Back To The Future

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: Bowing to the supply-side policies of Ronald Reagan, and promising to "end the IRS as we know it," and balance the budget while slashing middle-class taxes, Bob Dole unveiled a bold economic plan, the centerpiece of which is a $548 billion tax cut over six years. Said Dole: "I'm running for President because I believe America can do better. I believe that every family, and small business and wage earner in America can do better if only we have the right policies." The Dole plan is comprised of a 15 percent drop in individual tax rates, a 50 percent cut in capital gains taxes, and a $500 per child tax credit. Dole aides claim that the federal budget can be balanced by 2002 without cutting Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security. The Dole campaign called the plan credible in every dimension, saying the cut would be paid for by increased efficiency in government and lower administrative spending in non-defense programs, and by auctioning off publicly owned broadcast bandwidths to the highest bidder. The White House was on the warpath before the plan was even released, calling the plan "a collection of gimmicks, double counting and voodoo growth assumptions," which would blow a huge hole in the deficit. "Dole is looking for a bold strike which combines his economic proposal, his vice presidential choice and his Republican convention appearance next week," says TIME's James Carney. "He needs all three of these elements to be successful to make the public focus on him again, and look beyond what they know about him, which is that he is old, and has been in Washington forever, and he is not a good speaker. Unless he completely flubs it, Dole will find a space in the public eye he didn't have before. The convention could be the boost he needs to counter so many observers deeming his campaign a disaster so far." -->