May The Best Plan Win

Tsongas and Clinton agree that the U.S. must adopt a long-term plan to boost investment and create jobs. The biggest difference between them is over whether the middle class ought to get a tax break.

Bill Clinton and Paul Tsongas are a far cry from traditional Democratic presidential candidates who stressed spending and aid for the poor. Instead, both have set their sights on long-term economic growth and the restive middle class. Apart from a sharp disagreement over the value of a tax cut for the middle class that Clinton supports and Tsongas opposes, the difference between them lies mainly in the contrast between Tsongas' tough prescriptions and pro- business leanings and Clinton's emphasis on training and education and seemingly greater willingness to tailor his message to the prevailing political mood. The strengths and weaknesses of...