Federal Deficit Drops Faster Than Expected (10/27/97)
Post: President Decides Against Tax Plan Offer
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Dec. 21) -- The White House has decided against offering any major proposals to cut or simplify taxes in its forthcoming election-year budget, the Washington Post reported Sunday.
Senior administration officials told the Washington Post that while producing their own tax simplification formula had political appeal, they had come to the conclusion that there was no way to do so without increasing taxes on the middle class or derailing the plan to balance the federal budget by 2002.
This view was not shared by Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who told the newspaper on Saturday that the president should further cut taxes and submit a balanced budget for next year.
"If he proposed a balanced budget next year we in Congress would be very responsive to it," the Washington Post quoted Gingrich as saying. Such a proposal would "electrify the country," he said.
Gene Sperling, head of the White House National Economic Council, said any attempt to eliminate the deficit in 1999 would cause too many upheavals.
"The best way for us to get a balanced budget earlier is to stay with this fiscal discipline the president has led over the last five years and resist the temptation to spend money we don't yet have," Sperling told the Washington Post.
The newspaper also reported that rather than make major tax proposals, Clinton and his aides probably would sit back and let congressional Republicans take the lead, on the theory that they are too divided among themselves to forge a unified approach and, even if they do, tax cuts would require unpopular tradeoffs that could be exploited by Democratic candidates in the 1998 midterm elections.
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