Projected Budget Surplus Bolsters Bush Tax Cut Plan

The following article is provided courtesy of CCH, Inc.

A sizably higher, long-term federal budget surplus projection would not change President-elect Bush's position on the need for his $1.3 trillion tax relief plan, transition spokesman Ari Fleischer emphasized. At a Dec. 22 press briefing, Fleischer was asked about a Dec. 22 report in USA Today that the Congressional Budget Office's preliminary estimate of the federal budget surplus over 10 years has increased from $4.6 trillion, its most recent projection, to $6.0 trillion.

Fleischer said that the larger budget surplus estimate bolsters the incoming administration's case that Bush's $1.3 trillion tax relief plan is "not a large tax cut" compared to the size of the surplus. "It certainly puts our tax cut plan into the perspective we've always said that it deserved to be seen at. It's a very reasonable-sized tax cut," Fleischer said. He added that he was "not prepared to say" whether a higher budget surplus forecast could change the magnitude of Bush's tax relief plan.

Regulatory and Executive Order

Fleischer also advised reporters that policy coordination groups set up by the transition office are "carefully reviewing each and every regulation that is issued here in the waning days of the Clinton administration, and executive orders as well." Fleischer refrained from singling out any regulation or executive order of particular concern to the incoming administration but he indicated that action could be taken "any time after Jan. 20." In the case of executive orders, a president can unilaterally rescind or undo existing orders. Changes in regulations must be made on the federal agency level, Fleischer noted.

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