ECONOMY: REGULATION OF BUSINESS

The candidates each talk about cutting government bureaucracy if elected. But there are some key differences - notably on the so-called "jobs vs. environment" issue. Even without new rules, the cost of environmental regulation is headed for $160 billion a year by mid-decade, according to the National Association of Manufacturers. This spending buys environmental benefits and spawns some new jobs, but critics say the costs of some rules outweigh their benefits and drag down economic growth. In the Bush and C linton campaigns, the vice presidential candidates have taken center stage in this debate. Sen. Al Gore holds that environmental spending creates the jobs of the future, while Vice President Dan Quayle leads the president's Competitiveness Council in opposing new rules. On this issue, Ross Perot's stand appears to be similar to the Bush administration's. BUSH

Pledges to extend for one year his moratorium imposed last winter on new rulemaking. He also plans "sunset" provisions to phase out "any rule whose time has come - and gone."

Has signed several important regulatory measures into law, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, which forces businesses to open job and consumer opportunities to disabled citizens; civil rights legislation, passed after what he perceived as quotas were removed; and clean-air amendments that employ innovative tradable "pollution permits" to cut sulfur dioxide.

Opposes further environmental rules such as tougher fuel-economy standards for automobiles, which he says would cost jobs.

Attacks Clinton's health-care plan as a costly "government takeover" of the system and his job-training plan as a "new tax." Bush's health-care plan centers around tax credits for the poor and deductions for middle-income taxpayers. CLINTON

Promises to "cut 100,000 bureaucrats and put 100,000 new police

officers on your streets." He also told fellow Democrats, "We've got some changing to do.... There is not a program in government for every problem."

Plans several new regulatory initiatives, including a requirement that every business with more than 50 employees spend 1.5 percent of its sales revenue on job training for all workers (the money can't go to train managers alone). Noncompliant businesses would pay a 1.5 percent tax. Supports raising auto fuel-economy standards to 40 miles per gallon (as a carmaker's fleet average) from 27.5 m.p.g. Would require employers to provide health insurance to workers. The government would control prescription -drug pricing and put a cap on national health spending. The Clinton campaign says Bush's health proposal would cover less than a quarter of the uninsured. PEROT

Says the "immense burden of paper work we have placed on small business" should be reduced to an annual one-page form for firms with under 100 workers.

Favors incentives over regulations to achieve environmental goals. Calls for more research before passing new environmental regulations. "On too many environmental questions we don't even have agreement about the scientific facts," he says.

Would establish a national health board to oversee cost containment and calls for "comprehensive national health-care reform based on a public-private partnership."

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