THE BIG PITCH: How should Bush create public support for his dollars 1.6 trillion tax cut?

JIM LANARD - President, FLG Strategies

JIM LANARD - President, FLG Strategies

JIM LANARD - President, FLG Strategies

Put simply, the President-elect cannot build support for such a massive tax cut. And he doesn't want to. He may have talked about this tax cut during his campaign - remember how he was pushed to increase its size during the primary - and he may still be talking about it, but talk is cheap. Tax cuts aren't. I don't mean to say he's wrong to talk about it He's not. His talk is meant to reassure the electorate that he is a man of his word: 'Hey look, folks, I ran on a tax cut pledge and I'm still pushing it. You can count on me; I'll keep my promises.' But Mr Bush also knows that this Congress will never pass such a Draconian measure. There are too many other goodies to spend that hard-taxed money on - like missile defenses, education and Social Security. So there will be a compromise and we'll all live happily ever after.

LEE INSKO - Professor of Marketing and Online Communications, Samford University, Birmingham, AL

Bush needs to let the people know four things. First, the surplus is getting larger - these are the people's dollars and should be returned to them immediately. Otherwise, Congress will squander the money. Second, Clinton and the Congress have no massive capital projects on the table that would require a once-in-a-decade infusion of cash like the surplus represents. If they were undertaking to build the bullet trains, or fix the airports, or build high-tech libraries and school buildings, any of those would trump a tax cut. But without such visionaries and their ideas in DC, give the money back to the people. Third, forget the estate tax repeal. Finally, the economic downturn will be over by the summer of 2001.

Do the tax cut now and the economy will take off. Then start designing the next tax cut.

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