Budget plan would take year to implement, Perot says

October 03, 1992|By New York Times News Service

DALLAS -- One day after he jarred the presidential campaign with his announcement that he was re-entering the race, Ross Perot said yesterday that if elected, his plan to balance the federal budget would not get started until a year after his inauguration.

Interviewed by Barbara Walters for the ABC News program "20/20," Mr. Perot said it would take that long to secure congressional approval of the legislation needed to implement his economic proposals.

"At the rate Congress moves, let's assume you go in the first of '93," he said in his first comments on the timing of his economic plans. "You have everything; the plane's loaded and ready to go in '94. That's warp speed. But in terms of making the hard decisions, I'm saying within a year, with a mandate from the people, millions of Americans demanding that we get on with it, by the end of '93 we would have firm plans in place to restructure health care, rebuild the job base."

Mr. Perot also committed himself yesterday to spending almost $1 million next week to buy three half-hour blocks of advertising on network television.

Last night, Stephen Battaglio, ABC's manager of media relations, said the network had reached a firm agreement to sell Mr. Perot a half-hour starting at 9:30 p.m. next Friday for $620,000. The half-hour will pre-empt "Camp Wilder" and lead into "20/20" with Barbara Walters, the show on which Mr. Perot appeared as a guest last night.

At CBS, a spokeswoman said the Perot campaign had contracted to buy a half-hour on Tuesday leading into the National League baseball playoffs, at a cost of $380,000, and pre-empting "Rescue 911." Representatives of NBC said they were still bargaining with the Perot campaign late yesterday.

As he began his renewed campaign for the White House, Mr. Perot has had to face assertions that his economic plan places too much of a tax burden on the middle class and is such drastic medicine that it would throw the economy into a full-scale depression.

During last night's "20/20" interview, excerpts of which were provided by ABC, Mr. Perot said that people are ready to make the sacrifices necessary to balance the budget. "We're talking about fair-share sacrifice," he said. "Everywhere I go, ordinary folks who work hard for a living pull me aside and say, 'Ross, I'm willing to do my share. Just make sure it's fair.' "

John P. White, the Eastman Kodak executive who is the chief architect of the plan, has said it should not be begun until 1994 to make sure the economy is sufficiently on the road to recovery.

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