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Let’s Slow Down the Train’ College Station For those who think that Rep. Phil Gramm, D-College Station, went too far on behalf of Republican budget slashers, John Olin Teague would seem the perfect alternative. The Teague name is still venerated in these parts in memory of Olin “Tiger” Teague, who represented the 6th District for 32 consecutive years. A tough and colorful politician, Olin Teague walked out of a military hospital in 1945 as a highly decorated war hero and ran for office. He had been wounded when the Allied forces landed at Normandy. “Tiger” Teague spent his congressional tenure hounding the government as, among other things, a member and eventually chairman of the House Veterans Committee and the House Science and Technology Committee. He retired in 1977, just months after his left foot had to be amputated as a result of his old war injuries. He died in Jan., 1981. It is fitting, then, that his son, John Olin Teague, 45, a much decorated retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, a fighter pilot and paratrooper who has two combat tours in Southeast Asia under his belt, will take on the former economics professor, Phil Gramm. Teague, now a real estate broker in College Station says, “I just don’t agree nomic policy. I think they’ve forgotten about the people. “I want to slow down the train a little bit and find out what this IS doing to the people.” When Teague announced Feb. 22, his Continued on page 10 Gramm and Challengers . . about $400,000 in my campaign treasury.” Judging from the swarm of businessmen and bankers who shook his hand and slapped him on the back at the Texas A&M meeting, Gramm won’t have to worry about being knocked out of the saddle this election year. He has the business community pretty well convinced of his mission. His mission is a 5-year program to balance the budget. “I’m not running against anybody,” he says coyly. “I’m running on my record. I’ve taken a position. Now others will have to take a position.” There is nothing wishy-washy about Phil Gramm. But there are a lot of holes in his theory. After listening to Reagan’s proposed budget for next fiscal year, Gramm announced in February an alternative budget plan. Convinced the Reagan administration’s plan doesn’t go far enough in reducing the federal deficit, Gramm offered a budget package that includes the sale of dispensable federal lands and assets, an increase in excise taxes on cigarettes and alcohol, the closing of tax loopholes and lower spending on defense, foreign aid and business subsidies. Gramm said that his proposal would reduce the federal budget by an additional $32.7 billion in FY ’83, $48.2 billion in FY ’84 and $61.5 billion in FY ’85, producing a near-balanced budget in the last year. His budget proposals were based on the belief that the budget deficit would rise to about $90 billion. No sooner had Gramm announced his budget figures when the Congressional Budget Office warned that the deficit would topple over the $100 billion mark in the near future. “If their figures are right, then you have to take my budget and slash even more,” Gramm retorts. He admits that much of his proposal would be unpopular to the very population that will elect him to office next term. “But I’ve tried \(in his proposed have to gore everybody’s ox now. We have to make sure the tax loopholes are closed to everybody.” Though Gramm proposes limiting growth in defense spending by 14% a year, his strong emphasis is on substantial cuts in non-military foreign aid. “With the exception of military aid, foreign governments will have to realize a substantial cut in funding from us,” Gramm said. Discussion on defense is probably where Gramm veers off his strict theoretical beliefs most dramatically. Beneath the conservative pin-stripe economist’s outlook lurks an outspoken hawk. “You know, people who say we can have a balanced budget by cutting defense just don’t know what they’re talking about,” Gramm says. “If you cut the B1 bomber and the MX missile, you don’t do a thing to lower the deficit in 1983,” Gramm says. “Those are long-range costs funded for five and ten years. When you cut defense spending, you cut our manpower, readiness and operations expense. That’s what got us into all that trouble today. We cut defense at our own peril.” Gramm did not explain how we are going to afford the B1 or the MX in ten years. Nor did he say how we are going to deal with foreign nations that collapse politically after their economic ruin. His answer for foreign nations that have collapsed and are in crisis: military aid. A Washington Post reporter recently spent some time looking around the 6th District. In Ennis, he found that the streets of the black and the MexicanAmerican sections were, in part, paid for by federal funds. The runway of the town’s airport was paid with a federal grant. The Post also discovered that in Joshua, a water-treatment plant is being constructed with the help of a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency. And at Texas A&M University, an executive development seminar for transit managers was funded by the Transportation Department. These are only a few of the projects dependent on federal funds that the Post listed. What will happen to such programs in small communities that make up the 6th District? What will Gramm say to the handful of people clustered here and there who find themselves without a job when the funding runs out? “Those are the programs I’m interested in cutting,” Gramm admits. “But the money has already been allocated in those cases. If the money is already there, then I’m going to do my job and find the right place to put it.” And when it runs out? Will constituents still support his unbending view of the budget? “Well, I guess I’ll find out,” Gramm said. “I think they are going to believe I’ve done a good job.” THE TEXAS OBSERVER 9