Friday, September 24, 1999

Bauer proposes 16% flat income tax, cuts in breaks

The Associated Press

        WASHINGTON — Republican presidential hopeful Gary Bauer on Thursday proposed eliminating most tax breaks for businesses and individuals and imposing a 16 percent flat tax on income.

        In a National Press Club speech, Mr. Bauer — a native of Newport, Ky. — also called for reducing the payroll tax, which funds Social Security, by 20 percent, while cutting the projected increases in benefits for future retirees.

        Families would get a $1,400 per person tax credit and could continue to deduct mortgage interest payments and charitable contributions. Those are the only deductions Mr. Bauer would allow.

        He contrasted his 16 percent flat tax proposal with the 17 percent flat tax offered by publisher Steve Forbes, a competitor for the GOP presidential nomination vying with Mr. Bauer for social conservatives' support.

        For example, Mr. Bauer would no longer let businesses deduct the cost of new equipment, while Mr. Forbes' plan would let them write off those purchases immediately rather than spread out the deductions over several years. Mr. Bauer contended Mr. Forbes' plan would allow companies to escape paying taxes altogether.

Moynihan says Gore can't win, backs Bradley The Associated Press
        NEW YORK — New York's most prominent Democrat, Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, endorsed Bill Bradley for president Thursday, saying Vice President Al Gore “can't be elected.”

        The 72-year-old senator, known for his quirky intellectual style, quoted Woodrow Wilson as saying the presidency required candidates “from among wise and prudent athletes, a small class.”

        Mr. Bradley was a Rhodes scholar and a player on two NBA champion ship teams with the New York Knicks.

        “I've seen this particular athlete, wise and prudent, work in the U.S. Senate for 18 years,” Mr. Moynihan said. “He is a man with heart and courage and stamina.”

        Asked why he wasn't supporting the vice president, the Democratic front-runner, Mr. Moynihan replied: “Nothing is the matter with Gore, but he can't be elected.”

Bush promises more high-tech defense The Associated Press
        WASHINGTON — Promising a “new architecture of American defense,” Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush said Thursday he would spend $20 billion more on futuristic weapons research, build a national defense against ballistic missiles as quickly as possible and cut back on overseas peacekeeping by American troops.

        Speaking at the Citadel military academy in Charleston, S.C., Mr. Bush accused the Clinton administration of breaking faith with service men and women by deploying them too frequently and paying them too little. He said the administration has failed to use U.S. technological prowess to create a more lethal and mobile military.

        “The last seven years have been wasted in inertia and idle talk,” said Mr. Bush, who served in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War.

        Mr. Bush, who holds a large lead in the polls, said the Clinton administration had weakened the nation's defenses by embarking on “vague, endless and aimless” missions abroad.

        As president, Mr. Bush said, he would order a top-to-bottom review of the military — its structure, strategy and spending priorities — and give his secretary of defense a mandate:

        “Challenge the status quo and envision a new architecture of American defense for decades to come.”

        The Texas governor spoke to an overflow audience of about 600, including about 400 cadets in gray uniforms. Several cadets pumped their fists in the air as he was introduced.


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Local Digest
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