Treasury's Brady: Congress Drags Feet

INTERVIEW

TREASURY Secretary Nicholas Brady says that, with the cold war over, America is poised for impressive growth by next year. Interviewed at the Republican National Convention, he made the following points:

On the prospects for recovery:

We know there's a problem of slower growth, but I'm convinced that is going to change.

I think that 1993 and '94 are going to be excellent years, and I think the job-creation will be in excess of the people coming into the work force, so that you will see the unemployment rate coming down.

On the Bush administration's economic game plan:

There were seven things that were given to the Congress [in January] to do in a month's time. Here we are at the end of the summer, and nothing has happened.

On what needs to be added to the president's economic package:

I think what needs to be added ... includes controlling the deficit, so you can get enough capital into American industry to create the investment in jobs that we've got in front of us. Certainly, we also believe strongly in capital gains [tax cuts].

Number two, we have to make sure that our international competitiveness is up to the highest standards that we can provide, because the two places wealth is going to come from in the future are exports [and] small businesses.

That's where two-thirds of the growth in new jobs comes from.

We have to make sure that we don't clog up the engine of new job growth with increased taxes, which the Clinton plan does. Some 75 percent of his tax increases wind up on small businesses.

The third point is ... we now have a chance to invest in ourselves, and that's very simple: education, a health-care plan that works, continuing the fight on drugs and crime, [and] tacking down the benefits of winning the cold war.

On the rapid changes in the American job market:

We've got to do a better job making [the] American people understand that that's a change which we can cope with, and which will make their lives the same that they've always been, which is at the top of the pile in living standards, in environmental conditions, health, all of those things.

On taxation:

We have to reform our tax system. You've got to reform it [so that] you won't have double taxation on dividends, which raises the cost of capital. You have to reform it in the area where we have an international tax treaty system that conforms to the way trade takes place now.

On the Bush administration's attitudes on change:

I'm not so sure that the people that I talk to when I get out are so interested in change. I think what they want is to find out what the game plan is, now that the cold war is over. I hear people standing up and saying they're not worried about [nuclear war] anymore, so that part of American history is behind us. Now we've got to say, What does that mean for the people of the United States?

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