-
ployees and merging organizations such
as the Federal Bureau of Investigation
and the Drug EnforcementAgency will
be hard.


Yet the largest goal of the program
is an elusive ideoligical one. Gore has
often refered to his hopes of changing
the bureaucratic culture of following
the rules, passing the buck and keeping
your head down. Changing this funda-
mental idea in goverment could prove
virtually impossible.
"Gore realizes this is a long-term
commitment by the administration to
make change," said John Kamensky,
deputy director of the vice president's
task force.
However, while Gore's enthusiasm
for the project he spent six months
creating seems undaunted, the will of
the president remains questionable.
Clinton has many options how to
push this program" through a hostile
To succeed, support for reform must
be bi-partisan. Yet, ironically, the presi
dent could see the most resistance not
from the Republicans but rather from
his own party.
So now Clinton can side-step the
proposals and clear the agenda for health
reform, or give the appearance of sup-
port but allow Congress to rewrite the
plan. Or he could stick with it and make
a change.
So to succeed in his goals of "rein-
venting government," Clinton will have
to act quickly and tap public support for
cutting the wastefulness of bureaucracy.
If he lacks the resolve to push for the
plan, dust will settle on the latest effort
to serve the people with an efficient
readies to:
lobby for
Clinton administration was preparing a
high-profile start yesterday to its fall
lobbying campaign on behalf of a free
trade agreement linking the United
States, Mexico and Canada.
Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen
confidently predicted the administra-
tion will be able to overcome formi-
dable congressional opposition.
President Clinton was to sign envi-
ronmental and labor side pacts to the
proposed North American Free Trade
Agreement today with former presi-
dents George Bush, Jimmy Carter and
Gerald Ford looking on.
Meeting with reporters yesterday,
Bentsen conceded that the administra-
tion does not yet have the votes to pass
NAFTA, but he said many lawmakers.
were withholding judgment until after
they had seen the side agreements.
"Traditionally, you have more op-
position as you start until you get a
chance to explain the benefits," said
Bentsen, who rejected suggestions that
the administration was holding back its
lobbying effort because of strong oppo-
sition from labor and environmental
organizations who had heavily backed
Clinton during his presidential cam-
"We will win it," Bentsen predicted.
The Bush administration completed
the 2,000-page trade agreement a year
ago, but Clinton demanded negotiation

of side pacts in an effort to answer
concerns raised by environmentalists
and unions over lax enforcement of
Mexican laws.
Those side agreements will be signed
in today's ceremony and the actual text
will finally be released.
Opponents, however, were notwait-
ing to see the final texts.
Sierra Club officials said yesterday
they will join a number of national
environmental groups in fighting
NAFTA in Congress becauseof unhap-
piness over the side pacts.
"The side agreement is more form
than substance," said Sierra Club Chair
Michael McCloskey.

Above: Prof. Nowersztern teaches a Yiddish literature class under a tree outside of Angell Hall. Right: Justin Finnicum, an SNRE
junior, leaps down the steps of the Clements Library on his rollerblades.


Florida schools ban smoking in

Smokers at Florida's nine public
universities will be violating university
policy and the law if they light up in
their dorm rooms or offices beginning
this year.
A new version of the Florida Clean
Indoor Air Act includes "educational
facilities" in a list of locations where
smoking is prohibited. While classrooms
and libraries are non-smoking on most
campuses nationwide, the Florida law
has been interpreted as also extending
to private rooms and offices.
'The situation this fall is no smok-
ing in any building on campus or off
campus that is owned or leased by the
state," said Pat Riordan, a spokesperson
for Florida's Chancellor of State Uni-

The most significant change in the
policy is that it applies to areas such as
apartments "where people have asserted
their right to privacy," he said.
Some critics say the new smoking
policy takes the law too far and violates
personalrights. Butofficialsbelieve the
interpretation is valid and concurrent
with the mission of higher education.
"Our mission is educational obvi-
ously and one part of that is to educate
people towards healthy lives," Riordan
said. "Our mission is also to protect
people from hazardous substances."
The Florida Student Association
(FSA) - a state-wide lobbying group
that represents Florida's 188,000 stu-
dents- is still unsure of the position to
take when it begins lobbying this fall.
Greg Bradley, an FSA representa-
tive, said the organization is undecided

on whether to lobby for the smokers or
the non-smokers. He said although pro-
tection against second-hand smoke for
non-smokers is important, FSA is con-
cerned about the right to privacy.
"We don't want to be hypocritical,"
he said. "But this crosses the line of
what is a student's personal right."
Of particular concern, said FSA
member Sue Jenkins, are places such as
Alumni Village at Florida State Univer-
sity. Located off-campus, Alumni Vil-
lage houses graduate students, many of
whom are married.
"They are completely off campus
but are leased by the university. People
opt for them because they are cheaper.
We feel that places like these should be
exempt," Jenkins said.
The question of how to enforce a no-
smoking policy in private rooms or

dorms apartments
apartments is also at issue. Karolyn excluded from this policy for both]
Bosenberg, a clerk at Alumni Village, and common sense reasons."
said the management wouldneverknow There are no current discussio
if residents were smoking in the 791 change the policy and prohibit smo
apartments unless there was a com- in University housing.
plaint. At Florida's universities, Br
FSA also said student safety - said, there is some outspoken crit
particularly the potential dangers in- by students on the new policy. Altl
volved if students are required to go the normal procedures for public
outside at night to smoke a cigarette - mentapplied to the actual passagec
is a main concern regarding the policy. state law last spring, no student
Bradleyreferred toan incident last spring was involved when interpreting thl
when two women at the University of "It is not a question at this po
Florida at Gainesville were assaulted what people think, but of what (the
outside a dormitory while smoking. says and means," Riordan said.
The new Florida policy takes a stab word is out. People are starting to+
at smokers that goes a large step beyond plain."
the policy at this university. Riordan added that, for the
Although the general University part, the policy has received fa
smoking policy prohibits lighting up in support and complaints have m
all University facilities, itexcludes fully been from students in the dorms.
enclosed areas where space is not shared The Chancellor's office sent
with non-smokers. memorandum to officials at all o
In addition, the policy in residence schools July 20. Each school i
halls includes the following clause: pected to send back documentati
"Resident rooms and apartments are how it plans to implement the po

ns to
of the
e law.
Dint of
e law)
out a
of the
is ex-
ion of

Student groups
U American Movement for Israel,
mass meeting, sponsored by
Hillel, 1429 Hill St., 7 p.m.
U Amnesty International, monthly
.oo-naX -h-an Tnin

meeting, sponsored by Hillel,
1429 Hill St., 7:30 p.m.
Q Auditions: Talk to Us and Res
R. rPiimPhl h~trnr.

E. Huron, 7:30 p.m.
J Socialism and the Future of
Humanity, sponsored by
SPARK, Modern Languages
Building, room B 122, 7-8 p.m.

r w - ...

U of M Women's Glee Club
Mas Meetinn and Auditions

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