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Labor Secretary Robert Reich -- shocking most of the Administration -- dared both Democrats and Republicans to match the GOP's Monday proposal to curtail welfare benefits with drastic cuts in "corporate welfare," his term for billions of dollars inbusiness tax credits and subsidies. The address to the moderate Democratic Leadership Council had originally been billed as the last of Reich's triptych on "the anxious middle class." But Reich, apparently reacting to the election results and the new GOP attack on welfare policy, delivered a tirade against what he identified as $225 billion in tax benefits for particular industries. "Since we are committed to moving the disadvantaged from welfare to work, why not target corporate welfare as well, and use the savings to help all Americans get better work?" he said.A LOOSE-CANNON FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS? The speech quickly became a political event: Commerce Secretary Ron Brown this afternoon said he'd never heard of the proposal and White House aides toldTIME Washington correspondent Suneel Ratanthey disavowed the speech. Reich's spinners later said the "corporate welfare" idea was "not a proposal." President Clinton, at a news conference, tried to soft-pedal the potential Cabinet flap. Though he claimed ignorance, he said "conceptually" the Reich initiative might be "attractive." Yet, Ratan says, Reich has been pushing such proposals in White House circles for a year and a half without success. But now, amid White House post-election paralysis, he says, the Labor Secretary is freelancing. "Reich is basically joining the battle for Clinton's mind," Ratan says. "In this case, the only reason Reich was not off the reservation is that there's no reservation to be on."Post your opinion on theWashingtonbulletin board.