If enacted, he said, the tax cut would "dramatically" reverse what he called a 40-year trend in which the federal government "has spent more and more of the income of working American families."
Gramm said dismissively of Clinton: "I am glad that the President is beginning to at least hum along as we sing our song of less government and more freedom. . . . (But) the President is more than a day late and more than a dollar short."
Times staff writer Edwin Chen contributed to this story.
* CRAFTING AN IMAGE: Clinton casts himself as backer of 'forgotten middle class.' A12
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The President's Package
In his nationally televised address, President Clinton proposed a $60-billion mix of new tax credits and deductions, mainly for families with children and college students. Some highlights:
EDUCATION: Allows parents earning up to $100,000 annually to deduct $10,000 a year in tuition for college or other post-high school education.
CHILD CREDIT: Provides $500-per-child tax credit for all children age 13 in families with an adjusted gross income up to $60,000 a year.
IRA: Allows individuals earning up to $100,000 annually to claim up to a $2,000 deduction for putting money into individual retirement accounts.
PAYING FOR IT: Calls for $24 billion from cuts in federal agencies, $52 billion from extending a freeze on all federal discretionary spending in 1999 and 2000. Extra $16 billion goes toward deficit reduction.
Replay Clinton's Speech
* To hear President Clinton's speech to the nation Thursday outlining his goals for the next two years, call TimesLine at 808-8463 and enter category *1850
Details on Times electronic services, B4