This, as the GOP points out, gives the lie to Clinton’s claim three State of the Unions ago that “the era of big government is over.” Senate Budget Chair Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) called the 1999 budget a “magnificent contradiction.” That it is, but Clinton’s populist proposals -- 100,000 new teachers, child care tax credits for working families -- will be hard to fight head-on. The Republicans would do better to concentrate on Clinton’s fiscally risky use of the proposed tobacco settlement; although that $368.5 billion deal is nowhere near being inked, the President has already earmarked nearly a quarter of it for new spending plans. The White House has already prepared its spin on that one -- if the settlement goes up in smoke, Congress looks like the villain for snatching money out of teachers' paychecks. With a scam like that, Clinton has clearly lost none of his chutzpah.
WASHINGTON: Will this be Bill Clinton’s finest hour? The President presents the first balanced budget in 30 years to Congress Monday, a whopping $1.73 trillion package with a $9.5 billion surplus. And despite his “save Social Security first” soundbite, Clinton does not appear to be able to resist splurging a bit on child care, education and medical research.