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In Tax Plans, Truth Is Closely Budgeted
[FINAL Edition]
The Washington Post - Washington, D.C.
Subjects: Fiscal policy; Tax cuts; Presidential elections
Author: Kessler, Glenn
Date: Aug 23, 2000
Start Page: E.01

Vice President Gore and his Republican rival, Texas Gov. George W. Bush, are barnstorming the country, each making the same claim about his tax plan--that it does more for working Americans. Gore says he has more tax cuts for the middle class, even though his plan is one- third the size of Bush's $1.6 trillion blueprint, while Bush says his proposal will take millions of lower-income Americans off the tax rolls.

In the cases of the couples making $60,000 and $70,000, even the Gore campaign concedes that these families would receive far more than a Diet Coke a day in tax savings under Bush. The Gore campaign also assumes the couple wouldn't take advantage of certain Bush tax cuts (such as an ability to claim a charitable deduction even when taking the standard deduction) while they would lay claim to every tax cut offered by Gore.

Gore, for instance, says the couple making $60,000 with two children age 16 and 19 would get a $3,035 tax cut from the Gore plan and a $1,400 tax cut from Bush. But suppose the couple didn't fully participate in Gore's retirement savings accounts (which they couldn't do until 2010 anyway, under Gore's slow phase-in of the plan)? And suppose their children were 15 and 17 years old, and the parents gave $1,000 a year to charity?

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