Both Parties Say It S the Economy; News Talk Shows Ring with Opinions on Spending, taxes.(NATION)

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), November 4, 2002 | Go to article overview

Both Parties Say It S the Economy; News Talk Shows Ring with Opinions on Spending, taxes.(NATION)


Byline: Joyce Howard Price, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Democrats and Republicans alike on yesterday s talk shows made their cases that tomorrow s midterm elections could turn on the other party s handling of the economy.

Republicans said Democrats want to raise taxes and obstruct President Bush, while Democrats said the president has no economic agenda.

[thorn]If you want to talk about the economy, let s see what the Democrats have to offer. They haven t even passed a budget in the United States Senate. First time since 1974. They have all these hidden signals they want to raise taxes, Senate Minority Whip Don Nickles, Oklahoma Republican, said on CNN s [thorn]Late Edition.

But Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, Connecticut Democrat, charged the president with squandering a federal surplus that was projected at $5.6 trillion when Mr. Bush took office in 2001.

[thorn]We re now looking at $165 billion, or thereabouts, in a deficit this year and mounting. In fact, this administration predicts we ll be in the red for as many years ... as you can see down the road, Mr. Dodd, chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, said on CNN.

[thorn]That s not good management of the economy, the Democrat said. [thorn]If people really vote on their pocketbooks, and I believe they will ... then clearly the Democrats have the advantage.

The two senators points and counterpoints were echoed by numerous other leaders of their respective parties in appearances on Sunday news talk shows, two days before critical elections that could change the makeup of Congress and determine whether key elements of Mr. Bush s agenda - derailed by Senate Democrats - get back on track.

On NBC s [thorn]Meet the Press, Terry McAuliffe, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said the president [thorn]has failed to lead on the economy. The DNC boss called the president s economic policies a [thorn]disaster.

Mr. McAuliffe also said Democrats and Republicans need to get together after the elections and talk about the possibility of repealing or delaying the Bush tax cuts as a way of eliminating deficits.

But Marc Racicot, chairman of the Republican National Committee, who was also on NBC, said his Democratic counterpart s reference to a post-election budget summit is a [thorn]code for ilet s raise taxes.

[thorn]That s the Democratic program here - have a summit and determine how much we will tax the American people and increase what they pay today, said Mr. …

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