[Richard B. Cheney], for his part, said that George W. Bush's proposed tax cut eats up only "one-quarter" of the surplus. This is a stretch. The Bush campaign comes up with this figure in part by counting the entire surplus (including Social Security funds that both parties say are off-limits). Then, it ignores the fact that some of the surplus would be eaten up by $300 billion in extra interest on the national debt because the tax cut would produce less money for the government.
Cheney and Lieberman tangled passionately on defense, with Cheney saying the military is in decline and Lieberman responding that it is still the best in the world and that it is "not right . . . to run them down" for partisan purposes.
The irony of that exchange is that Lieberman is in some ways closer to Texas Gov. Bush's stance on defense than is Cheney. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Lieberman long has been one of the leading congressional advocates of "military transformation"; that is, changing the U.S. military so that it can better deal with the new challenges of the 21st century.
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