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October 01, 1993 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 1993-10-01

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 1, 1993 - 7


State economy shines due to tax cuts
and higher employment, analysts say

BELLAIRE (AP) - The Michi-
gan economy is growing faster than
the nation's, but could be dragged
down by higher taxes and ill-advised
government policy, economists said
David Sowerby, chief economist
for Beacon Investment Co., and state
Senate Fiscal Agency Director Gary
Olson were mostly upbeat in speeches
at the Michigan Chamber of Com-
merce conference on taxes and the
"I remain reasonably bullish on
Michigan," Sowerby said.
He said the state is outperforming
the nation in several key areas. Retail
sales, for example, are up 8 percent in
Michigan this year, compared to 6

percent nationally.
The S&P 500 stock index is up 5.8
percent this year, while an index of
100 leading Michigan companies has
jumped 12 percent, Sowerby said.
And the state jobless rate in Au-
gust was 6.5 percent, compared to 6.7
percent nationally. This is the first
year since 1966 that Michigan unem-
ployment has fallen below the nation-
wide rate.
Strong automobile sales and solid
performance by many medium-sized
and small businesses have fueled
Michigan's growth, Sowerby said.
Low interest rates have helped as well,
and if they stay down, 1994 may be a
stronger year than many economists
expect, he added.

"Those low interest rates ... will
be the senior partner on the way to an
economy that, if it surprises us, will
surprise us on the high side," he said.
Olson generally echoed Sowerby's
assessment, but said the tax increase
in President Clinton's budget could
slow growth slightly in 1994.
"The major risk to our forecast ...
is that consumer confidence and busi-
ness confidence will continue to fall,
due to uncertainty over job growth
and the federal tax increase," Olson
said. "This could undercut consumer
spending and business investment."
Chamber of Commerce Vice Presi-
dent Richard Studley said mostMichi-
gan businesses expect growth to re-
main steady but slow.

While many worry that the Clinton
taxes will be a "slight drag" on the
economy, "there are a lot of very
positive trends at the state level," he
said in an interview.
Repeal of the inheritance tax en-
courages family-owned businesses;
and medium-sized service industries
are doing particularly well, he said.
Both economists warned that gov-
ernment action - or inaction - on a
number of fronts could damage
Michigan's fragile recovery from the
depths of the early 1980s, when job-
lessness soared to 17 percent.
How lawmakers and Gov. John
Engler handle the school financing
issue will be crucial as well, theecono-
mists said.

First lady defends health plan to

Holly Major, a medical information clerk, checks students into University Health
Services yesterday. Due to the unseasonable weather, lines are unusually long.
7th person charged in
Fidscal Agency scandle

flattering dozens of lawmakers,
Hillary Rodham Clinton flattened a
Republican critic with a stinging ref-
erence to suicide doctor Jack
The first lady, who was to finish a
three-day marathon on Capitol Hill
yesterday before the Senate Finance
Committee, has dazzled lawmakers
with her encyclopedic knowledge of
the country's health problems and the
administration's proposed remedy.
They likened her to Eleanor
Roosevelt and Martha Washington,
and Rep. William Ford (D-Mich.),
chair of the House Education and La-
bor Committee, said she had an
Abraham Lincoln-like way with

Then Rep. Richard Armey (R-
Texas) an acerbic critic of the Clinton
health plan, showed up in her gun
Armey, the No. 3 Republican in
the House, said he didn't share Ford's
"joy at our holding hearings on a
government-run health care system."
But he promised to do his part to
make the debate "as exciting as pos-
"I'm sure you will do that, Mr.
Armey," cracked the first lady. "You
and Dr. Kevorkian."
The reference to the Michigan pro-
ponent of doctor-assisted suicide
evoked gasps, a burst of laughter and
then applause from the Democratic

side of the 39-member committee.
Armey, chairman of the House
Republican Conference and co-spon-
sor of a rival GOP health plan, re-
cently described Clinton's health plan
as "the Dr. Kevorkian prescription
for the jobs of American working men
and women."
Armey turned beet-red and was
clearly taken aback by the first lady's
But he recovered to say, "I have
been told about your charm and wit.

Reports on your charm are overstated.
Reports on your wit are understated."
Asked yesterday about the
president's response to the exchange,
White House spokesperson Dee Dee
Myers laughed and said of Armey,
"He's always a lively addition to the
bipartisan meetings."
Clinton, she said, has been "obvi-
ously very impressed and very proud
of his wife's performance."
Aides to Armey and Mrs. Clinton
said the exchange was all in good fun.

LANSING (AP) - The former
bookkeeper of the scandal-plagued
House Fiscal Agency was charged
yesterday with embezzling funds
from the agency's petty cash fund.
Catherine Beckholt of East Lan-
sing was arraigned on four counts of
embezzlement by a public official.
She was accusedof stealing $14,526.
The charges made her the seventh
person charged in an investigation of
the House's budgeting and financial
forecasting arm.
Beckholt was suspended without
pay from her $39,886-a-year job in
January when a joint federal-state
task force began looking into alleged
wrongdoing in the agency.
The Detroit News first uncovered
misspending from the agency's petty
cash account in January, including
bonuses paid to employees.
A state audit later found $1.8 mil-
lion was misspent by the agency.
Besides being bookkeeper,
Beckholt was administrative assis-
tant to the director, John Morberg,
and helped him balance the agency's
checking account.
The News reported in January that
(' Morberg had paid her $22,500 in

Beckholt was released on a $7,500
personal recognizance bond after ap-
pearing before District Judge Patrick
Cherry in Lansing.
Her attorney, Frank Reynolds, said
a preliminary examination will be set
after he has a chance to do his own
"There is an explanation for what
occurred and I'm not at liberty to
discuss that at this point," Reynolds
Investigators have been asking
Beckholt about the workings of the
office, but they don't seem to be try-
ing to get her to incriminate others, he
Attorney General Frank Kelley
said Beckholt wrote checks to herself
and disguised the payments by indi-
cating on agency books that the checks
were written for some legitimate busi-
ness purpose.
One check written to her was re-
corded as having been written to a
photocopy company.
If convicted, Beckholt faces maxi-
mum penalties of 10 years in prison,
fines of $20,000, or both. A judge can
order restitution also.

How to Write an
Effective Funding Proposal
Monday, October 4,1993
Tuesday, October 5, 1993
7:00 - 9:00 PM, Michigan Union
The Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives offers
seminars to assist students and student organizations in
preparing proposals for funding through Student Academic
Multicultural Initiatives, an incentive program offered by the
Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives. At each session,
the program coordinator from the office will:
" provide detailed explanations on the funding process;
* guide participants through the proposal format;
" provide information on preparing a fundable proposal.
The Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives strongly
recommends that you attend this seminar if you are in-
terested in obtaining funds from our office.
Brochures on Student Academic Multicultural Initiatives
and funding applications are available at:
Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives
1042 Fleming Administration Building
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1340
(313) 936-1055
Melissa Lopez, Program Coordinator

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Put Yourself In The PIcture For Next Summer!
Mass Meetings
Sunday, Oct 3 - Kuenzel Rm, Union
Tuesday, Oct 19- Aud D, Angell Hall
Available at residence hall desks, CIC, NCIC
. and the Office of Orientation ~ 3011 SAB
All applicants must be at least a sophomore at the
time of application, in good academic standing,
and enrolled for the Fall '93 and Winter '94 terms.
} "Compensation
;'' ,,. :{ Valuable work experience for future employment.
:. :.:f:"r.r$2000 salary, room, and board (May 31 - Aug 13).


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For More Information,
Please Contact
The Office of Orientation
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