Clinton offers aid to displaced in California CLINTON'S ECONOMIC PLAN $500 million to be released

February 22, 1993|By Los Angeles Times

SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- President Clinton, campaigning like an incumbent doling out fiscal favors, announced yesterday in economically hard-hit Southern California that his administration shortly will release $500 million in funds to aid workers displaced by defense cutbacks.

Mr. Clinton said that the money would come from funds already authorized by Congress that the Bush administration refused to spend.

Aides could not provide details yesterday on where the money would be spent or on what types of programs. But Mr. Clinton has spoken extensively in the past about the need to retrain highly skilled defense industry workers for civilian employment and to aid communities especially hurt by cutbacks in the military.

Mr. Clinton said yesterday that he hoped to spend a total of $5 billion over the next four years retraining workers and reinvesting in communities hurt by defense closings. "It's time to stop talking about defense conversion and start doing something about it," he said.

The president will take a similar message to Everett, Wash., today where he will speak to workers at Boeing Co., which announced plans last week to lay off 28,000 aircraft workers.

The president also will speak in San Jose, Calif., today to workers at a Silicon Valley computer graphics company, and has promised to unveil a new policy for fostering the development of new technologies. He will be joined at that appearance by Vice President Al Gore.

Mr. Clinton spent most of his 35-minute address to about 1,000 people gathered at Santa Monica College reviewing the economic renewal plan that he presented to Congress last week.

His visit to California was part of a continuing sales pitch for the controversial package of tax increases, spending cuts and new government programs designed to trim the federal budget deficit and create millions of new jobs.

Mr. Clinton admitted that the tax increases could inflict pain on most Americans but he pleaded for support because, he said, the long-term benefits of the package far outweigh the costs.

He asked those in the crowd to tell their elected representatives to adopt the plan intact, even though they may object to cuts in cherished programs or to unpopular new taxes.

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