Even if some people lose their jobs, the American public is ready to accept major cuts in government spending to reduce the federal deficit, Rep. William E. Dannemeyer (R-Fullerton) said Friday.
Dannemeyer, one of six California Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate, called a press conference in Santa Ana to rebut Democratic Sen. Alan Cranston's claim Thursday that the Gramm-Rudman deficit-reduction bill could not be implemented without "a mindless, thoughtless, across-the-board cut in every program, without regard to priorities."
The bill, which President Reagan signed in December, requires automatic spending cuts if Congress and the President are unable to make the decisions needed to eliminate a $180-billion deficit by 1991.
Dannemeyer said making those cuts will take courage on the part of Congress and the American public. However, people are ready to accept significant cuts in government service--even if it costs them their jobs, Dannemeyer said.
"People will accept this discipline if they sense in it fairness. In congressional forums, in town hall meetings, people have told me time and again, 'Congressmen, I'm willing to do my share.' "
Dannemeyer offered his own list of $62.2 billion in "responsible" spending cuts or spending freezes for fiscal 1986-1988.
The eight-page list, which Dannemeyer's colleagues in Congress declined to enact when he first showed it to them last March, includes cuts in child nutrition programs, highway construction, defense spending and veterans' health care.