THE QUICKEST FIX OF ALL

CONGRESS FLIRTS WITH A POLITICALLY RISKY REMEDY: PARE THE GOVERNMENT'S COST OF LIVING INCREASES

To Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the news was electrifying. The New York Democrat raced to the telephone and called Joseph Stiglitz, head of President Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers. "Get the President to call Bob Dole--fast!" he urged. Moynihan, who was shopping around a dramatic proposal, had just witnessed a rare moment in Washington--the possibility of bipartisan, let's-jump-off-together risk taking. Senate majority leader Dole had mumbled something positive about the idea; if the White House, too, gave it a nod, the seemingly intractable deadlock over how best to balance the federal budget could be broken; sharp cuts in Medicare and Medicaid...

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