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Archive for Thursday, February 18, 1999

MOORE CRUNCHES BUDGET NUMBERS

February 18, 1999

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Congressman Dennis Moore pushed a Social Security budget measure before 120 people at a Lawrence Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

The federal government should adopt an accounting change that ends the practice of masking deficits by including Social Security surpluses in the overall budget, Rep. Dennis Moore, D-Kan., said Wednesday.

Moore, who spoke at a Lawrence Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Lawrence Holidome, said he introduced a bill -- his first as a congressman -- to require more truthful representation of federal budget numbers.

"Everybody is talking in different terms," he said. "If we do this as a first step, at least we're being honest with people."

For example, under Moore's bill, Americans would be more accurately informed that there was a $29 billion deficit in 1998 rather than the $70 billion surplus frequently referenced by politicians who want to cut taxes or increase spending. Current projections indicate the government could manage a $6 billion surplus -- excluding Social Security revenue -- in 2001.

Moore said the end of President Clinton's impeachment trial signaled the opening of an eight-month window of opportunity for Republicans and Democrats to work cooperatively on Social Security, Medicare, health care, education legislation.

"After that time it's very difficult to get anything done," said Moore, noting that the 2000 election cycle would inhibit bipartisanship.

-- Tim Carpenter's phone message number is 832-7155. His e-mail address is tcarpenter@ljworld.com.

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