Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Gingrich Defends Tax Cut Proposals Gop `Will Not Compromise,' Speaker Vows

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Gingrich Defends Tax Cut Proposals Gop `Will Not Compromise,' Speaker Vows

Article excerpt

House Speaker Newt Gingrich vowed Tuesday that Republicans "will not compromise" on tax cuts when budget negotiations begin next week.

Yet at the same time he voiced optimism that a deal between the White House and Republican leadership of Congress could be reached in time to avert another government shutdown.

In a speech before a meeting of Republican governors, Gingrich said that among the tax proposals the GOP leadership considers not negotiable are:

A tax credit of $500 per child.

A $5,000 adoption tax credit.

A reduction in the capital gains tax retroactive to Jan. 1.

Democrats have called the proposed capital gains tax cut a giveaway for the rich, but Gingrich said the proposals were vital for economic growth and as a symbol to families that a balanced budget would allow them to keep more of their money.

"We will cooperate with the president to reach an agreement, but we will not compromise," Gingrich said.

Gingrich accused President Bill Clinton of "absolutely tawdry" politics with regard to the budget. He said in the deal cut Sunday that broke the Congress-White House deadlock and allowed the government to resume operations, Clinton had agreed unequivocally to the GOP target of a balanced budget within seven years.

But then on Monday, Clinton's chief of staff, Leon Panetta, hinted the seven-year target was a flexible deadline contingent on the GOP agreeing to the administration's list of social and environmental spending.

It could be seven years, and but it might be eight, Panetta said.

Standing before the GOP governors, Gingrich pulled the agreement from his pocket and read the text "for those on (Clinton's) staff who have been running around and saying the agreement is not clear."

He said Clinton called him Monday, and "he agreed that seven years meant seven years. He regretted that some of his staff apparently hadn't read this."

Gingrich lamented that the Republican agenda had lost favor with the public because of "seven unending weeks of dishonest, unpoliced" attacks that had falsely accused Republicans of making devastating cuts in Medicare and other programs. …

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