EXECUTIVES’ NEWSPAPER AD BLASTS U.S. BUDGET STANDOFF
Byline: Joyce Barrett
WASHINGTON — A two-page ad in three newspapers Tuesday advocating a “credible” plan to balance the budget and signed by 91 corporate chiefs, drew mixed reaction on Capitol Hill — divided, like the budget battle, by party lines.
Among those signing the ad were Roger Milliken, chairman of Milliken & Co., Floyd Hall, chairman and president of Kmart, and John H. Bryan, chairman of Sara Lee Corp. Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R., Kan.) and House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R., Ga.) told the organizer of the newspaper campaign in a letter Tuesday that the ad is “a common sense statement.”
Rep. Jack Kingston (R., Ga.), displayed a giant reproduction of the ad on the House floor and said, “The ceos of America have had enough. They are asking the President to do what Congress has already done.”
Rep. Pat Schroeder (D., Colo.), however, lambasted the ad. “Ceos are demanding more corporate welfare,” she said in a floor speech. “They want us to kill Medicare and kill things that mean a lot to the middle class so they can continue on with their golden parachutes and the great tax cuts they’ve been promised.”
Sen. Edward Kennedy (D., Mass.) sent a letter to the ceos encouraging them to form a task force to determine what corporate tax entitlements could be cut to help reduce the budget deficit. “I look forward to hearing from you that you are prepared to bear your share of the sacrifice in the name of fairness,” he wrote.
Peter G. Peterson, chairman of The Blackstone Group, a private investment bank, and Commerce Department secretary during the Nixon administration, organized the ad campaign. So far, according to a spokeswoman in his New York office, the chief executive officers have contributed $280,000 toward the campaign. The ad ran Tuesday in the Washington Post, the Washington Times and the New York Times.
It is to be repeated Thursday in the same papers and will include more ceo signatures. Peterson organized the campaign by sending faxes Thursday night to more than 300 corporate executives, a spokeswoman said. — Fairchild News Service