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AND I QUOTE / What Political Books Are Saying : Taking Control: Politics in the Information Age. By Morley Winograd and Dudley Buffa (Henry Holt; $25; 259 pp.)

July 07, 1996|John Balzar

"Claims by both the Clinton White House and the Gingrich Republicans to know what the permissible and necessary spending limit will be on health care seven or 10 years in the future are just as much the product of machine-age thinking as any of the five-year plans that ever came out of the Kremlin. The way to balance the budget is to free up the creative energy of the new economy, and the way to do that is to adopt a new system of taxation that corresponds to the requirements of the new age. The explosion of economic growth, in combination with the proper re-engineering of the American government, will quickly close the gap between revenues and expenditures. Like solutions to the other public policy challenges we face, the answer will be found not in new rules or constitutional amendments but in the courage to give up old ways of thinking and explore new possibilities for the future."

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Technology! Information! Golly. The center-right Democratic Leadership Council last gave us Bill Clinton. Now two of its cognoscente offer this utopian manifesto, exhorting us to welcome the loving embrace of technology, remake government and go to school for the rest of our lives. Revolutionize taxes, empower welfare recipients, forget affirmative action because "everyone . . . will have the same opportunities" in the new information era. Yes, folks, we can create our own destiny with a "new system of systems" and don't fret the details. Who says there is no new thinking in politics? If you stack enough computers end to end, guess what? They reach all the way to the pie in the sky.

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