Watts, Istook lead cheers for failed tax-cut plan

Monday, October 11th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- U.S. Reps. J.C. Watts and Ernest Istook led
cheers for a vetoed tax-cut plan on Monday, arguing its $792
billion price tag over 10 years did not undermine efforts to shore
up Social Security as President Clinton contends.

More than 50 attended a tax-cut rally on the south steps of the
Capitol that was sponsored by the Oklahoma City chapter of the
Citizens for a Sound Economy.

A spokesman said the tax debate in Washington is a fight between
"the good guys and bad guys" and Watts and Istook are two of the
good guys.

Clinton vetoed the measure two weeks ago, calling it "too big,
too bloated." He said it would hamper efforts to shore up the
Social Security Trust Fund and to pare the national debt.

The Democratic president also said it would lead to drastic cuts
in education, health care and other vital services.

Watts said the GOP plan contained safeguards to keep the tax
cuts from kicking in unless the money was available to pay for

He argued the GOP plan would not hurt Social Security.

Watts accused Clinton of vetoing the bill because he wants to
spend more on social programs, using some money from the Social
Security trust money.

In the next three weeks, Watts predicted, there will be a series
of presidential vetoes of budget bills "because there is not
enough spending in them."

Istook said Clinton is like the matador who is hiding his sword
from the bull. In Clinton's case, he said, "the hidden sword is
all this extra spending."

Despite polls showing Americans put a premium on reducing the
National Debt and protecting Social Security, Watts said the public
also is rebelling against excessive taxation.

He said the GOP plan was not risky, adding: "I think it's risky
not to give them some of their money back."