Balance Sheet



Heartland Revolt. Clinton's budget allies come collecting. Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-Nebr.) and Rep. Tim Penny (D-Minn.) say they made a deal: their votes in exchange for extra spending cuts in the fall. Now Clinton proposes a measly $10 billion in cuts over five years. Not enough, say the Democratic deficit hawks. Penny joins Rep. John Kasich (R-Ohio) to back $103 billion in specific cuts; Kerrey says he'll consider that list and may add more.

Green Acres. Boris Yeltsin moves agriculture privatization forward. A Yeltsin land-reform decree lets farmers in the Nizhny Novgorod region near Moscow own and exchange their land and equipment. One unfortunate concession: Since the program prohibits tenant farming, outsiders may not invest in the newly private farms.

Fund-Raising Drive. The Pentagon owns 175 golf courses, costing taxpayers $6 million a year to maintain. A bill by Sen. Dennis DeConcini (D-Ariz.) and Rep. Gerald Kleczka (D-Wis.) would open these links to the public. National Journal reports that civilian golfers might spend $110 million in greens fees a year, with 90 percent going for deficit reduction.

Competitive Edge. A year-long study by McKinsey & Co. concludes that managed trade is bad for business. (See Trends, Feb.) Comparing productivity in nine manufacturing industries, the United States, with its open borders and fewer regulations, beats both Japan and Germany. Says McKinsey Global Institute Director Bill Lewis, "The more open you are, the more productive you become." Take that, Laura Tyson.


Violent Femme. Attorney General Janet Reno says broadcasters must reduce televised violence by January 1. Otherwise, she'll back censorship. (See "TV or Not TV?," Aug./Sept.) "The regulation of violence is constitutionally permissible," she tells the Senate Commerce Committee. Committee Chairman Fritz Hollings (D-S.C.) ups the ante, introducing a bill that limits violence on broadcast TV and cable.

Pain in the… The proportion of back-pain cases reported under the Americans with Disabilities Act rises from 14.7 percent at the end of 1992 to 18.6 percent in August 1993. (See Trends, Aug./Sept.) Forbes notes that discrimination claims by the blind, the deaf, amputees, and nonambulatory persons have dropped to less than 8.6 percent of all cases.

Unemployment Assurance. Labor Secretary Robert Reich says increasing the minimum wage to $4.75 an hour will have no "additional negative employment effects." If that's so, counters Rep. Martin Sabo (D-Minn.), the House budget chairman, let's raise it to $6.50 an hour. Sabo is serious. Where are those New Democrats are hiding?

K Street Kids. Maryland forces its high-school students to perform community service before they graduate. To promote the program, the Department of Education commissions a poster depicting a "mountain" of community service. A student ascends the rock face, into which is carved messages urging "Tree Planting," "Working in a Nursing Home," and "Helping in a Soup Kitchen." And what noble activity lies at the summit? "Lobbying."