Statement by the President: Marriage Tax Penalty (7/18/00)
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary
                          (Camp David, Maryland)

For Immediate Release                                     July 18, 2000

                        STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

While I strongly support targeted marriage penalty relief, the marriage
penalty bill put forth by the majority in Congress is one part of a
fiscally irresponsible, poorly targeted, and regressive tax plan.  If this
strategy succeeds, more benefits will go to the top one percent of
taxpayers than to the bottom eighty percent of all Americans, while
ignoring tax cuts I have proposed for college tuition, long-term care,
savings, and childcare.  By itself, I would veto this bill.  In the spirit
of bipartisanship, however, I am willing to accept marriage penalty relief
on this scale if Congress passes a plan that preserves the Medicare surplus
to pay down the debt and passes a plan that gives real, voluntary Medicare
prescription drug coverage that is available and affordable for all
seniors.  This is the best way to break the partisan logjam and help the
tens of millions of older Americans across this country who face rising
prescription drug costs.


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