Education is the key, Clinton says

September 02, 1992|By C. Fraser Smith | C. Fraser Smith,Staff Writer

ROCKVILLE -- America's economic future depends on fundamental changes in its education system,

Democratic presidential nominee Bill Clinton said today.

In a speech to about 3,000 people at Montgomery Community College, Mr. Clinton said the 1990 U.S. Census clearly showed that high school graduates who get two years of additional skills and training offered by most industrialized nations will go into jobs where incomes rise.

Without the training, the figures show, income tends to go down, he said.

"Everything depends on a place like this, and we're cutting off [tax support]. It's a mistake."

The candidate aimed sharp criticism at President Bush, saying Mr. Bush would have cut off Pell grants to 400,000 low-income students. Reductions of government aid have come at the same time that the Bush administration pursues tax cuts for the wealthy, Mr. Clinton said.

Under a Clinton presidency, he said, the federal government would go into partnership with states to provide the additional training the country needs. He proposed that corporate America constantly retrain its workers and that the corporations be assessed a charge if they fail to make retraining available.

With his party 0-for-2 in recent presidential elections in Maryland and with a fresh poll suggesting another close race this year, Mr. Clinton opened his campaign in Maryland last night at a flag-decorated softball stadium in Anne Arundel County.

"For the rest of the campaign, I'm going to stick up for the people like you who work hard, who play by the rules and who have basically gotten the shaft for the last 12 years," Mr. Clinton said after a late-inning appearance as a pinch-hitter and pitcher at Severn's Randazzo Park.

He hit an infield single and had a brief and unremarkable mound appearance for the Stingers softball team before aiming his real pitch at the swing voters -- Reagan Democrats and suburbanites whose decision likely will determine the outcome in Maryland.

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