Tsongas Vows Plan to Cut Budget Deficit

FORMER US Sen. Paul Tsongas of Massachusetts says his failed bid for the Democratic nomination is not his last hurrah.

He wants to be invited back to address reporters at a Monitor breakfast this fall. By then, he promises, he and retiring US Sen. Warren Rudman (R) of New Hampshire will have come up with a comprehensive plan to address the nation's burdensome deficit, a problem that he says is crippling the United States economy.

"To change this country, you have to change one of the political parties," Mr. Tsongas said at a breakfast meeting with reporters Monday.

The Republican Party requires the greatest amount of transformation to affect change, because both its economic and social policies are lacking, he said.

He has high hopes for the Democrats, whose social policies are sound, but who must focus on investment, research and development, and savings. But he fears for the country's economic future. By 2010, he warns, young workers will spend 30 percent of their income on entitlements.

Tsongas hasn't read the Democratic platform, which includes many components of his pro-business, economic-growth agenda.

"I don't read them because it's a very Darwinian exercise. What will cause me to evolve and what won't? Reading platforms doesn't."

Tsongas suggests President Bush ought to make US Housing and Urban Development Secretary Jack Kemp his running mate to woo the conservative and urban vote and Ross Perot should choose someone with a proven social agenda. Bill Clinton, he says, "should let the Tsongas plan win."

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