Bush adviser says estate tax might be delayed

Tuesday, March 27th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(ARLINGTON, Va.) - President Bush's chief economic adviser says plans to repeal the estate tax might be delayed up to two years to keep the cost of Bush's tax plan down in the first year, USA Today reported.

Larry Lindsey, director of the White House National Economic Council, acknowledged that revoking the estate tax would not do much to stimulate the economy in the short run and that it ``might be something you might want to delay.''

``But I want to stress, it's a matter of delay, and it's not delay for 25 years,'' he told the paper. ``It's a delay for maybe a year or two.''

The original Bush proposal would phase out the estate tax over an eight-year period.

Bush reiterated in Missouri on Monday that he supports a gradual repeal of the estate tax, but a senior White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said, the president is willing to lengthen the phaseout period to make room for an economy-stimulating tax cut this year.

Republicans and Democrats in Congress have been pushing for an immediate tax cut to spur a weak economy, but they are worried about increasing the overall $1.6 trillion price tag.

Repeal of the estate tax is popular with many members of Congress and a powerful small-business lobby that Bush is counting on to help sell his plan.