Republican National Convention
Wednesday, August 02, 2000

Ky. delegation gets marching orders


Sell Bush's economic plan, they're told

By Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        PHILADELPHIA - Kentucky Republicans received a group briefing - and some political marching orders.

        During a Wednesday morning breakfast the Kentucky delegation was given a primer of George W. Bush's economic plan of tax cuts, debt reduction and allowing Americans to invest a portion of Social Security taxes on their own.

        “This is a prudent plan that assists the lowest-earning Americans the most with tax cuts while paying down our (nation's) debt,” said John Taylor, a Stanford University of economics and an advisor to the Bush campaign. “But it also protects Social Security, it has plans to keep the economy going with a strong monetary policy and it reduces trade barriers to help us capitalize on the world economy.”

        Democrats have said Mr. Bush's plan is risky because it concentrates too much on cutting taxes at the expense of paying down the federal government's debt.

        But Mr. Taylor said the across-the-board tax cuts - a total of $1.3 trillion - will only use a quarter of the nation's budget surplus.

        “We have more than enough to pay for the tax cuts,” Mr. Taylor said. “When some of our opponents in the fall tell you that this plan doesn't fit, look them in the eye and tell them they are wrong.”

        The plan includes:

        • Reducing the lowest tax bracket of of 15 percent to 10 percent.

        • Reducing the 28 and 31 percent tax brackets to 25 percent.

        • Reducing the 36 percent and 39.6 percent brackets to 33 percent.

        • Eliminating the estate tax and the marriage tax penalty.

        • Allowing Americans to invest a small amount that has not been determined - probably about 2 percent - of the Social Security taxes they pay into the stock market.

        Democrat Al Gore has countered with a plan of more modest tax cuts, debt reduction, increased spending and the creation of investment accounts for Americans similiar to 401k plans in lieu of investing Social Security funds in the stock market.

        Delegate Cathy Flaig of Hebron, a Boone County Commissioner, said Mr. Bush's plan will be more popular among Northern Kentucky voters.

        “I like the tax cuts,” she said. “It's a great idea, and so is the Social Security plan. Look at the population of Northern Kentucky. It's the young, the affluent. They are going to love it. It's going to sell.”

        Delegate John Mocker of Richwood, a vice president at Lally Pipe and Tube in Covington, said the tax cuts proposed by Mr. Bush will help spur the ecomony and investment by businesess.

        “Tax cuts allow business people to continue to reinvest capital and continue growing and hiring more people,” he said.

        The delegation also heard from Montana Gov. Marc Racicot, who spent three days with Mr. Bush on the campaign swing he took through Arkansas, Kentucky and Ohio last week and early this week.

        “There is something happening out. There is an electricity,” Mr. Racicot said. “Endurance is pretty important to success of politicial endeavors ... so keep working to elect George W. Bush and Dick Cheney in November.”

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