Tsongas, Frank, Malone Debate

Three prominent Massachusetts politicians faced off last night in a heated discussion at the Kennedy School of Government over how to cut the federal deficit.

Former Sen. Paul E. Tsongas (D-Mass.), State Treasurer Joseph D. Malone '78 and Rep. Barney Frank '61 (D-Mass.) each discussed their own plans for cutting the deficit so that its effects on future generations may be lessened. The event, sponsored by the twentysomething deficitreduction group Lead or Leave, drew about 150 students.

The panelists' opening remarks were focused on their budget plans, but Tsongas also talked about the characteristics of a good Washington politician.

"You will have to be tough, obnoxious, arrogant--all things that come naturally to Harvard students," quipped Tsongas, who ran for president in 1992.

Tsongas presented "The Zero-Deficit Plan" designed by The Concord Coalition, which he and former Sen. Warren B. Rudman (R-N.H.) co- founded in 1992 to promote reduction of thefederal deficit. The plan calls for a"comprehensive entitlement means test" to makesure government funds are only going to people whoneed them.

As part of his reduction plan, Frank called a40 percent cut in defense spending. "We continueto overspend on the military," he said.


Malone, the only Republican on the panel,called for greater efficiency in governmentspending. He pointed to the cuts he has made asstate treasurer. According to Malone, he cut 30percent and 177 staff positions from theTreasurer's budget.

Frank and Malone debated the efficiency ofwelfare programs.

Frank objected to Malone's accusation that"welfare programs do not work because federalgovernment is a monopoly." He said Malone wasunwilling to discuss specific programs.

Tsongas attacked Gov. William F. Weld `66 forhis education policy. He claimed Weld hasneglected education in the state, particularly forminorities. "You cannot live on Brattle Street, goto Middlesex, then Harvard and not give a damn,"he said of Weld.

After the discussion, Tsongas attended an EliotHouse dinner with about 60 students. He discussed,among other things, his deficit plan, his boutwith cancer and the 1992 presidential campaign