Clinton's $388bn spending cuts
Known for his commentary on international relations and US politics, Rupert Cornwell also contributes obituaries and occasionally even a column for the sports pages. With The Independent since its launch in 1986, he was the paper's first Moscow correspondent - covering the collapse of the Soviet Union – during which time he won two British Press Awards. Previously a foreign correspondent for the Financial Times and Reuters, he has also been a diplomatic correspondent, leader writer and columnist, and has served as Washington bureau editor. In 1983 he published God's Banker, about Roberto Calvi, the Italian banker found hanging from Blackfriars Bridge.
Friday 07 February 1997
"I support a balanced budget, I propose a balanced budget, and we have the best chance in a generation to achieve one," Mr Clinton said as he presented his plan that aims at $388bn of savings over five years.
It proposes tax cuts of $98bn over five years, mostly directed towards education and a $500-per-child tax credit for low- and middle-income families, offset by $76bn of revenue increases - mainly rises in excise duty and the closing of tax loopholes.
Republicans predictably criticised the package, with the House Budget Committee chairman, John Kasich, declaring the tax relief was not enough. The party wants a bigger tax credit for children, and a larger reduction in capital gains tax than the simple elimination of the tax for most home sales sought by Mr Clinton. The Republicans also say the $265bn Pentagon budget requested by the White House should be raised by $7bn.
The arguing masks a more significant truth. For the first time since 1981 a Presidential budget has not been declared "dead on arrival" on Capitol Hill. The gap between Republican and Democrat proposals is comparatively small. Though the bargaining will be hard, a deal may be struck for the first balanced budget since 1969.
The prospects for the economy meanwhile boil down to "steady-as-she goes". GDP is forecast to grow at 2 per cent in 1997 and 1998, while annual inflation will be virtually unchanged at 2.6 and 2.7 per cent, as will unemployment at 5.3 per cent this year and 5.5 per cent next. The figures comply with the Federal Reserve's 2.5 per cent ceiling for non-inflationary growth. If achieved, little change in interest rates over the next two years is likely.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
iJobs Money & Business
£32000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manage...
£Neg. (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Finance Account Manager with...
£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity h...