Sunday, August 15, 1999

GOP taps Portman to open tax debate




BY HOWARD WILKINSON
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        U.S Rep. Rob Portman, R-Terrace Park, became the point man for the $792 billion Republican tax-cut plan Saturday when he delivered the GOP's weekly radio address.

        “We want you, and every working American, to be able to keep more of the money you earn,” the congressman said in a nationally broadcast address seen as one of the opening salvos in the GOP's tax-cut war with the Clinton administration.

        GOP leaders chose Mr. Portman to carry the message on their weekly radio address Saturday in part because he is an author of one of the more popular aspects of the $792 billion tax-cut plan passed earlier this month — a pension-reform provision that would allow Americans to put more tax-free contributions into 401(k) plans and IRAs.

        “Let"s give Americans a break by letting them save more tax-free for their own re tirement,” Mr. Portman said, arguing that the GOP plan would allow many of the 70 million Americans without pension plans to save for retirement.

        Mr. Portman said recently he hopes the Clinton administration will work with the Republican Congress on a compromise plan.

        Mr. Clinton has said he will negotiate tax cuts only after his budget priorities have been addressed by Congress, starting with saving the Medicare system.

What do we do with surplus?
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