Mitchell Faults Budget Critics Senate Majority Leader Says Groups Have Confused Public about Cost of Economic Plan

Article excerpt

OPPONENTS of the economic plan working its way through Congress have confused middle-income Americans about how they will be personally affected by the plan, Senate majority leader George Mitchell (D) of Maine told a Monitor breakfast yesterday.

"There is a widespread misunderstanding and misperception about the president's economic program," he said. "The critics of the president's plan have succeeded in saying to the American people that a very large number of Americans will be paying a very large amount of taxes."

Mr. Mitchell says he carries a table from the Washington Post that lays out tax cuts and increases people would face under the president's plan and those passed by the House and Senate, which will be merged after the July 4 recess.

"Every one of my constituents with whom I've met has raised the question," he says. Then he shows them the table, and "they're astonished."

Under the Senate bill, a family whose income is $40,000 would pay $61 a year more or $5 a month. A family whose income is $50,000 would pay $122 or $10 a month more.

"This is an open plea for everyone to print this on the front page of their newspapers," Mitchell quipped.

What he didn't point out is that President Clinton's plan and the House one would produce larger tax hikes than the Senate's bill. …