On Friday, the U.S. Senate passed a budget resolution including the lion's share of the president’s tax cuts to the tune of some $1.3 trillion, as well as an additional $85 billion authorized for immediate relief in the form of rebates for either retroactive rate reductions or for a one-time refund.
Given that the House has already passed its own budget resolution providing for the full $1.6 trillion tax cut requested by the administration, the measure will now be considered by a conference committee composed of both senators and representatives to work out differences.
Even a down-the-middle compromise would settle the tax relief package at $1.45 trillion, an astounding success given the vehement opposition leveled against the president since during the campaign last year, with both the left and its media allies incessantly pounding the issue as "tax cuts for the rich."
But they didn't count on the most important factor in the equation:
the steely resolve of the new president to fight for, and enact, that which he staked his reputation on and promised the American people.
This confounded the big-spending left, which has been easily rolling over weak-kneed Republicans for decades.
Not this time, and not this president.
Then came the final nail in the coffin of the naysayers, when Clinton's recession began looming ominously on the horizon and any serious opposition essentially folded, given their newfound concern for the economy. Actually, read that as their newfound fear of being on the absolute wrong side of public opinion.
Be sure to note with interest, if not frustration, the mainstream media coverage of the Senate's action. They are already attempting to characterize it as a blow to the president's plans and have uniformly refused to mention that the House passed the President's plan
But what else would one expect from this crowd?
The bottom line is that the Bush tax cut plan, relatively small as it is, will be enacted and signed into law. Period.
And, to borrow from Martha Stewart, "that's a good thing."
Read Dan's previous column:
• April 9, 8:10 a.m. – WKRC radio in Cincinnati, Ohio
• April 12, 5:00 p.m. – WHRW radio in Binghampton, N.Y.
Dan Frisa represented New York in the United States Congress and served four terms in the New York State Assembly.
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