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September 10, 1993 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 1993-09-10

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 10, 1993 -9

Clinton, Gore u

By ANDREW TAYLOR
DAILY STAFF REPORTER
President Clinton unveiled the
administration's plan to "reinvent gov-
ernment" this week amidpiles of excess
regulations and
swarms of re-
porters on the
South Lawn of
the White
House.
-ter "The govern-
ment is broken
and we intend to
fix it," Clinton
promised.
He said if all
of his administration's recommenda-
tions are implemented, the government
will save $108 billion over the next five
years and eliminate more than a quarter
million employees.
The recommendations for this gov-
ernment tune-up arepartof the National
Performance Review, a six-month in-
vestigation into the nation's bureau-
cracy headedby Vice PresidentAl Gore.
Clinton wholeheartedly endorsed the
commission's book of more than 800
ideas to cut waste and reduce red tape.
Some of the proposals include clos-
ing hundreds of government offices
around the country, and requiring gov-
ernment agencies to compete with pri-
vate businesses.
One suggestion would benefit the
auto industry by allowing the National
HighwayTransportationSafetyAdmin-
istration to grant automakers more ex-
emptions from highway safety stan-
dards and permit them to develop new

safety systems.
Other proposals would have an im-
mediate impact on citizens.
The Internal Revenue Service could
begin to allow people to pay taxes with
credit cards, and simplify tax forms.
The Social Security department
would begin to answer 800-number
calls.
The document says the proposed
elimination of 252,000 jobs would re-
duce the federal payroll by 12 percent
and save more than $40 billion.
This reduction would reportedly be
done through early retirements, attri-
tion and job buyouts; however, admin-
istration officials concede layoffs are
possible.
"We couldn't change what needs to
be changed without running into oppo-
sition," Gore said, "but the ground has
shifted. The world has changed. The
American people are demanding
change."
Pointing to layoffs by large corpora-
tions like General Motors and IBM,
Gore said the "battening down of the
hatches" would not be "done easily."
The report recommends closing
thousands of field offices for the De-
partments of Agriculture, and Housing
and Urban Development.
Gore estimated more than half the
plan will require varying degrees of
Congressional approval, while other
recommendations can be activated by
an executive order from Clinton. He
added that the date and how the plan
would be presented toCongresshadnot
yet been determined.
Many Republicans welcome the idea

nveil government
of improving government efficiency.
"American people have heard far
too many stories about government
waste andmismanagement,"saidMichi-
gan Rep. Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph).
"We have our marching orders, and it's
time toputreform proposals into action
and truly reduce govermnent spend-
ing."

Clinton claimed support for this pro-
gram crosses party lines. "Make no
mistake about this: this is one report that
will not gather dust in a warehouse," he
pledged.
Many Michigan Congress members
wereimmediately supportive of theplan.
"This initiative will finally start
bringing the operations of the govern-
ment into the 21st century," Rep. John
Conyers (D-Detroit)told press.
Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said the
plan seeks to change problems than
have gone on for decades.
"But it won't happen without great
follow-through and tremendous effort,
because there is always resistance to
change," Levin said.
Gore's report was prepared with the
advice of thousands of federal employ-
ees, independent consultants and busi-
ness leaders. Although many of the rec-
ommendations can be found in past
govemmentreformreports, both Clinton
and Gore are optimistic that this time
the system can be changed.

AP PrOTO-
President Clinton gestures as he and Vice President Al Gore stand by a forklift with reams of federal bureaucratic rules and
regulations outside the White House Tuesday. The president and vice president unveiled plans to cut, consolidate and reshape the
government, saving $108 billion by the century's end.
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