PRESIDENTIAL DEBATEOctober 16, 1996
JIM LEHRER: All right, the next question is for Senator Dole, and it comes from this section right here. The back row, there, in the blue shirt. Yes, sir.
TIM DAVID: My name's Tim David. I'm a mechanical engineer. Senator Dole, how do you reduce taxes and balance the budget?
MR. DOLE: Oh, I'm glad you asked.
PRESIDENT CLINTON: So am I. I am too.
MR. DOLE: What's your first name? Tim? I first want to say the president didn't quite give you all the stuff on quotas, because the Justice Department entered what we call the Piscataway case up in New Jersey. It's pretty clear that was a quota case. And just because one teacher was white and one teacher was black and they had the some qualification, you know, they decided who would stay there. It shouldn't be that way.
Now, the president can say, well, he wants to mend it, not end it. There are 168 federal programs that allow quotas. He ended one. Now this economic package, Tim - I'm glad you asked because you look like the type that might be able to benefit from a 15-percent-across-the-board tax cut and $500-per-child tax credit for, you know, state tax relief, which you're not interested in right now, but capital gains rate reduction - if you're taking care of an elderly parent, you get a $1,000 deduction. We think that's very important because a lot of people take care of their parents.
How do we pay for it? We're going to have a constitutional amendment to balance the budget, which the president opposed and defeated. He twisted arms, got six Democrats to vote with him. We lost by one vote. We're going to balance the budget by the year 2002.
The president wants to spend 20 percent more over the next six years; I want to spend 14 percent more and give that six percent back to the people. Remember, it's your money. It's not his money, and it's not my money. It's your money, and you shouldn't have to apologize for wanting to keep all you can of it, but he ought to apologize for wanting to take more and more. He wants to give you sort of a government tax cut which really doesn't mean anything.
PRESIDENT CLINTON: You know, one of the responsibilities of growing older, it seems to me, is being able to tell people something they may not want to hear just because it's truth. When they had a $250 billion tax scheme - that is half the size of this one, this one is 550 (billion dollars) - they passed a budget that had $270 billion in Medicare cuts, the first education cuts in history, cut environmental enforcement by 25 percent, took away the guarantee of quality standards in nursing homes, took away the guarantee of health care to folks with disabilities. Don't take my word for this.
The Economist magazine polled lots of economists. Seven Nobel Prizewinners have said, if this tax scheme passes, it will require huge cuts - 40 percent - in the environment, in law enforcement, in education. It will require bigger cuts in Medicare than I vetoed last time. My targeted tax cut gives tax cuts for education, child rearing, buying a first-time home, paying for health care costs, and it's paid for. And I've told you how I'll pay for it. He won't tell you because he can't.
MR. DOLE: Your targeted tax cut, Mr. President, never hits anybody. That's the problem with it. Nobody ever gets it. But I must say I'm a little offended by this word "scheme." You talked about - last time you talked about a risky scheme, and then Vice President Gore repeated it about 10 times in St. Petersburg. If I have anything in politics, it's my word. My colleagues, Democrats and Republicans, will tell you that Bob Dole kept his word. I'm going to keep my word to you. I'm going to keep my word to the American people.
We're going to tax - cut taxes and balance the budget. We're not going to touch Medicare. It's going to grow 39 percent and Social Security is going to grow 34 percent.
Now, the president doesn't have any ideas so he's out trashing ours. This isn't going to blow a hole in the deficit. He promised you a tax cut in 1992, and if you got one, you ought to vote for him.