Effect of Marriage Tax Cut on $1.8 Trillion Surplus

Last week's vote to send tax cut legislation for married couples to the White House for consideration has fueled yet another battle between Democrats and Republicans in a very important election year.

Democrats who voted against ending the marriage tax penalty are concerned that the passing of the tax cut will use up all of the projected 10-year, $1.8 trillion surplus. In the meantime, the White House is banking on a so-called 'compromise' regarding election-year tax cuts.

White House chief of staff John Podesta went live on ABC's 'This Week' on Sunday to talk about the issue, and claimed that if Republicans continued on their tax-cutting binge, all of the surplus would certainly be expended.

He said President Clinton would support tax cuts based on Congress' support of other programs, such as a prescription drug benefit for Medicare patients, education and protection of the environment. Clinton, however, has stated that the marriage tax cut recently passed by both the House and Senate was too expensive and too weighted toward wealthy citizens.

Members of Congress who support doing away with the marriage penalty and other tax cuts claim only 8% of the projected budget surplus would be used by the recently-passed tax cuts.

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