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Nation IN BRIEF / WASHINGTON, D.C.

GOP Plans to Use Surplus for Tax Cuts

August 16, 1998|From Times Wire Reports

Highlighting what is sure to be an election-year point of contention with Democrats, a Republican lawmaker said his party favors using the government's projected budget surpluses to cut taxes. Rep. Rick White of Washington state said in the Republicans' weekly radio address that his party's plan protects the Social Security retirement program by ensuring that Social Security taxes are not spent on any other federal programs. A House Republican plan, endorsed by Speaker Newt Gingrich, would use a projected $1.55-trillion surplus over the next decade to provide a $700-billion tax cut and shore up Social Security by the same amount. President Clinton and congressional Democrats oppose applying the projected surpluses to tax cuts, saying it is more important to use the money to build up Social Security as the country's huge postwar baby boom generation begins retiring in the next 10 to 15 years.

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