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Many Americans Agree With Clinton’s Speech But Press For Specifics With PM-Clinton-Economy,

February 16, 1993

Many Americans Agree With Clinton’s Speech But Press For Specifics With PM-Clinton-Economy, Bjt

Undated (AP) _ Many Americans say they’ll wait to hear the details before deciding how to answer President Clinton’s economic ″call to arms.″

″There were lots of warm fuzzies there, but not many specifics,″ said Merrill Nielsen, 44, a wheat farmer from Sylvan Grove, Kan.

Janice Romain, a Palmdale, Calif., businesswoman, said she would have liked more details in Monday night’s speech about how he will implement his $500 billion in tax increases and spending cuts. ″It was too vague,″ she said.

Clinton’s first televised address from the Oval Office was meant to build support for the sacrifices that will be required under the four-year economic stimulus plan he will present to Congress in another speech on Wednesday.

The plan will include a new tax on fuels and sources of energy and an increase in the top individual and corporate tax rate.

″I know that a lot of people will say he’s breaking promises and so forth, but I’d really rather see him deal with reality than do the kind of myth- making and deception that took place during the Bush years,″ said lawyer Richard Rydelek, 32, of Buffalo, N.Y. ″There’s going to have to be sacrifice across the board in the short term to have a better long-term situation.″

Clinton said 70 percent of the new taxes would affect people making more than $100,000. But he admitted the middle class also would bear some of the burden - a proposal that got a mixed reception.

″Well, that’s OK, we pay a little extra, just so the big guys pay their fair share,″ said Frank Hyatt of Seattle. ″They’ve always got away scot- free, and we have to pay the bill.″

Those in upper income brackets were less enthusiastic.

″I pay more in taxes than both my parents make, so I feel I certainly pay my fair share,″ said Dr. Debra Smithson, a family practitioner in Lee’s Summit, Mo. ″It’s hard for me to believe I’m going to pay more, but I guess I am.″

Judy Ford, 47, an upholsterer in the Adirondack Mountains about 160 miles north of Albany, N.Y., had other fears. ″Rural people especially are concerned because of a possible energy tax - which probably means a gasoline tax,″ she said.

Clinton did have his backers.

″He’s obviously going to have some bitter medicine for us,″ said Bill Berry, a retired funeral director in Columbia, Mo. But he thought people would understand that sacrifice is needed to reduce the federal deficit.

″These are chickens that are coming home to roost,″ he said.

Irving Sheffel, 76, of Topeka, Kan., said, ″I think he is encouraging people to be less greedy and self indulgent and to begin to think more about what will happen to the next generation.″

″He did say we’re all in it together. That probably means we’ll all end up paying,″ said Danny Shafer, a semi-retired waiter in San Francisco.

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