Bent Promises

Even before taking office, Clinton retreats from his campaign pledges

THE FIRST TASK OF A STATESMAN, QUIPPED THE LATE New York Mayor Fiorello La Guardia, is to disappoint supporters and break campaign promises. By that standard, Bill Clinton was off to a flying start the week before he moved into the White House.

-- Clinton promised his economic program would "start with a tax cut for the middle class"; last week he said he is reconsidering that.

-- He promised to cut the federal budget deficit "in half" by 1997. Now that the goal looks tougher, he has scaled it back.

-- He promised to submit his economic plan to Congress...

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