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May 22, 1982 - Image 10

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1982-05-22

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~Page 10-Saturday, May 22, 1982-The Michigan Daily
Congress juggles federal

By The AssociatedPress
WASHINGTON-Big government
though it is, there's nowhere to hide
Social Security-and sponsors of a
move to change the bookkeeping so it
won't count as part of the federal
budget insist that is not their motive.
Republican Sen. John Heinz of Pen-
nsylvania said that would be as
ridiculous as trying to hide an elephant
behind a telephone pole.
Nevertheless, Heinz and others in the
Senate and House see a way out of the
election-year budget quandary in a
stroke-of-the-pen revision that should
take the $200 billion-plus social in-
surance program out of the overall
THAT WOULD reverse an overhaul
that put Social Security and other
federal trust funds into a new, unified
budget in 1968.
What would have been a deficit
became a balanced budget, and the
share earmarked for social programs
was enlarged in - comparison with
military spending, which at that time
meant the Vietnam War.
President Lyndon Johnson had set up
a special commission to study the
The Real

budget process, and that panel recom-
mended that what had been three
separate federal budgets become one,
saying that would present a more
meaningful and comprehensive picture
of federal spending and its impact on
the economy.
budget that way, and Congress didn't
object. Budgets have been unified ever
But Social Security is a budget
liability now, not an asset. were it to
be stricken from the budget before
Congress, the deficit would be
lowered-and Social Security would be
taken off the immediate agenda as a
target for spending curbs.
Heinz and his allies argue that the
budgeting system raises questions of
philosophy as well as numbers. They
say that the inclusion of Social Security
makes it seem a matter of
discretionary spending to be considered
by Congress each year, not as social in-
surance that is a matter of long-term
"AS LONG AS there are numbers on
Social Security in the budget we ap-
prove, the Senate will be perceived as

trying to balance the budget on the
backs of Social Security beneficiaries,"
Heinz said in proposing the change.
Heinz is a member of the bipartisan
commission on Social Security reform
that was set up at President Reagan's
bequest. It is supposed to make
recommendations to put Social
Security on a sound financial footing in
a report due at the end of the year-af-
ter the elections. He also is a candidate
for re-election.
So are the House Republicans who
argue that Social Security should not
count as part of the current budget.
Rep. Jack Kemp of New York pushed
the question to a vote in the House
Budget Committee, and lost, 16-12.
PRESIDENT REAGAN has said only
that the idea of a budgeting change is
interesting, and should be studied.
The arguments for a unified budget
are what they were in 1968, politics
notwithstanding. Spending is spending
and taxes are taxes; putting them all
together provided a comprehensive pic-
ture of what the government is doing
and spending.
There will have to be a Social
Security debate, and there will have to

by Don Rubin
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No unusually shaped boards,
Fedup with these crazy
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I ' . I

be changes-in benefits or in tax in-
creases-to guarantee the future of the
Heinz says that it should be a debate
separate from the long-running
argument over Reagan's budget.
Unless it is, he said, the work of the
reform commission will be jeopardized.
"I fear that the budget process itself
is coming very close to wrecking the
bipartisan effort," he said. "As long as
there is something in the budget
resolution dealing with Social Security,
the public perception will be that we are
trying to use the Social Security
program to slash budget deficits."
Were Social Security pried out,
budget deficits.would be reduced by a
total of $30 billion to $34 billion over the
next three years.
But only on paper. A change in the
bookkeeping won't change the num-
More cuts
will cause
higher ed.
to crumble
Shapiro says
(Continued from Page 3)
the state's lagging economy but warned
that continuing them would be
"We are painfully aware of the cir-
cumstances that have led to these
damaging cutbacks," Shapiro said.
"However, while these reductions may
be described as necessary under the
circumstances, their cumulative effect
is now undermining the strength of this
state's public education system.'
LAST SEPTEMBER the University
received the first cut of more than $4
million. It was quickly followed by
another cut of nearly $5.2 million in Oc-
tober. The third cut, of some $1.3
million came Thursday as part of a $50
million budget cutting executive order
issued by Milliken in an attempt to
balance the state's budget.
Besides the three cuts, which total
more than $11 million, the state has
deferred payment of a $22 million aid
allocation to the University from the
fourth fiscal quarter of this year to the
first fiscal quarter of next year.
This spring the state announced plans
to defer its $22 million payment of state
aid to the Unversity from the last fiscal
quarter of this year to the state's next
fiscal year.
Some state and University officials
have expressed concern the state's
ability to make good on its payments
next September.
Shapiro said that even if the total
deferred amount is recovered, "there
will be a substantial interest cost to the
University that will not be recovered."
"As a state, economic recovery is
perhaps our first priority, but such a
recovery required a restoration to a
responsible level of support for our
colleges and universities," Shapiro




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