February 16, 1996 in Nation/World

Dark Horse Addresses Balanced Budget, Jobs Industrialist Candidate Speaks To Issues Of Concern To Northwest

By The Spokesman-Review

Presidential candidate Morry Taylor probably will be out of the race before it moves on to the Northwest.

In a way, that’s too bad, because Taylor - a blunt-talking Illinois industrialist who generally is regarded as running eighth in the crowded field - did the best job of articulating the concerns of Washington state voters Thursday night.

“We want to balance the budget in this country and we want to get jobs back,” Taylor said near the close of a televised debate leading up to Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary.

Having Congress and President Clinton balance the budget was important to 92 percent of Washington state voters surveyed recently by The Spokesman-Review and KHQ-TV. Taking steps to protect and increase good-paying jobs was important to 81 percent.

Discussions of balancing the budget came up sporadically Thursday as candidates talked about various tax changes and the economic growth each might generate.

But the eight Republican presidential candidates at the debate were asked point-blank what they would do to create jobs.

Most turned their responses, which were limited to no more than 90 seconds, into an argument over international trade deals, and whether they help or hurt American workers.

Sen. Bob Dole accused Pat Buchanan of being a protectionist who wanted to put a wall around America. Buchanan accused Dole of protecting Wall Street bankers by providing federal loan guarantees to Mexico.

In-depth discussion of ways to increase jobs and wages was minimal, although Taylor did suggest that the minimum wage be raised to at least $7 for adults.

What the leading candidates said:

Dole: Defended the North American Free Trade Agreement and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, saying the way to job growth is through expanded foreign markets. Accused Clinton of doing a bad job of enforcing terms of the agreement.

Buchanan: Denounced NAFTA and GATT, saying American workers shouldn’t have to compete with countries that pay as little as 25 cents an hour. He also called for tariffs that would raise the price of foreign goods to protect American-made products and tax cuts on business investments.

Lamar Alexander: Supported the trade agreements and cited his record as governor in bringing jobs to Tennessee by exporting that state’s products. Also called for fewer regulations on businesses, more research and better schools to train workers for better jobs.

Steve Forbes: Supported NAFTA and GATT, saying the country will only remain competitive in jobs if it reduced trade barriers. Would push for free trade with Japan, a process he said could take years, and criticized Clinton for not penalizing the Mexican government for breach of NAFTA.

Alan Keyes: Called NAFTA and GATT failures and a surrender of U.S. sovereignty. Also criticizes other candidates for discussing economics statistics instead of addressing the real problem the countries moral decline.

Richard Lugar: Strongly supports both agreements and said the only way the country will gain new jobs is by removing export barriers. “We will lose jobs if we go protectionist. We will gain jobs if we take leadership in the world.”

, DataTimes

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