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CLINTON SAYS `CONTRACT' RISKS U.S. PROSPERITY

Striving to blunt a Republican juggernaut, President Clinton is portraying the House GOP's "Contract With America" as bad business for the country as he tries to give his own economic vision a higher profile.

The president was to tell audiences in Texas and California that cutting investment in education and America's youth places national prosperity at risk."One hundred days has been fine and (now) it's, `Whoopie!' It's over,"' White House press secretary Mike McCurry said Thursday. "We've got to get down to the serious work now"

In a speech to the American Society of Newspaper Editors in Dallas, Clinton planned to say it was time to face up to the "larger issue" in the GOP agenda: "Will these decisions strengthen the economy and grow the middle class and shrink the underclass?" In an interview with the Dallas Morning News, Clinton said, "Will they help to deal with the social problems and promote more responsibility in work, family and community? Will they really contribute to reforming the way government works?"