From: John King/CNN
Subject: Clinton Administration Outlines Its Tax Cut Position
The Clinton administration Wednesday sent two letters to Capitol Hill outlining its views in the debate over tax cuts.
First, in a letter to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Archer, (R-TX) Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin criticized the House GOP plan as favoring the rich at the expense of middle and lower income families.
Because the $500 per child tax credit in the Archer plan is not refundable -- meaning only those who pay taxes can take advantage of the credit -- Rubin wrote that it "reduces the value of the $500 child credit for millions of low-income families."
Rubin also wrote that Archer's plan would penalize six million families who take advantage of the federal tax credit for child care expenses. Rubin said that when all the tax cuts are phased in, Archer's plan would reduce the per-child credit by 50 cents for each dollar these taxpayers claimed in dependent care expenses.
And Rubin, echoing Clinton remarks delivered Tuesday, said Archer's plan fell $13 billion short of the $35 billion in education tax credits the administration says Republicans promised as part of the balanced budget agreement.
Separately, Rubin wrote Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), the ranking Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee. Rubin called Rangel's Democratic tax-cut alternative "a welcome and important proposal" and said the administration, while still reviewing all the details, "supports the overall structure" of the Rangel plan.
Earlier in the day, administration officials had said Clinton would send a supportive letter to Rangel. Indeed, in a draft version read to CNN, Clinton said the Rangel plan "embraces the principles that I have set forth."
But the administration's chief congressional lobbyist, John Hilley, argued that it was best that both letters be signed by the same person and according to two administration officials familiar with the discussions the White House decided it was best for Rubin to take the lead.
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