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Budget Surplus

April 13, 2001 • Volume 11, Issue 14
Is a big tax cut a good idea?
By Mary H. Cooper

Introduction

President Bush outlines his tax-cut proposal and budget plans before a joint session of the 107th Congress on Feb. 27. (Photo Credit: AP Photo/Doug Mills)
President Bush outlines his tax-cut proposal and budget plans before a joint session of the 107th Congress on Feb. 27. (Photo Credit: AP Photo/Doug Mills)

For the first time in more than 30 years, the U.S. government is taking in more money in taxes than it is spending on federal programs.The expectation that the federal surplus will continue to grow has touched off a vigorous debate over how best to use the unanticipated windfall. The Bush administration wants to “give back” part of the surplus to taxpayers in the form of a $1.6 trillion tax cut. Critics say the money should be used for a more modest tax cut, but only after the national debt is paid down and urgently needed social programs are funded. Beyond the political infighting over Bush's tax proposal, lawmakers are at odds over how best to protect the funds needed for Social Security and Medicare.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Federal Budget and National Debt
Jul. 12, 2013  Government Spending
May 15, 2012  State Capitalism
Mar. 18, 2011  National Debt
Nov. 14, 2008  The National Debt
Dec. 09, 2005  Budget Deficit
Apr. 13, 2001  Budget Surplus
Feb. 01, 1991  Recession's Regional Impact
Jan. 20, 1984  Federal Budget Deficit
Sep. 09, 1977  Federal Reorganization and Budget Reform
Nov. 24, 1972  Limits on Federal Spending
Jan. 08, 1969  Federal Budget Making
Dec. 06, 1967  National Debt Management
Aug. 01, 1962  Fiscal and Budget Policy
Nov. 27, 1957  National Debt Limit
Mar. 20, 1957  Spending Controls
Dec. 24, 1953  Public Debt Limit
Feb. 13, 1952  Tax and Debt Limitation
Nov. 30, 1949  Government Spending
Jan. 06, 1948  Legislative Budget-Making
May 23, 1944  The National Debt
Feb. 01, 1943  The Executive Budget and Appropriations by Congress
Dec. 27, 1939  Revision of the Federal Budget System
Oct. 10, 1938  The Outstanding Government Debt
Nov. 20, 1937  Budget Balancing vs. Pump Priming
May 02, 1936  The Deficit and the Public Debt
Oct. 19, 1934  The Federal Budget and the Public Debt
Feb. 10, 1933  Extraordinary Budgeting of Federal Finances
Dec. 01, 1932  Reduction of Federal Expenditures
Dec. 01, 1930  The National Budget System
Oct. 02, 1930  Federal Revenues and Expenditures
Nov. 02, 1927  The Public Debt and Foreign Loans
Nov. 15, 1926  Rising Cost of Government in the United States
Feb. 05, 1925  Four Years Under the Budget System
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Budget and the Economy
Retirement, Pensions, and Social Security
Social Security
Tax Reform
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