NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Pass Tax Bills One At A Time

October 1, 1999

Now that President Clinton has vetoed the Republican $792 billion tax cut bill, its backers are looking for ways to put the cuts back on the table. Some believe the effort failed because of public indifference (the package was too complex) and White House scare tactics. Clinton spokesmen called the cuts "gargantuan" and "huge," despite the fact that they were smaller than the President's 1993 tax increase.

One idea is to bring the simplest, most easily understood elements of the package back as single bills, then let the President veto them or sign them. Among the suggested cuts:

  • Marriage penalty relief, which would reduce the tax penalty for three million couples.
  • Abolishing the death tax, which wreaks havoc on family- owned businesses and farms.
  • Relieving middle-income taxpayers of the threat of the alternative minimum tax, which would reduce taxes for 8 million taxpayers.
  • Enlarging the amount people can put in their IRAs.

Other measures, such as indexing capital gains for inflation and extending the research and development tax credit, deserve to be passed as well, but are more difficult to explain to the general public. As for the others, Congress should pass them and let President Clinton sign or veto them one at a time.

Source: Pete du Pont (NCPA), "GOP Should Change Tactics for Tax Cut," Dallas Morning News, October 1, 1999.


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