Clinton Rails against GOP's Tax Cuts, Labels Them `Bad Economic Policy'

By Godfrey, John | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), July 18, 1999 | Go to article overview

Clinton Rails against GOP's Tax Cuts, Labels Them `Bad Economic Policy'


Godfrey, John, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


Excessive tax cuts proposed by House Republicans will hurt the economy just as the nation begins facing the fiscal challenge of baby boomers retiring, President Clinton said in his weekly radio address yesterday.

"At the very time the nation will be confronting the demographic challenge of the baby boom, the Republican plan" to give Americans a broad tax cut of $864 billion "will blow a $3 trillion hole in the federal budget, threatening our ability to secure Social Security and Medicare for the next generation and risking return to the era of deficits with high interest rates and economic stagnation," the president said.

"Tax cuts that size quite simply are bad economic policy."

Mr. Clinton said Congress should set aside most of projected surpluses for Social Security and Medicare, and extra spending on education.

"Then, together, we can budget for the kind of tax cuts we need and can afford while we pay off the debt and guarantee a strong America in the 21st century," he said.

In the Republican response, Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson said, "The issue of tax cuts highlights the difference between the parties."

"The Democrats, they see surplus dollars and they always look for ways to spend them on new programs," he said, "while Republicans see surplus dollars and they look at ways to cut your taxes."

Mr. Thompson complained that "while America basks in the flow of the soaring Dow [Jones Industrial Average], there are those in Washington, D.C., who wish to use the federal government's swelling coffers to finance a spending spree on additional government programs."

"That is flat-out wrong," he said.

Mr. Clinton's challenge comes as Republican plans to cut taxes by $792 billion work their way through the House and Senate. The House bill currently includes $864 billion in tax relief over the next 10 years, but will be scaled back to $792 billion to avoid a parliamentary snarl in the Senate. …

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