Bush: Ignore My Lips

And forget Sununu too, Bush tells Congress, as he calls a budget summit and hints that it may even talk about -- shhh! -- raising t---

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Even if sufficiently heavy tax increases can be agreed on, there remains the difficult task of slashing spending on the scale required. It might force some reductions in Social Security, which Democrats have resisted about as feverishly as Republicans have damned higher taxes. So it is not surprising that Washington and the financial community abound with cynics who think the summit will end with nothing more than a few minor tax boosts and spending cuts and another rewrite of Gramm-Rudman to stretch its deficit-reduction targets. Bruce Thompson, a former Assistant Treasury Secretary and now a Merrill Lynch vice president, predicts that "the Gramm-Rudman targets will be recalculated to get to a balanced budget in, say, the year 2000," not 1993, as required under current law. In any case, the nation will need some luck to escape paying a stiff price for its politicians' unconscionable delay in cutting deficits. If big tax increases and sharp spending cuts do not tip the economy into recession quickly, continuing high interest rates, almost inevitable if deficits remain huge, might do so eventually. The decline could come around 1992 -- when Bush is running for re-election.

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