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Clinton Caveat On Surplus May Cut Both Ways; Bush, Gore May Overstate Amount Available for Tax Cuts, Spending
[FINAL Edition]
The Washington Post - Washington, D.C.
Subjects: Political campaigns; Budget surplus; Tax cuts; Presidential elections
Author: Kessler, Glenn||||||Nakashima, Ellen
Date: Oct 10, 2000
Start Page: A.07
Section: A SECTION

Both [Gore] and [George W. Bush] take their surplus estimate from the Congressional Budget Office: $2.2 trillion through 2010, not counting the Social Security surplus. Gore pledges not to use $300 billion of the $2.2 trillion surplus because the White House calculates the surplus over the same period will be that much less.

Experts generally agree that fixing the minimum tax problem will cost about $80 billion in lost revenue. A recent report by the Joint Committee on Taxation in Congress estimated that the Bush tax plan would exacerbate the problem by another $192 billion. Whatever the cost of fixing the tax, neither the Bush nor the Gore budget plan takes this factor into account.

Gore's plan, [Clinton] said, features a smaller tax cut than Bush-- about $500 billion in tax credits over 10 years targeted at the middle class, though still double what the administration originally proposed. But Clinton was more sanguine about Gore's plan because he said that even though it includes relatively more spending than the Bush plan, he believed it would be easier to rein in government spending than to rescind a tax cut if surplus projections were wrong.

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