September 25, 1998
The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 4579. If the bill were presented
to the President, either as a stand-alone bill or combined with other
legislation, he would veto it. By draining billions out of projected
budget surpluses, this bill violates the President's unwavering commitment
to save Social Security first. None of the surpluses should be touched
until the long-term solvency of Social Security has been fully secured. We
must not squander this unique opportunity to save Social Security.
Last February in the FY 1999 Budget, the President proposed tax cuts targeted to help American families -- and proposed offsets to fully pay for the tax cuts. The Administration urges the Congress to consider tax cuts only if we can do so in a manner that adheres to the budget rules, maintains fiscal discipline, and meets the President's commitment to reserve the entire surplus until we have strengthened Social Security.
H.R. 4579 would cut taxes by $85 billion over five years and $176 billion over 10 years. Virtually none of the bill's costs have been paid for. This blatantly violates the pay-as-you-go fiscal discipline of the Budget Enforcement Act -- discipline which has been an essential component of our remarkable economic revival.
The rule that provides for consideration of the bill, which adds to the tax bill an exemption from the Budget Enforcement Act, evades this fiscal discipline. The Administration strongly opposes this exemption from the fundamental budget laws.