NEW YORK, OCT. 30 -- Democratic presidential candidate Jesse L. Jackson accused President Reagan today of making a "panicked" response to the stock market's plunge.
"He looked into one camera and said the building was not on fire," Jackson told 500 Democratic and civic leaders in an economic policy address here. "He looked into another camera and said Congress set the building on fire . . . . Wednesday night in Houston, the Republican candidates agreed that the building was indeed on fire, but they want us to rehire the pyromaniacs."
Jackson laid the blame for the market's dive on budget deficits and said "we need to back out the same way we got in." He called for increasing taxes on the wealthy and on corporations although he did not say how or by how much. He also proposed abandoning plans to build two new aircraft carrier groups, eliminating funds for the Midgetman missile and the Strategic Defense Initiative, and negotiating with the Soviets for a verifiable 50 percent reduction in strategic nuclear weapons.
He also proposed that low-income housing and urban investment be financed by federally guaranteed investments from public employe pension funds. Jackson also said an American investment bank should be created that would draw on capital from the states to float bonds to support urban and rural economic development projects.
Immediately after he concluded his remarks, Jackson was greeted with a hostile question from Dov Hikind, a Democratic state assemblyman from Brooklyn who called on him to withdraw from the race for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination. Hikind described what he called a pattern of insensitivity to Jews that included Jackson's referring to New York as "Hymietown" and his refusal to repudiate directly Black Muslim leader Louis Farrakhan, who has made anti-Semitic remarks.
Hikind's question -- more a speech -- was greeted with scattered boos. "I will not dignify the speech," Jackson replied, to light applause, "but in our campaign, we will continue to reach out."
The response left some in the audience unsatisfied. "I was outraged by the diatribe of the questioner, but Jackson needed to do a . . . lot better with his answer," said Eleanor Guggenheimer, a board member of the Jewish Community Relations Council, who emphasized that she was speaking for herself.