Officials from the outgoing Clinton administration and the incoming [Bush] administration tangled over estimates for the budget surplus yesterday, foreshadowing coming congressional battles over how much money is available for President-elect Bush's signature tax cut.
Bush officials said that in President Clinton's final budget report to Congress issued yesterday, the White House had fiddled with the underlying data to make it more difficult to enact Bush's 10- year, $1.6 trillion tax cut. Ari Fleischer, Bush's spokesman, said Bush will ignore Clinton's report and have his staff produce fresh data.
The Bush team is drafting its own budget blueprint, which will be unveiled next month and will lay out Bush's tax and spending priorities. During the campaign, Bush proposed his tax cut and said he also would push to create individual accounts for Social Security, overhaul Medicare, increase education and defense spending and implement a missile defense system.
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