July 27, 2000
Today, at the White House, President Clinton, joined by Democratic Leaders Daschle and Gephardt and members of the House and Senate Democratic caucuses, called on Congressional Republicans to end the legislative logjam. The President released an analysis comparing the number of Americans who would benefit from the recently passed estate tax to the number of Medicare beneficiaries still waiting for Congress to pass an affordable, meaningful prescription drug benefit. The President emphasized that tax cuts passed by Congress could plunge the nation back into deficit and leave no money for national priorities such as a Medicare prescription drug benefit, strengthening Social Security, paying down the debt by 2012, or repairing crumbling schools. The President urged Congress to pass his targeted tax cuts, which offer more tax relief for middle-class families at less than half the total cost of the Republican proposals.
NEW ANALYSIS SHOWS REPUBLICAN PLAN BENEFITS WEALTHY FEW. The President released a new state-by-state analysis showing that the number of Americans who would benefit from the repeal of the estate tax is millions fewer than the number who would benefit from an affordable, meaningful prescription drug benefit. Only about 2% of American families – the wealthiest of all Americans – would benefit from the estate tax repeal. In contrast, a Medicare prescription drug benefit would provide an affordable coverage option for 39 million beneficiaries whose annual incomes average $20,000.
PRESIDENT'S TARGETED TAX CUTS PROVIDE MORE RELIEF AT LESS COST. President Clinton called on Congress to pass his proposed targeted tax cuts, which provide substantially more tax relief for middle-class families at less than half the total cost of the Congressional proposals. The President's plan provides tax relief for America's families while maintaining fiscal discipline, paying down the debt by 2012, and investing in key priorities like Social Security and Medicare. Highlights of the President's plan include:
- A tax cut to encourage families to save, and tax incentives to small businesses to offer high-quality pensions;
- A tax credit to those with long-term care needs or their caregivers for costs associated with their care;
- A College Opportunity tax cut offering either a tax deduction or a 28% tax credit on tuition;
- Tax credits for the construction and modernization of up to 6,000 schools;
- Expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit for 6.8 million hard-pressed working families;
- Reducing the marriage penalty by increasing the standard deduction for married, two-earner couples;
- Tax credits for Americans aged 55-65 who want to buy into Medicare and for those between jobs;
- Expanding the child care tax credit to defray up to 50% of expenses and make it refundable;
- Tax credits for energy-efficient cars, homes, and appliances; and
- Offering a tax deduction to non-itemizers for charitable giving, improving the tax treatment of foundations, and allowing larger donations of stock and assets by individuals.
CALLING ON CONGRESS TO ACT ON AMERICA'S PRIORITIES. The President urged Congress to complete work on national priorities, including:
- Providing an affordable, accessible prescription drug benefit option for all Medicare beneficiaries;
- Raising the minimum wage;
- Enacting a meaningful Patient's Bill of Rights;
- Passing common-sense gun safety legislation;
- Passing a fiscally responsible budget that invests in education, school modernization & key priorities; and
- Expanding the federal hate crimes law.