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Clinton Targets 2002 For Balanced Budget President Will Unveil His Fiscal Plan Today

Tue., March 19, 1996

President Clinton plans to unveil a fiscal 1997 budget today calling for nearly $100 billion in tax cuts over the next seven years, documents show. The plan also projects a balanced budget by 2002 and assumes Clinton will strike a deal with Republicans for some quick savings.

Pages from the president’s election-year budget, obtained by The Associated Press, show that Clinton expects a $164.2 billion deficit in fiscal 1997, which begins Oct. 1, dropping to a $7.6 billion surplus in 2002. That would be the first year the government completed with black ink in its ledger book since 1969.

Fiscal 2002 is the same year Clinton and Republicans aimed at for balancing the budget during their yearlong, inconclusive fiscal battle last year. The president’s decision to retain 2002 as a target - which congressional Republicans plan to do as well - reflects a desire to avoid accusations that they are letting their budget-balancing deadline slip.

As Clinton prepared to release his package, he planned to meet Wednesday with House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., and Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., to discuss a number of issues, including the budget impasse. White House aides said the meeting’s scheduling does not signal a breakthrough in the budget talks.

The president’s fiscal recipe follows the outline he released last month and offers he made during budget talks with Republicans. It would rely mostly on $124 billion in savings from Medicare, $59 billion from Medicaid, $40 billion from welfare, plus $297 billion from annually approved general programs.

There would be $99.7 billion in tax cuts through 2002.

The proposal retains Clinton’s tax credit for children, which would provide $500 when fully phased in, and a new tax deduction for college tuition, which would be worth $10,000 when fully put into effect.


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