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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 5/26/2003 7:49:39 PM EDT
[url]http://www.ctnow.com/news/custom/newsat3/hc-lieberman0525.artmay26,0,6339969.story?coll=hc-headlines-newsat3[/url] Lieberman For, Against Tax Breaks May 26, 2003 By DAVID LIGHTMAN, Washington Bureau Chief WASHINGTON -- Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, who on Friday voted against the Republican-authored tax cut, Sunday suggested that not only should taxpayers get a bigger break this year, but that if he were elected president, he might keep the cuts he opposed in place. His latest comments were made on "Fox News Sunday," a nationally televised talk show popular with the more conservative voters he wants to woo. Lieberman's aides argued that the Connecticut Democrat's position was consistent and that he has long supported economic stimulus. What's also important, they said, is that he wants a much different kind of cut than President Bush has offered. Lieberman has long said he would postpone Bush's cuts in the two top income tax rates, for instance, as well as the repeal of the estate tax. He would use the money to help pay for his cuts. But in another sense, Lieberman's comments Sunday could be seen as continuing a 4-year-old pattern of going back and forth on the worth of big tax cuts. It dates to 1999, when he was one of only six Democrats who opposed massive cuts. A year later, as Al Gore's running mate, he favored a $500 billion break. In 2001, Lieberman opposed Bush's $1.35 trillion, 11-year cut, but in 2002, the economic program he offered kept already-enacted Bush cuts in place while "redirecting" other breaks. That 2002 plan, which Lieberman touts as he campaigns around the country in his bid to win the Democratic presidential nomination, would cost between $120 billion and $150 billion over 10 years, his advisers reiterated last week. But Sunday the senator said, "We need $150 billion this year and no more after that for a while." Lieberman voted on Friday against the Republicans' $330 billion, 10-year plan, saying it was too expensive. That plan's cost is estimated by the Treasury Department as $109 billion this year, less than Lieberman's plan would cost. In the decisive Senate vote Friday, all but two Democrats opposed the plan. Its stimulus includes dropping individual income tax rates, retroactive to Jan. 1, and providing extra breaks to families with children. The breaks are set to expire in future years. Lieberman was asked Sunday what he would do if elected president in 2004. "It depends on where the economy is at the time," he said. "There are some middle class tax cuts that naturally you'd like to keep in place. There's others that I think are extremely wasteful." He did not specify what those cuts were, but did say the package did not go far enough to give the economy the jolt it needed. "We need a stimulus right now," he said. Later, his aides were asked why he wanted to spend as much this year as he had wanted to in 10. Spokesman Jano Cabrera said the bulk of Lieberman's cuts were always intended to take effect immediately. "When you put forth a plan over 10 years, most people assume the bulk of a stimulus package will take effect immediately," he said. Lieberman has other defenders. The budget-watching Concord Coalition, for instance, has found Lieberman's views responsible, though the more conservative National Taxpayers Union has accused him of trying to satisfy every constituency by taking nuanced positions. Lieberman first explained a revised position in 2000 by saying the surplus was not only real, but projections had grown. To skeptics, though, it looked like another in what they called a series of position changes to align his views with Gore's. The two split, for instance, on the worth of school vouchers to help parents pay for non-public school education. Gore was against it, and Lieberman wanted experimental programs. Once on the ticket, Lieberman muffled his opposition. In 2001, back in the Senate, Lieberman was exploring his own presidential bid and was a vocal critic of many of the newly elected president's domestic policies. He voted against the 2001 Bush tax cut, and in May 2002, detailed his own economic views in a Detroit speech. "His economic plan could fit on the back of a shampoo bottle," Lieberman said of the Bush blueprint, "Cut taxes, increase spending, borrow, repeat." But he also called for keeping in place parts of Bush's tax cut that had already gone into effect, while redirecting some future cuts and postponing some breaks that helped the upper classes. Some of the 2001 rate reductions are, he said, "the least expensive, most effective and most responsible measures, and those cuts should be made permanent." Those include lowering the bottom tax rate to 10 percent, more aid for lower income workers and small cuts in other income tax rates. Lieberman has consistently opposed big reductions in the top two tax rates and the repeal of the estate tax, and wants more incentives for business growth. Lieberman said Sunday that Bush has been irresponsible with tax cut policy. "These folks are making a bet," he said, "They're doubling a bet made in '01 that [tax cuts] would help our economy grow." Instead, the economy has been sluggish and now, Lieberman said, the money is "coming out of Medicare and Social Security trust funds."
Link Posted: 5/27/2003 3:21:04 AM EDT
Kermit the frog playing both sides of the fence. No big surprise.
Link Posted: 5/27/2003 4:14:16 AM EDT
Too bad there's no market for politician(s) pelts.
Link Posted: 5/27/2003 4:27:50 AM EDT
He was on NPR this morning being interviewed as a Dem presidential candidate. Slippery noodle politician if I ever heard one. Everyone on AR15.com knows my attitude about racism and racists, so this comment should be taken under advisement: I am not sure that with the current state of affairs and the US involvement in the Mid-East peace process, that it would be a good idea to have an Orthodox Jew as President - regardless of the party line.
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