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Exchange With Reporters Prior to a Meeting With Congressional Leaders

February 17, 1993

Economic Program

Q. Mr. President, if you count Social Security as a tax increase, you don't have a one-to-one ratio. Are you going to have enough cuts in this program to be able to sell this thing?

The President. I think so. There are 150 specific ones, and I'll be glad to entertain some more if anybody's got any specific ideas.

The Vice President. At this point—

Q. Can you honestly say, as Senator Dole has asked, that you have made all the cuts you could possibly make in this program?

The President. I can honestly say I've made more specific cuts that affect me personally than I can think that any of my predecessors have made and that I intend to find more as I go along. I've just been here 4 weeks, and I'll continue to work on it. But I've made an awful lot of cuts; I'm going to make some more.

Q. Have you convinced Senator Dole and Michel and all of the other Republican leaders? And did you call Ross Perot?

The President. My duty is to try to convince them that I will.

The Vice President. In the words of the old hymn, they're "almost persuaded."

The President. I thought that was a country and western song. [Laughter]

Q. They don't look it.

Q. How about Ross Perot, Mr. President?

White House Jogging Track

Q. Why build a jogging track when you're making cuts across the board in Government?

The President. I thought the thing was going to be paid for with contributions; that's what I was told. I think it would be a good thing to have, but I think if we can pay for it with contributions; otherwise, I don't think we ought to spend any tax money on it.

Q. You don't have an alternative way to pay for it?

The President. I was told that the stuff had been donated already. I told them if it was all going to be donated, it was fine with me if it was built. That's what I was told from the very beginning, so that's all I know about it.

NOTE: The exchange began at 2:22 p.m. in the Cabinet Room at the White House.

William J. Clinton, Exchange With Reporters Prior to a Meeting With Congressional Leaders Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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